How to Lower Your Electric Bill to Save Energy

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Have you ever wondered how to lower your electric bill? Years ago, my electric bill used to hover right around $50 a month (2010). But, today it’s usually about double that amount. I know that, in part, it has to do with rising electric costs. But, what other factors go into the bill you receive each month? And, how low can you reasonably get your bill? This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

How to Lower Your Electric Bill to Save Energy in 2017

How to Lower Your Electric Bill

First to set the stage.  We have a 1500sf, two story house.  We have six people who live here.  My husband is disabled so he’s home all day every day.  The two kids and their significant others are at work or at home. I work at home so I am always here. So, there are people here during the day using electricity. The house doesn’t just sit here unused and empty all day. When the kids are home, they’re your typical power hungry young adults who think they must be plugged in to be alive.  We have a gas stove and gas hot water so we do not use electricity for those two items.

It’s pretty much common sense really.  If you want to reduce your electric costs, you must reduce the amount of electricity you use. That’s all there is to it.  We don’t get free electricity and we don’t have some magic formula to convince the electric company to charge us less.  We use less.

Evaluate

Take a look around your house to see what’s plugged in.  Are you leaving things on that can be turned off? Do you need all those lights on at night? Does the TV or radio need to be on for background noise? Is the computer or printer on all day whether you’re using them or not? Start with the easy stuff and turn them off and unplug them.

How to Lower Your Electric Bill to Save Energy in 2017

Phantom Loads

That’s right. Unplug them.  Many electric items use electricity whether they are on or not. This is especially true for anything that has a LED readout (like a clock).  Your microwave is using electricity all day long whether or not you have it on or not.  The same holds true for your cable box, your DVD player, your TV, your computer, etc. Unplug them when not in use.

Better Bulbs

Switch to CFL or LED light bulbs. Yes, they really do save you money and they last a lot longer. I’ve found that Home Depot has good quality CFLs that are fairly inexpensive when purchased in bulk.

Hang it Up

Hang your clothes to dry. Your electric dryer uses tons of electricity.  Get a drying rack or a clothesline in the back yard and hang clothes to dry there.  If your HOA won’t let you hang a line outside, use a rack over a heating vent or in front of an open window inside instead. Then move. I hate HOA’s!

How to Lower Your Electric Bill to Save Energy in 2017

Turn it Down

Turn down the heat! Even if you don’t heat with electricity, your furnace uses electricity to start every time it comes on.  Turn down the furnace and it will use less electricity.  It also goes without saying to turn off or turn up the temp on your air conditioner. In Vermont, I don’t use an air conditioner but I know a lot of people who do.

Do it Yourself

Can you do it by hand?  Do you need that electric gadget to do everything for you? Can you open the can with a manual can opener? Can you mix the cookie batter by hand without your Kitchenaid?  Do you need that electric tart warmer? Conveniences are great but they all cost money.  If you want to pay it that’s fine but if your electric bill is inching upwards, consider eliminating some of them.

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Wrap Your Heater

If you have electric hot water, consider wrapping your hot water heater with insulation. It will help keep your electric bill down because it helps keep in the warmth of your water.

Seal Leaks

Seal off air leaks around windows and doors.  They sell plastic that you can put up very cheaply and it will help keep the heat or cool air in your house which will stop your furnace or air conditioner from coming on as often.

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Pro Tips

Have you already done all these and you’re still trying to figure out how to lower your electric bill? Try some less common ways to lower your electric bill.  Invest in a solar oven for cooking on sunny days.  We use a Global Sun Oven during the nice weather.  Check out solar lighting for your outside lighting needs.  We have one near the duck/chicken coops and it eliminates the need for a traditional light source outside on that side of the house. We need to get one more for the other side of the house. Consider adding a light sensor to rooms you frequently visit.

Hand Power

Replace some of your electric appliances with hand powered ones.  Did you know you don’t need an electric beater, a Kitchenaid mixer, an electric can opener, an electric frying pan, a George Forman grill, an electric coffee bean grinder, an electric rice cooker, or an electric yogurt maker? All these things can be done without a separate electric appliance.  Take a look around your kitchen & see what you can do by hand.  People did all these things for hundreds of years without the need to use electricity.

Now that you know how to lower your electric bill, share your favorite tips.




Comments

  1. Borrow a Kilowatt tester from a friend and you'll see just how little electricity many of these items draw. Beating butter and sugar together by hand is an awful lot of work to get to the right consistency. I'd rather spend the 3-5 minutes and use handheld mixer. After all , at only 0.022 kilowatts an hour, it would only cost TWO PENNIES to run it for 24 HOURS. In other words, NOT using the mixer is actually wasting your time, not saving your money.
    • Ellen Christian says
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Hannah. I guess it's a matter of perspective. My time is free, and we have the time. I like the connection to the older ways of doing things.
  2. OY! I live in Florida and man, our electric bill this month was just over 400 dollars! So expensive! I am definitely going to use the tips about the dryer, ours is old, and probably wastes a lot of electricity, as well as the information on the phantom loads. Thanks!

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