Money Matters - Simplified

10 Tips on Cutting Electricity Costs

Are your electricity bills skyrocketing and driving you crazy? Here are the 10 ways to cut down on this expense and keep your cool.
Switch to fluorescent lights from old Thomas Edison bulbs. These are far more energy-efficient and use 75 percent less energy as compared to ordinary light bulbs

The cost is higher than ever and is not going down any time soon. So the only alternative is to cut costs. Here are a few guidelines on how to do it:

Benefits of Saving Electricity

Cuts Costs: Conserving energy also cuts down the maintenance cost as appliances that do not run all day long require less spending on service and repair.

Saves on Taxes: If you install solar-powered water-heating system, to heat at least half of the water, you may get tax credit up to $2000.

Makes Home Appealing to Prospects: If your home is certified as Energy Star Qualified Home by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it may appeal to buyers because of the saving it generates on electricity bills.

Reduces Carbon Footprint: If you manage to reduce energy consumption, you will be able to burn less of some fuel source like coal, oil etc. that pollute environment.

1. Conduct Energy Audit
Doing energy audits assesses how much energy you use and where. This will help you draft energy saving plan, pinpointing exactly the areas where you can cut energy consumption.

2. Invest in Fluorescent Lights
Switch over from old Thomas Edison bulbs to fluorescent lights. Though there are some initial costs involved, they are far more energy efficient as they use 75 percent less energy as compared to ordinary light bulbs.

3. Switch Off or Unplug Electric Devices
Everything that is plugged is using electricity. All the devices on standby mode account for about 6 percent of the energy usage in your home. Turn them off if you are not using them.

4. Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances
If your electric appliances date back to the 80s, it’s time to upgrade. Replace your outdated devices with models that have Energy Star label. Energy Star is a joint project initiated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy.

These appliances will lower down your electricity bills significantly as they are energy efficient.

5. Program Your Thermostat
Turn off your thermostat to give your air conditioner a break for at least the eight hours that you are at work.

While at home, lower the thermostat just four degrees. Most of your family members will not even notice difference in home temperature.

6. Regulate Your Water Heater
Turning down the water heater by 10 degrees can lower electricity bills and save energy by 3 to 5 percent.

Use programmable water heaters. Set the timer to turn off the heater one hour before going to bed and turn on one hour before walking in the morning.

7. Add Insulation
Many homes have leaky areas. Insulate with weather stripping and caulking to plug all the drafts. Increase insulation in the attic and basement.

As most of the power used to heat or cool the room is lost through doors and windows, use heavy drapes and fasten them with all-purpose weather plastic.

8. Use Washing Machine and Dish Washer Wisely
Avoid using washing machine unless you have a full load. Do not waste energy in drying clothes when sunlight is available for free.

Quit using dishwasher unless you had a party and there are lots of dishes to do. Wash your dishes right after eating rather than leaving them overnight.

9. Save on Cooking
When the food you are cooking has a microwave as well as heat-in-oven option, prefer using the former, as there is no need to preheat the microwave and it is on for shorter duration as compared to oven.

10. Plant Trees
Finally, the simplest energy-saving technique is planting trees. The air conditioning bills can be reduced up to 25 percent if the house utilizes tree shading. They not only maintain the coolness in summers, but insulate your house in winters too.

Conserving energy will not make you rich for sure, but it can help you out in case of future price hike in electricity.