We all want to pay less for electricity each month, and SaveOnEnergy can help you find affordable electricity rates. Energy prices have risen in the last few years, but there are a variety of easy things you can do to keep your bill low.
Saving energy is the most straightforward way to reduce your electricity bill no matter your energy rate. What’s more, many energy-saving steps are simple habits that are easy to follow.
The team at SaveOnEnergy is here with energy-saving tips to help you lower your electricity usage. The first step is to understand how much electricity you consume each month. Estimate your energy consumption with the SaveOnEnergy usage calculator.
Save energy in your home
- Try to avoid running appliances during “peak hours”. During the summer months, energy demand peaks in the afternoons when the temperatures are normally at their highest. If you reenrolled in variable-rate plan, you’ll pay more for the energy you use during peak times. 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% on your heating costs annually. In New York, for example, that would amount to more than $125 in savings a year.
- Turn your thermostat up when you’re not at home in the summer. According to the Department of Energy, adjusting your thermostat to a higher temperature when you’re not home can lower your energy usage by up to 10%.
- On average, water heaters account for 18% of residential electricity bills. Lowering your water heater’s temperature is a quick and simple way to reduce the amount of energy it consumes. As an example, that could save the average Pennsylvania customer $137 a year.
- Take shorter showers. In addition to reducing your water heater’s temperature, you can save energy by using less water. Even if two people in a household only reduced their average shower time by a minute each day, they could lower their electricity bill.
- Turn off running water when brushing your teeth. This simple step can reduce your hot water usage by up to 5% and lower its overall energy consumption.
- In the winter, open your curtains so the sunlight warms your room. In the summer, close the curtains to help keep your home 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% of the total electricity bill. A well-maintained or newer HVAC system will make sure you aren’t overpaying for heating and cooling.
- Open your windows in the spring. You can keep your home cool if it’s not too hot outside by allowing a flow of fresh air through open windows. Spring is the perfect time to try this natural way of maintaining a comfortable temperature without relying on your air conditioner, which you’ll need when the heat kicks in during the summer months.
Save energy while cooking
- If you are thinking about upgrading your home’s appliances, 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, refrigerators consume 7% of an 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.
- Use the microwave instead of the oven when cooking to save energy in the kitchen. A microwave can often do the same job as an oven in less time. So whether you want to bake potatoes or warm up some leftovers, choose the microwave for the most efficient use of energy.
- 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 the liner.
- Fill up your dishwasher before running it, but don’t overfill it — this might result in you having to run a second cleaning.
- Use your dishwasher’s air-dry cycle, which can save up to 50% 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% 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% of electricity usage. In Connecticut, which had the second-highest electric bills in the country at the beginning of 2022, 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%. Most consoles offer a power-saving setting.
- LED lightbulbs use up to 80% less energy and last much longer than traditional lightbulbs, so opt for LEDs for your lights to save energy in your living room. Lighting accounts for about 10% of energy consumption in residential homes. In Illinois, the average household spends more than $100 each year on lighting alone. The Department of Energy says you can save up to $45 per year just by replacing five traditional light bulbs with ENERGY STAR-certified bulbs.
Save energy working from home
- Working on a laptop uses up to 80% less electricity than a desktop computer. To save energy in your home office, invest in an Energy Star-certified computer, which uses up to 40% 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% 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% 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%.
- Don’t overfill your washer or dryer. Overfilling reduces their efficiency and they will have to use more electricity to clean and dry clothes.
Saving energy at home doesn’t have to be difficult. Lowering your electricity usage will directly affect your monthly energy costs. If you live in an area with a deregulated energy market, you may also be able to lower your energy bills by switching to a better electricity plan. If you’re interested in exploring energy rates in your area, enter your ZIP code below.
Jordan Smith is a writer and researcher with expertise in renewable energy and deregulated energy markets. Jordan has written extensively on the deregulated energy market in Texas and the challenges confronted in the clean energy transition, and conducted research projects within the energy industry. Further articles by Jordan can be found at ChooseEnergy.com.