12 Best Ways to Save Money on Your Electric Bill
Let’s face it: keeping the lights on can get expensive!
If you’re shocked or overwhelmed by how much you owe your utility provider each month, keep reading. Today, we’ll share a dozen best ways to save money on electricity and recoup some dollars back into your wallet.
1. Understand your electric rates and act accordingly
Knowing how the electric company charges you for power can help you save money.
If you’re on a standard electric rate where you pay the same amount for every kilowatt-hour (kWh), you can easily reduce your usage by following the tips below. And if you’re on a special rate, there may be ways to accrue additional savings.
Tiered Billing Rates
If you are charged on a tiered billing rate, the first few kWh you use each day won’t cost much. But as you use more, the cost per kWh increases.
A good way to save money on a tiered billing rate is to avoid using too much power in one day. For example, you can plan to do one load of laundry each day instead of doing three loads on the same day to save money on your electric bill.
Time of Use (TOU) Rates
Under Time of Use (TOU) rates, utility providers charge you more for kWh used at certain times (typically 4 pm – 9 pm). At this rate, you would save more money by doing laundry or running your air conditioning earlier in the day or later at night instead of during peak hours when energy costs more.
2. Install solar panels
Generating your own electricity is one of the best ways to save money on electric bills. In many parts of the U.S., a solar power system will pay for itself in just four to six years.
To save even more money when going solar, consider installing a DIY solar panel kit instead of hiring a solar company. The DIY route could work well for you if you enjoy working with tools or taking on new projects.
Learn more about solar panels here, or find out if your home is suitable for solar.
3. Install batteries with an existing solar system
If you already have solar panels for your home, you can save even more money by adding a battery system. Plus, you get the bonus of having backup power during outages.
The price of a battery backup system may seem high upfront, but it could be your ticket to freedom from your energy bill.
Check out our resource here to decide if solar battery backup systems are right for you.
4. Conduct an energy audit
An energy audit is a great way to identify opportunities for immediate cost savings. Many electric companies offer a free professional energy audit, so take advantage of that service if available. There are also free energy audit tools online if you’re interested in conducting it yourself.
5. Update older appliances
Replacing your old air conditioner, refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher or water heater can significantly lower your electric bill.
Visit the Department of Energy’s website to identify the most energy-efficient appliances labeled with Energy Star ratings. In many cases, you can get rebates or tax credits that cover a substantial portion of your new equipment.
6. Turn down your water heater
If your hot water is at a scalding temperature when you turn it on all the way, you may want to lower the water heater thermostat to save some money.
Maintaining high water temperature all day — even if you aren’t using hot water — uses a lot of electricity. Lowering the thermostat won’t affect your showers, but you will notice the energy savings on your electric bill.
7. Adjust appliance use
Another good way to save money on your electric bill is to adjust your appliance usage habits. Keep these best practices in mind:
- Don’t run the washing machine or dishwasher unless you have a full load.
- Avoid using the hot water setting on the washing machine. Most of the time, warm or cold water will do the job (and is better for your clothing and linens, anyway).
- Turn off the heat dry setting on your dishwasher. Hand dry your dishes, or leave them out to air dry.
8. Turn off unused appliances
Many appliances will continue to use electricity even when they are off. To save some money, unplug TVs, DVD players and other electronics when you aren’t using them.
If the plugs are hard to reach, use a power strip with an on/off switch. Keep the switch off and turn it on only when needed to prevent unused devices from racking up your bill.
9. Adjust your thermostat settings
Changing the temperature by a few degrees can significantly affect your utility bill. Consider upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat so your settings are always optimal.
10. Change your HVAC filter
It’s a good idea to update the filter on your air conditioner every three months. This will keep your A/C healthy, so it won’t have to work hard to get the job done. You’ll save energy (and money!) and increase the lifespan of your air conditioner.
Pro-tip: Try setting a recurring reminder on your calendar to help you remember.
11. Update light bulbs
Swapping out older high-wattage bulbs for newer energy-efficient bulbs is one of the easiest ways to save money on electricity.
12. Seal air leaks
Keeping your home or apartment insulated can significantly reduce your air conditioning or heating usage. If cool air leaks through door or window cracks (or vice versa), your system will have to work twice as hard to regulate the temperature.
Try installing weather stripping on doors and caulk around your windows. If you live in an older home, you may want to consider replacing doors or windows that aren’t holding up anymore.
We hope these tips help you save money on your electricity bill! And if you want to experience complete freedom from your energy bills, solar panels and battery systems are the way to go.
If you’re thinking about going solar, the experts at GoGreenSolar are here to help. We’re industry veterans with decades of experience designing and installing solar systems.
Contact us today for a free estimate or free solar system design!