In addition to using a prepaid electricity plan, many consumers employ as many methods as possible to conserve energy usage in their homes. If you are one of the millions of people who opt to prepay for electricity each month, the following methods can mean not only increased energy efficiency but a lower bill. Consider the following tried-and-true strategies to save on electricity costs each month in addition to using a cheap electricity provider:
Appliances like radios, stereo systems, televisions, and computers consume electrical energy when they are on, so remembering to shut them off when you are finished using them is a simple way to cut your consumption of power. Televisions are a particular challenge for some people, who tend to leave the TV on as background noise. Unless you really want to hear what is on TV, turn the set off and save the energy instead.
People often install motion sensors on outdoor lighting for safety reasons, but there are plenty of ways to use these amazing little appliances to cut your energy bills every month. By adding motion sensors to indoor lights, you can precisely control your energy use without having to click light switches when you enter and leave rooms. You won’t have to worry about leaving the lights on in unused areas of your home ever again. The beauty of this energy-saving tip is that motion sensors are really inexpensive and are sold at hardware stores everywhere.
You can do this type of audit yourself with a little know-how, or simply ask your service provider to do one for you. In most places, there is no cost for having an audit done. What does it do? For starters, you will learn about the many ways to reduce your energy usage. Additionally, the audit will locate energy leaks or very high points of usage in your home. For example, if there’s a crack in your attic roof, a hole in your garage, or a broken air duct, the audit will reveal it. Many homeowners have an audit done as soon as they move into a new residence to find out better ways to plan their monthly electricity bills.
When energy-efficient thermostats first entered the market several decades ago they were expensive. Today, you can purchase a programmable thermostat at the local hardware store for about $15. Installation is easy and typically takes about 30 minutes. After your new thermostat is ready for use, you can set it to an exact level for heating and cooling. You’ll never have to guess about settings again because the programmable models will allow you to tell the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system exactly what temperature you prefer. Plus, you’ll be able to program the device to use less power in the evenings or when you are not at home. For $15, these little devices can really pack a wallop when it comes to cost savings on electricity bills.
Consider setting your air conditioner to 82 degrees or slightly higher during periods of physical inactivity—for instance, when you go to bed in the evening. Reset it to a lower temperature when you get up the next morning. Chances are, you won’t even notice the difference until you see your monthly electricity bill. It will be lower as a result of this clever strategy.
Of all the energy-saving tips, one of the simplest is lowering your home’s water-heater temperature. Professionals recommend keeping your water heater set at a temperature between 130 and 140 degrees. If you’ve recently moved into a new home check the water heater default setting as soon as possible. Although the maximum hot water temperature depends on your personal preference and your family’s needs, it’s a good idea to check and make certain that your water heater’s setting is a low as you find comfortable and no higher than 140 degrees.
While storm doors won’t save you huge amounts of money on energy costs, they are eligible for a $500 tax credit if they meet the International Energy Conservation Code. Keep in mind each door will cost you about $200–400, so shop carefully, keep your receipts, and don’t forget to take the credit when tax season comes around. Credits aside, storm doors do a good job of preventing energy leaks from some of the largest openings in your walls—doorways.
A little-known strategy to conserve energy is sealing your electrical outlets. These little openings in the walls where you plug things in are notorious for allowing cold and hot air to enter your home at the worst possible times. They affect your air conditioner’s efficiency by letting hot summer air indoors and decrease the strength of heaters by letting cold air in during the winter.
Hardware stores sell inexpensive outlet sealers. Buy enough to install one on every outlet in your home and you’ll notice the difference when extreme temperatures arrive, whether in summer or winter. You’ll never have to worry about leaky outlets again after installing sealers all-around you are home.
New dimmer switches can save consumers a lot of cash. Older, outmoded dimmers simply toned down the amount of light output while consuming the same amount of power. Modern dimmers are much more intelligent. Not only do they reduce electric power sent to the light bulb, they can be programmed to automatically adjust the light in a room based on the need.
