We all like to save money whenever we can, and with energy prices at an all-time high saving money on utilities bills is a must. The problem
is, most people just get the bill and write the check without a thought of how they can possible save money. There are a lot of things that can be done to cut the cost of your electric bill, and they don’t take you spending a lot of money up front to do so.
Here are a few tips:
Turn Off Vampire Electronics
While in the Spring electric bills tend to be at their lowest because we’re doing things like cooking on our best outdoor grills rather than in the kitchen, or not using the air conditioner or furnace, you can still do small things to save money this time of year. One of the best
things you can do is simply unplug things you’re not using. It sounds so easy, but people simply do not do it. People leave their computers running day and night, their TVs and DVD players plugged in, and even a lights running 24/7. Anytime you see that little red or blue light on something that you’re not using, you should know that is costing you money. They call these things vampire electronics because they are literally sucking money from your bank account while doing nothing for you.
Things like the DVD player, TV, microwave, DVR, computer modem, etc. should be unplugged anytime you’re not using them. You may think that it would be a pain to unplug everything you’re not using and plug it back in, but if you install power strips you can unplug and plug them in, in a matter of seconds. Allowing appliances to cost you money while they’re turned off makes little sense. It’s estimated in the United States that the average person spends $100 per year on electronics that are turned off. How would you like to have an extra hundred dollar bill in your pocket at the end of the year for simply turning things off? It’s a no brainer.
Off Peak Hours
Not everyone is aware of this, but most electric companies charge different rates depending on the time of day that you use things. Off-peak hours are the best times to do things like: wash and dry clothes, use the dishwasher, have several TVs on, etc. Peak hours are usually from 6-10am and 3-9pm, but they aren’t set in stone. Be sure to call the customer service number on the back of your electric bill to see when exactly peak hours are for you. You can save anywhere between 30-60% on your electricity rates during those hours if you use things at off-peak times. It’s another simple tip that can save you money.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be shocked at how many people don’t have adequate enough insulation in their homes. Is your electricity bill way out of whack in the winter months? Chances are that you could turn everything off and only use electricity at non-peak hours and you’d still have a high electric bill (especially if you have an all-electric home). There is nothing better someone can do to lower energy bills than to insulate their home. Adequate insulation can save you up to 30% on your energy bills, and keep heat from escaping through your roof (Remember 5th grade science where you learned that heat rises?), which in turn keeps your furnace from running constantly. It also helps your home to stay cool in the summer for the same reason.
The best way to find out if you have adequate insulation is to call your electric company to see if they have an energy audit program, if not your state’s Public Utilities Commission may provide one. An energy audit is nothing more than a certified tech coming to your home to tell you whether or not you’re losing heat, how much more insulation you’ll need, as well as other money saving tips.
Photo courtesy of Derrick Leung.