Growing up I was always fairly nonchalant when it came to electricity usage in our home. My partner was the same and in turn our children became the same.
We would often not turn lights off when leaving rooms or we would leave things switched on all night. Our bill would come through each month and we didn’t understand why it was so high. We were silly!
It wasn’t until we had an electric fire that we really started looking into our electricity usage. Although the fire itself wasn’t down to how we were using things (it was an old house and old wiring), it still made us think. When we moved into our new house we started looking for ways that we could save money on our bill.
Some ways that we found were easier than others but they all worked and today we are going to be showing you how to cut your electricity bill in half. If you have any other tips that you would like to share then please feel free to add them in the comments below and we will get them added to the list.
- 1 1. Conduct an Energy Audit
- 2 2. Use Dimmer Switches
- 3 3. Stop Using Your Tumble Dryer So Much
- 4 4. Deal With Your Fridge and Freezer
- 5 5. Keep the Sunlight Out
- 6 6. LED Lighting
- 7 7. Insulate Your Electrical Outlets
- 8 8. Hot Water Heater Temperature
- 9 9. Buy the Right Appliances
- 10 10. Use a Low-Flow Shower Head
- 11 11. Clean out the Dryer Lint
- 12 12. Use Smart Strip Surge Protectors
- 13 13. Use a Timer on Your Water Heater
- 14 14. Hot Water Heater Maintenance
- 15 15. Properly Insulate Your Home
- 16 16. Use Weather Stripping on Windows and Doors
- 17 17. Cook with Lids
- 18 18. Turn Off the Ice Maker
- 19 19. Refrigerator Temperature
- 20 20. You Don’t Need to Iron Every Day
- 21 Final Thoughts
1. Conduct an Energy Audit
Many people are of the misconception that an energy audit is a waste of time. In actual fact it is an incredibly important step as it will give you a clear overview of your electricity usage. With the results from the audit you can then start making a plan on how to tackle your usage to cut costs.
You may opt to call your utility company as they usually offer this kind of service free of charge to their customers.
2. Use Dimmer Switches
A dimmer switch for your lights gives you control over the amount of light that is produced. Don’t just have them fitted and then keep using your lights at full capacity as you will be wasting your time and saving nothing.
We don’t usually need our lights giving off light at full capacity most of the time and if you plan on using the lights during the times of day where you need a little bit of light but not all of it, then you can probably make it a reasonable purchase to get some dimmer switches for your lights.
3. Stop Using Your Tumble Dryer So Much
Dryers use an absolutely ridiculous amount of energy to run (anywhere between 1,800 watts to 5,000 watts per load) so cutting them out as much as possible will save you quite a bit of money. If the weather is nice and the sun is shining then there really is no need to use the dryer. Instead, start line drying your laundry.
4. Deal With Your Fridge and Freezer
We have discussed this here at UK Survival Guides before but it is a great way of saving energy and reducing your electricity bill. By filling your fridge and freezer they won’t have to work harder in order to cool the air inside. If you can’t fill them with food then you can use bottles of tap water in the fridge and screwed up newspaper in the freezer to fill any empty spaces.
Next up you need to make sure that the coils of the fridge are clean. Dirty coils will mean that your fridge has to work harder. It is recommended that you take the time to clean the coils every three months.
5. Keep the Sunlight Out
One very simple step that you can take is to keep the sun out, especially during the hot summer months. By doing so, you can help to reduce the air conditioner energy consumption. You can do this by closing your blinds and curtains on the sunny side of the home. If you wish you can also buy tinted window film to help reduce energy usage even further.
6. LED Lighting
Did you know that the lighting in a home accounts for around 15 percent of a typical household’s electricity bill? One simple way of dealing with this is to change the bulbs that you use. There are energy efficient bulbs available that will fit your already existing light fittings.
7. Insulate Your Electrical Outlets
Not many people seem to realize that their electrical outlets could be costing them more when it comes to electricity usage in the home. How? Think of it this way, they are made by cutting a hole in the wall and installing electrical wire intrusions that help to operate the lights, devices, utilities, etc. These are also the source of air (both warm and cold) entering and exiting the home.
