Looking for ways to reduce your monthly costs? There are a lot of ways to lower your electricity bill and save you a lot of money, month after month.
Summer is almost officially here. It’s felt like it was here for a while though. The past several days here in Oklahoma we’ve had heat advisories. We had a very wet spring so the humidity is still quite high and we are getting into the low to mid 90’s, so the heat index has been in the 100’s.
Energy costs can get pretty out of control with these hot and humid days. It seems like the air conditioning never stops running. This can lead to some pretty crazy electricity bills. There are some pretty easy things you can do around your home to help lower your bill this summer.
Learn More About Your Electricity Bill
Too often people don’t pay attention to monthly bills. They just pay them and move on. It’s important to take a good look at your electricity bill each month and watch for trends.
Comparing your bill to the previous month is likely not a very effective way to monitor it. Compare to the same month the year before for a better idea of how you are doing as costs will vary through the year.
You can create a spreadsheet to do this or just log into your account and compare that way. You can also track it in a budget planner. Find whatever method works for you.
Why Is My Electric Bill So High
There are many things to consider when looking at your electricity bill to find out why it’s so high. If you are taking a good look at your electricity bill and tracking like talked about above this will be easier to investigate.
You want to find when the bill started to go up and think about if anything has changed. Also, check your rates to see if they have gone up. After the historic winter storms in Oklahoma, Texas, and other states many will see rates increase to make up for increased costs during that time.
If you can’t easily figure out why your bill is higher then it may be time to do an energy audit. Some electric companies will offer these for free or you can do a self-energy audit.
You can also start trying some simple methods to help you save on your electric bill. You’ll see some really great ideas to try below.
How to Save on Your Electric Bill
Use a Programmable Thermostat
We like to have our house cooler at night because we don’t sleep well when it’s hot. At about 9:00 pm it automatically starts cooling down. You can also set it to be warmer when you aren’t home.
We both work at home so we got a programmable thermostat that can be controlled by an app on our phones. When we leave we can turn it up a degree or so and turn it down when we are headed back.
Using fans in the rooms people are actually in can allow you to turn up the thermostat a couple of degrees. It’s better to just be cooling the room where you are rather than the whole house.
Ceiling fans are a great option as are portable fans. One of my favorite options is a fun retro-style fan. You can find one that fits your style so that it fits with your decor while being useful. Just make sure to turn off fans when you leave the room.
Cooking can heat up your home a lot. Be sure you are cooking efficiently. Keeping lids on pots can help things heat up quicker. I also like to use a toaster/convection oven for most of my cooking as it works more efficiently and uses less energy than my oven.
Grilling is something else we do a lot during the summer. It really helps not heat up your home. An Instant Pot or slow cooker is another option that doesn’t heat up your home as much.
Change Your Bulbs
As you replace light bulbs consider switching to LEDs. They cost more to start with but they last a very long time and use a small amount of energy. They also don’t get as hot so they don’t heat up your home as much.
Unlike CFLs, LEDs do not contain mercury so they are safer to have in lamps and such where the bulbs could be broken. Just be aware that LEDs need ventilation so don’t put regular LEDs in enclosed fixtures, buy the vented LEDs for those kinds of fixtures.
Line Dry Your Clothes
Dryers are energy hogs. Even if you don’t line dry all of your clothes reducing the number of loads you run through the dryer will save you a lot of money. If you can’t or don’t want to install a clothesline you can get portable drying racks to put on your porch.
Wash Full Loads of Laundry and Dishes
When running your dishwasher or washing machine make sure you are doing full loads. Washers these days tend to have very high capacity so you can really cut down on the number of loads you are doing. Also, remember to wash your clothes in cold water when possible.
Choose Energy Star Appliances
When you need to buy new appliances be sure to look for ones that are Energy Star. This means they more efficient than average. You will also find a tag in appliances that gives you a better idea of how efficient they are.
Turn Off Electronic Devices
Did you know many devices use power even when not in use? If the device has any lights on when not in use it’s drawing power, some may even without lights.
If there is no reason for it to be on go ahead and make sure it’s unplugged. Using power strips is the easiest way to do this. Just flip the power strip off to cut power to things you aren’t using. They even make smart power strips that will turn off things when a control item is turned off. Some also have a spot for something you need on all the time so it stays on but power is cut to the other items on the strip.
Take Shorter Showers
Hot water heaters can use a lot of energy. Taking shorter showers and using less hot water can really help. They make waterproof timers to use in the shower to help keep you from staying in too long. They can really help if you are easily distracted in the shower and think you are spending less time than you really are.
Close Your Curtains
Closing your curtains can help keep sunlight from warming up your house. I like natural light so I close the ones where the direct sunlight is coming in but keep the others open.
Change Your Filter
Make sure you are changing your air conditioner filter every month. When it gets dirty it can restrict airflow and cause your air conditioner to work harder costing you more money.
Additionally, see if your energy company allows you to track your usage. We can check to see how much energy we have used each day and even each hour. It’s helpful for finding more ways to reduce our use.