We all want to pay less for electricity each month, and SaveOnEnergy® can help you find great rates for your power. But there’s another factor in putting your bill on a diet. Stop feeding it so much electricity! Conserving power will go a long way toward reducing your bill regardless of your rate.
SaveOnEnergy wants to help, with concrete tips that can lead to lower usage and get your bill in better shape. Here’s our running list of tips, which we’ll update as new ways to save become available.
Save energy in your home
- Try to avoid running appliances during the “peak hours” of a season. For instance, during the summer months, energy demand peaks in the afternoons. So, wash your clothes or run your dishwasher overnight or earlier in the day when it’s cooler outside and your air conditioner isn’t running full blast.
- Turn your thermostat down 7-10 degrees each day during the winter months. The most energy-efficient temperature during the winter is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This could save up to 10 percent on your heating costs annually. In New York, for example, that would amount to more than $125 a year.
- On average, water heaters account for 18 percent of residential electricity bills. Lowering your water heater’s temperature is a quick way to reduce the amount of energy it consumes. As an example, that could save the average Pennsylvania customer $137 a year.
- In the winter, open your curtains so the sunlight warms your room. In the summer, close the curtains to help keep the room cool.
- Maintain or upgrade your HVAC system. The EIA says heating and cooling are the largest consumers of energy in the average home, accounting for more than 30 percent of the total electricity bill. A well-maintained or newer HVAC system will make sure you aren’t overpaying for heating and cooling.
Save energy while cooking
- Invest in an Energy Star-certified refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove. Energy Star appliances must meet a certain threshold of efficiency and will help you save electricity.
- According to the EIA, your refrigerator consumes 7 percent of the average home’s total energy. This means most Texas households spend about $113 annually on refrigeration. Set your fridge and freezers to efficient temperatures. The federal Food and Drug Administration recommends setting the temperature between 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit for refrigerators and at zero degrees Fahrenheit for freezers.
- Keep the doors of your refrigerator and freezer airtight by replacing the plastic liner every couple of years. You can test to see if your liner needs replacing. Place a sheet of paper in the door and close it – if doesn’t stay where you put it, you need to replace it.
- Fill up your dishwasher before running it, but don’t overfill it – this might lead to a second cleaning.
- Use your dishwasher’s air-dry cycle, which can save up to 50 percent of your dishwasher’s energy usage.
- Keep your oven door closed so the hot air doesn’t escape.
- Match your pots and pans to the appropriately sized burner. Using a large burner on a small pan wastes about 40 percent of the heat it creates.
Save energy in the living room
- Your living room is where a lot of your electronics live. On average, electronics account for between 15 and 20 percent of electricity usage. In Connecticut, which had the second-highest electric bills in the country at the end of 2020, living room electronics could cost up to $337 a year.
- LED TVs consume significantly less energy than plasma or LCD models.
- Ensure your TV is completely turned off – not just in sleep mode – when you aren’t watching it.
- For video game enthusiasts, enable your console’s “power saving” setting. This setting on an Xbox One will reduce the console’s standby energy usage by 98 percent. Most consoles offer a power-saving setting.
- LED lightbulbs use up to 80 percent less energy and last much longer than traditional lightbulbs, so opt for LEDs for your living room lights to cut down on energy usage. Lighting accounts for about 10 percent of energy consumption in residential homes. In Illinois, the average household spends more than $100 each year on lighting alone.
Save energy working from home
- Using a laptop uses up to 80 percent less electricity than desktop computers. To save even more energy in your home office, invest in an Energy Star-certified computer, which uses up to 40 percent less energy than non-certified models.
- Choose energy-efficient lighting that won’t put unnecessary strain on your eyes. LED lightbulbs and halogen incandescent bulbs use 80 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional lightbulbs.
- Plug electronics into a power strip so you can easily turn them all completely off at the end of the day.
Save energy doing laundry
- Energy Star washers and dryers consume 20 percent less electricity than non-certified models.
- Washing your laundry in cold water can greatly cut down the amount you spend heating water – in fact, cold water can cut your laundry’s energy usage in half.
- Keeping your dryer’s lint filter clean can increase your dryer’s energy efficiency by 75 percent.
- Don’t overfill your washer or dryer. Overfilling reduces their efficiency and they will have to use more electricity to clean and dry clothes.
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