You have three choices when it comes to insulating your electrical outlets:
- Foam and pre-cut gaskets – Foam gaskets are designed to insulate traditional two-outlet sockets and single toggle light switches. Gaskets can be used for insulating cable outlets and telephone jack outlets.
- Caulking – Putty or a caulking solution that has a compatibility rating for electrical works can also be used.
- Outlet plugs – Probably the simplest solution is to use child-proof safety plugs in the outlets.
8. Hot Water Heater Temperature
Around 13 percent of your home’s electricity is associated with heating water. If you want to reduce this energy consumption, turn down the temperature of your water heater and keep it under 140 degrees.
9. Buy the Right Appliances
When it comes to buying new appliances, make sure that you are buying appliances that can help you to reduce the cost of your electricity bill. You can do this by making sure that you only buy ENERGY STAR models if you are in the US. If in the UK, appliances are rated from A to G with A being the most efficient.
10. Use a Low-Flow Shower Head
In most homes there is a good opportunity to reduce the electricity bill by simply swapping the shower heads that are used. A typical shower head would have a flow rate of around 3-5 GPM (gallons per minute). A low-flow shower head will be in the range of 1-2 GPM so you could make a saving of around 50 percent.
11. Clean out the Dryer Lint
If you use a dryer in the home, don’t forget to clean out the dryer lint (you can save this in your survival bag as it makes great tinder). If left to build up, this lint will make your dryer less efficient as it needs to suck up more energy. Clean out the lint and scrub the lint trap filter with soap and water every few months to keep your dryer from overworking.
12. Use Smart Strip Surge Protectors
These help to save electricity by eliminating phantom energy sources such as appliances that are rarely used. Your electronics, such as your television, are protected from a power shortage during a storm, potentially saving you hundreds. These intelligent power strips will turn off power to plugs when things are off.
13. Use a Timer on Your Water Heater
Whether or not you actually need any hot water, your water heater is going to heat the water which means it is a good place to do something when it comes to reducing our bill. A water heater timer allows you to set heating times for when you actually need it. This can reduce your hot water electricity costs by as much as 12 percent.
14. Hot Water Heater Maintenance
It is important that you keep your water heater working as efficiently as possible. By doing regular hot water heater maintenace you can definately save some money. One main issue is sediment build up, so draining the sediment using the valve a few times a year can be beneficial.
You should also consider insulating your hot water heater to improve efficiency and decrease costs. You can even insulate the first six feet or so of water heater piping to go the extra mile in cutting household energy consumption.
15. Properly Insulate Your Home
Insulation reduces the exchange of heat through a surface such as a wall, attic, duct or roof. In a well-insulated home, less warm air escapes from the house during the winter, and less cool air escapes during the summer, reducing the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling.
16. Use Weather Stripping on Windows and Doors
Weather Stripping can be used to seal air leaks around movable components such as windows and doors. There are quite a few options when it comes to weather stripping but you will need to choose one that can withstand the friction, weather, temperature changes, and wear and tear associated with its location. The weather stripping you choose should seal well when the door or window is closed but allow it to open freely.
17. Cook with Lids
Another very simple way of reducing your electricity bill is to simply use lids when you are cooking. This will help your food to cook quicker.
18. Turn Off the Ice Maker
You can reduce the fridge’s energy consumption by up to 20 percent by eliminating the ice maker. If it doesn’t get used or hardly gets any use, you should really consider this as you are wasting a lot of energy.
19. Refrigerator Temperature
Many people believe that the lower the temperature of the fridge, the less energy that is being consumed. This isn’t actually true as lower temperatures can increase energy consumption. It is recommended to keep the temperature of your fridge between 37-40 degrees.
20. You Don’t Need to Iron Every Day
The average iron uses anywhere between 800 and 2,000 watts. Imagine how much money you are adding to your bill every month if you iron every day. I am not saying to completely stop using your iron but if you do need to use it, don’t let it sit for too long when it is warming up. If possible save up all your clothes and do them all in one sitting.
There are many ways out there that can help you to reduce your electricity bill each month and here are our choice. Some of the methods above will only save small amounts whereas other methods can save much more significant amounts. We recommend starting with the easiest ones and then working ahead from there. Good luck!
If you want to share your own tips, please add them in the comments below.