The cost of electricity seems to get higher and higher each year, but it is something that we need in our homes. Electricity powers our lights, kitchen appliances, computers, air conditioners in the summer, and heaters in the winter. By making a few small changes, you can save money on your monthly electric bill.
Start by evaluating your contract. Is it possible for you to go with another electric company? Compare prices if there is more than one electric company in your area. Choose the one that has the lowest cost per kilowatt hour. Inquire if there is a lower off-peak rate offered by that company, and if possible, use that time for higher electricity needs like washing clothes or cooking.
If you cannot switch electric companies, have your current company come out to your house and check they meter to make sure it is reading correctly and accurately.
Around the home, make sure your family is turning off lights and unplugging appliances that are not in use. Even if the device is not in use, it if is plugged in, it can still be using up electricity. If there is no on and off switch, use a plug connector that has an on and off switch. For example, if you connect both your television and speakers to a plug connector, you can switch off both devices with one switch and not drain any extra energy when not in use.
Using lights in your home unnecessarily can use up electricity. Turn off lights in rooms that are not in use. Also, to use lights less, try painting your rooms in a bright color. Brighter walls reflect more light, therefore you will need less lighting to brighten the entire room.
Replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights, or energy saving lights, are a bit more expensive initially, but they use less energy to burn just as bright, and have a longer life than regular light bulbs. If the light is on more than half an hour a day, it makes sense economically to replace the bulb with an energy saving one.
Kitchen appliances that are constantly plugged in will use up a lot of electricity as well. Your refrigerator and freezer need continuous electricity to keep it cold. To minimize the amount of electricity it takes to keep these appliances running, make sure they are in a location that is as cold as possible already. Do not place them near radiators or windows that stream in sunlight most of the day. Also, make sure that they are at least 5 centimeters away from the wall so that air can circulate around them.
Maintaining the inside of your refrigerator and freezer also help keep energy consumption down. Keeping things tidy and labeled makes it easier to find things, therefore allowing less time you need to keep the door open to search for things. If a layer of ice forms in the freezer, defrost it so it does not block the cold air and make it hard for it to flow freely.
If your stove and oven are electric powered, being wary on how you cook can cut down electric costs a little too. When cooking, use the right size pots and pans for the job. Do not use anything overly big, and make sure to use the burners that will fit them. Using burners that are way to big for the pot or pan will use up excess energy. Also, cover the pot as much as you can. Keeping it uncovered will use up 2/3 more energy.
Try cooking less as well. Instead of cooking daily, cook once or twice a week. Using your stove or oven for several dishes if they are already hot uses less energy then heating them up all over again. When the oven has reached the temperature you want it at, you can turn it off 10 minutes before the food it ready. This will use less electricity but the oven will remain hot until your food is fully cooked.
Air conditioning helps keep us cool in the summer, but it can really run up your electric bill. On average, you need 3 times the energy to cool a room than you need to heat a room. In order to use the air conditioner less, you can ventilate the room during the night and early in the morning when it is cooler outside. During the day, keep the windows that get the most sun covered. This will help keep some of the heat from the sun out.
If it is not exceptionally hot in the summer, you can install ceiling fans instead of air conditioning units. Moving air feels cooler than static air. But remember to turn off the fans when you are not in the room.
While air conditioning runs up electric bills in the summer, heating runs up the bills in the winter. Look for other options for heat. Electric is the most efficient, but is more expensive than gas, propane, or oil. If you must use electricity, look into a programmable thermostat. You can program it to keep the heat lower during the hours that no one is home. You will save money and your home will still be warmed when you do get home.
Before winter hits, make sure all your windows and doors are sealed with sealants or weather stripping. This will prevent heat from leaking out, and cold air from getting in, resulting in having to use more heat to warm the room.
Electricity powers our lights, major appliances, and keeps up cool or warm. Many of us cannot imagine living without it, but it gets more costly each year. By looking over your contract, and making some small changes around the house, you can start to save some money on your electric bill.