Five Simple Ways to Lower Your Power Bill
Every little bit helps
In these tough times, everyone is looking for ways to save money. The obvious options for limiting your discretionary spending have been very popular. However, there are many other little tricks and tips related to how you live your everyday life that can also amount to real savings. The five ideas listed below are small things you can do at home to save money on your electric bill, and they do not require much effort or investment on your part.
1. Using fluorescent light bulbs
This idea has largely been connected to many green initiatives today because the new household fluorescent bulbs use about a fourth of the energy that old-fashioned incandescent bulbs use. Using less energy also translates into savings on your electric bill. Just switching to fluorescent bulbs provides an estimated savings of $10 to $50 per year. Further, since the modern fluorescent bulbs last roughly 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs, you also save money because you have to buy fewer light bulbs throughout the year.
2. Using the microwave instead of the oven
Assuming you have an electric oven and stove, you can save about $50 per year by using the microwave for many of your smaller cooking and heating requirements. Microwave ovens use much less energy than traditional ovens and stoves and are more efficient, resulting in less heat being wasted. Further, many newer microwaves come with toasting coils and other features that expand the range of applications for your microwave. The technology has come a long way, so consider using your microwave more and your oven less.
3. Fixing your thermostat settings
In general, each additional degree of cooling that you use during the summer raises your power bill by 6 percent, and every degree of additional warming you use during the winter raises your bill by 3 percent. Therefore, if you set a firm temperature range and stick to it you can save a lot of money. The most commonly suggested range is setting your thermostat no lower than seventy-eight degrees in the summer and no higher than sixty-eight degrees in the winter. Setting and keeping to a firm range of temperatures can save hundreds of dollars per year.
4. Line drying your clothes
Electric clothes dryers not only use a lot of electricity, they are also incredibly inefficient, with much of the heat being completely wasted. Further, in the winter time the dryer’s air flow system sucks heated air out of your home and passes it to the outside through its exhaust. While using your electric dryer may be a necessity some of the time, if you have light loads or are washing light clothes, letting them dry naturally can save you about $50 per year. Air drying is also better for your clothes, especially those that contain elastic.
5. Get an energy audit
Most major utility companies offer energy audits to their customers, where an inspector comes to your home and points out small steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient. You can call your local utility company and see if it offers this service. The inspector will usually come to your home and look at your insulation and other energy-related matters. After the review, the inspector will give you a series of recommendations of simple steps you can take to lower your energy expenditure. An energy audit may find things you have overlooked.