For decades, this power-saving trick has worked for millions of people. Ceiling fans are inexpensive and easy to install, which means anyone can take advantage of their unique benefits. By simply installing two or three ceiling fans in your home, experts say it’s possible to reduce the load on your air conditioner by as much as 10 percent. That can translate to huge savings for people who live in warmer regions. But even homes in colder regions can save money because ceiling fans also do a better job of distributing the warm air. What you save on electricity bills can pay for the fans in a matter of weeks.
The simple act of changing your light bulbs can mean big savings. Getting rid of old-fashioned incandescent bulbs and replacing them with LED or compact fluorescent lights can yield about $70 in annual savings on your electricity bill. Most stores that sell lighting offer the energy-efficient types of bulbs. That means you can get the smarter bulbs for the lights in your home that are used most frequently. Another reason to opt for energy-smart bulbs is that they last much longer than incandescent bulbs.
Contrary to that popular old song, t’s not smart to “let the sunshine in” during the summer months, unless you enjoy paying extra on electricity bills. Simple things like putting plastic tint on windows that receive a lot of direct sunlight and installing blinds can decrease the amount of ambient heat in your home. Remember to keep drapes closed on the sunnier side of your home during the summer and you could see significant reductions in energy expenditures.
Make sure any leaky pipe or faucet gets the attention it needs. Even small leaks can waste large amounts of water throughout the year and cost you plenty. If you don’t know how to fix leaks yourself, hire a plumber to do the job. It’s worth the expense and you’ll be one step closer to energy efficiency.
When washing clothes, unless there’s a special reason to use hot water, opt for warm or cold cycles in most loads. Your items will come out just as clean and fresh smelling but you won’t be wasting energy on heating up the water. Washing machines are high on the list of your home’s energy users, so keep in mind the water temperature when you do the weekly laundry.
Spend a little, save a lot: that’s the reasoning behind getting a yearly HVAC inspection done by a professional. Enlist a trusted local provider to do a thorough HVAC check at least once per year, ideally twice—once in late spring (before you turn on the air conditioning) and once in the fall (before you turn on the furnace). They can find things like worn out parts, inefficient ducts, broken motor components, and more. Some homeowners balk at spending money for inspection when everything seems to be running well, but it’s much wiser to prevent HVAC problems than pay for them after a problem appears. But most importantly, the energy efficiency gained by keeping a well-maintained HVAC system will translate into a lower electricity bill.
Simply cutting your shower time can do a lot to reduce your home’s energy usage. Avoid running the water while you are not standing under it. This is sometimes referred to as a “Navy shower” because submarine and other naval crews at sea must conserve water. They do so by quickly running the shower to wet their bodies, turning the water down, soaping themselves and then turning the stream back on to rinse themselves. There’s no need to be that stringent but you can avoid running the shower full blast while you aren’t under the spray. In addition, if you merely reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower, you can reduce the heating bill by a significant amount.
Buy shower heads that are rated “efficient” by one of the official energy organizations. Doing so is one of the easiest ways to reduce energy consumption because you likely won’t notice the difference. The average homeowner can reduce water use by about 2,500 gallons in a typical year. That’s a lot of water that doesn’t need to be heated, which means lower energy use. Most stores sell efficient shower heads that are reasonably priced and extremely easy to install.
If you have a prepaid electricity plan and want to save energy by using a cheap electricity provider, the simple steps outlined above make sense to incorporate into your busy lifestyle. For consumers who wonder how to reduce their electricity bills and achieve a high level of energy efficiency, using proven strategies is the best way to go.
Summary: Here are twenty ways to reduce your electricity bill each month. These techniques are easy and can deliver a lower monthly electricity billing tandem with a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. By making a small effort to plan your energy use and monitor it from day to day, you’ll be able to achieve a level of energy conservation that translates to lower a monthly electricity bill.
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