Creative Ways to Save on the Electricity Bill

Josh Wilson, Family Faith Finance | September 1, 2017

Consumers across the country can expect their electricity bills to climb over the next decade. The increased use of electricity isn’t too hard to imagine in this era. More people rely on electric gadgets and appliances to accomplish everyday tasks whether it’s microwaving dinner, air conditioning the house, or even running the stove. In short, more people rely on electricity.

With that in mind, there is little wonder to why electricity and the cost of it would rise over the next decade. However, while cost is one aspect to consider as a homeowner and consumer, the way you use electricity has the most profound effect on your electricity bill.

With that being said, there are always ways to reduce the cost of electricity no matter what electricity costs. To start, you should think about how much electricity you use on a daily basis. Have you considered any alternatives to electricity? Is there are more cost-efficient version of an appliance? Here are just a few ways that you can save some serious cash on your electric bill.

Do an Energy Audit

Oftentimes, home owners don’t understand what is actually costing them the big bucks when their electricity bill comes in. There could be some appliance that is killing your wallet without your knowledge, but that’s where energy audits come in. An energy audit is the simplest way to determine what areas of your home are wasting energy (in this case, electricity).

You can perform an energy audit yourself with a little work and preparation, or hire a professional local auditor to perform an energy audit for you. The audit will review items such as your home’s insulation, air loss from windows, outlets and doors, heat gain, and other factors that can highlight areas of improvement in your house. The whole point is to make your house more efficient from an overall energy perspective. If you’re lucky, this could help you run your AC more efficiently in the summer if you can’t turn it off.

Go Solar

If you live in an area that gets plenty of sunlight, consider installing solar panels as a way of slashing your energy bills. While solar panels may not work for every homeowner, they can be a great way or harnessing a natural resource to reduce your electricity consumption. How exactly? Well, they convert solar energy to electricity, so in simple terms, you can basically collect sun rays and use them to turn your lights on.

Needless to say, if you are partially supplying your own electricity, then you will be able to save money on the electricity bill. Additionally, an especially savvy saver who conserves electricity regularly can even make money off of their solar panels. Some electricity companies will compensate you for excess energy.

Of course, the whole point of a solar panel is to save money on electricity (and save the environment) by relying on an alternate power source. With that said, solar panels are not cheap, and they often require an investment out of pocket or through some financing avenue. If you think solar panels are the way to go, then you should understand that it may take years to recover the expense of installing solar panels. Ask yourself whether you can afford the cost of a solar panel and whether the investment is truly worthwhile.

Use Ceiling Fans

This is an anti-AC tip. If your house has ceiling fans, you could try taking full advantage of them in the hot summer months instead of relying on more expensive central air conditioning. To put this numerically, a central AC unit consumes roughly 3 kilowatts (kW) which would cost about $0.36 an hour, and a window AC unit consumers about 1.2 kilowatts which costs $0.14 an hour. A ceiling fan on medium speeds consumes only 30 watts (1 kW = 1000 watts) which would cost only one, single penny over three hours!

Unplug Everything

This is perhaps one of the easiest solutions for lowering your electric bill. Unplug items that you are not using. If it doesn’t make sense, then consider this. Plugged-in appliances use electricity even when they are not turned on.

In fact, a significant amount of electricity used by the average American household is consumed by plugged-in appliances that aren’t being used. This phenomenon is known as vampire power or standby power. Many appliances draw power when they are in standby mode, so that will cost you money if you don’t unplug.

Josh writes about his family’s journey with faith and finance on his blog, Family Faith Finance. You can find him on Twitter @famfaithfinance.

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