Easy Ways to Save on Energy Bills

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Ways to Save on Energy Bills. By diligently using these tips, you can take a big chunk out of your gas or electric bills. Whether you live in an apartment or home, this will help you save monthly money.  If you live on a fixed income or your income doesn’t always meet your needs, it is vital to have a strategy to save on your utility bills.

Leaving lights, television, and games on when you are not using them can raise your electric bills quickly. It is also good to know that the government subsidy LIHEAP helps low-income families pay heating and cooling bills.  However, that money is only given once a year.  You must look for ways to save on gas and electric bills for the rest of the year.

How I Saved on Electricity

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 61% of home energy is used for heating and cooling the home, “lighting and other appliances use 26%, water heating 20%, air conditioning 8%, and refrigeration 5%.” It is easy to see how our energy bills can take a big part of the budget.

It is easy to see how my energy bills can take a big part of the budget, especially after the pandemic.  I save money on my average electric bills after I made these changes.  The U.S. Department of Energy states the average is 1000 kWh/month, but the amount will vary depending on how cool or warm you like your environment. It is incredible how simple steps can shave hundreds of dollars off your home’s heating, cooling, and lighting.  Below are some common-sense steps to help you save on your energy bills.

How to Cut your Average Electricity Bill

1.  Use Compact Fluorescent Lighting

I have heard people complaining about the government telling us which light bulb to use. If it can save you money, why not do it? You can decrease the amount of electricity you use by two-thirds by using compact fluorescent light bulbs.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, you can save $30 over the life of one CFL. Multiply that by each lighting fixture you have in your home and count the savings.  Many utility companies are giving away free sample CFLs to help consumers get a look and feel of the bulb and show how they can save.

2.  How to Save Energy Bills when Washing Dishes

A British study by Waterwise compared the amounts of water used in a dishwasher and hand washing. The average amount of water used to wash and rinse a sink of dishes by hand is about 10 gallons; while using a dishwasher, you use 3-4.25 gallons of water. 

So it would appear that using a dishwasher will save on water and the electricity it will cost to heat the water. You can also turn off the heating element and allow the dishes to air dry instead of running the heating element. Let your dishes air dry.

3.  What to do about Electrical Cords

You may remember your Mom or Dad going through the house, turning out the lights, and fussing about wasting money.  Today we spend a lot of money to keep our cell phones, laptops, and Apple watches plugged in 24/7.  I have a box of charging cords.  There are items around the house you use daily that are 24/7.  This is our TV, microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, desktop,  Amazon Firestick around, and lamps in every room.

It is not practical to unplug every electronic in the house, but these are the things that add to our energy bills.  Purchase a charging station to charge all your electronics in one place.  Attach the charging station to a breaker extension cord that you can turn off when done.  Even though the breaker is plugged in, it is turned off and not using electricity.

4. Energy Saving by Repairing Doors and Windows

You will be surprised how much energy escapes from different areas of your home.  Go throughout your home and put your hand in front of a door or window, and if your home is not winterized, you can feel the cold air or heat coming in.  No door or window is completely sealed.

The wood around doors and windows expands and constricts, causing small spaces where heat and cool air can leave your home.  Place weather stripping around doors and seal windows and outlets to prevent energy loss.  If you have a fireplace, ensure the fluke is close to prevent heat loss or cool air from escaping.

5.  Turn Down the Water Heater’s Temperature

Most people enjoy a long, hot shower.  It can be relaxing and quite therapeutic. It also uses up a lot of energy. To save money on utilities, you can turn down the temperature on the water heater to about 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, save money and still have a comfortable shower.

If you live in an apartment, ask maintenance to adjust the temperature of your water heater.  The less hot water you use, the less your heater will have to work, and the more money you save.    Try to be more conscious of how much hot water you use.

You can cut your 20-minute shower to about 5 minutes so everyone in the house can have hot water when needed.

6.  Water Heater Insulation

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends insulating your water heater. With this little measure, you can save on the energy this unit used by 25% or more. If the heater is warm to the touch, it can benefit by insulating it.

This is an easy process, and it is foolish not to do it. You can purchase an insulation blanket at any hardware store. Wrap the water heater tightly and secure it with some adhesive or electrical tape.

7.  Change your Air Filter Every Four Months to Save on Energy Bills

Make sure to change your air filter several times a year.  A good way to tell if it needs changing is to look at it.  If it looks dirty, replace it.  A clogged filter will make your air and heating system work harder by hindering the airflow.

This will cost you money and put an unnecessary strain on your system. A dirty filter will also cause air quality to become unhealthy.  This can be a problem for children, the elderly, and those with breathing problems.    Filters are relatively inexpensive. If the filter looks dirty, replace it!

For more information, go online to your gas or electric company for a breakdown of what are spending on different appliances in your home.  You can also request a free energy check-up on your home.

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