When you need to save money, those big bills are the first thing you want to chop… but how to save money on electricity bills? Also, when it comes to money munchers, electricity is always near the top of the list.
Let’s face it: There’s no avoiding using electricity. From lights to air conditioning to cooking and even work, we all use electricity nearly all of the time. If we can’t avoid it, do we have to live in the dark and read by candlelight? Are we doomed to sacrifice comfort to avoid a sky-high electric bill?
NO! Don’t worry, you can save money on your electric bill without feeling deprived. There are even ways to save on your electricity without fretting about whether you remembered to turn off this or that. You’re on the path to a lower electric bill, so microwave some ramen and let’s get started.
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How is My Electric Bill Calculated?
To start, let’s go over what you’re paying for on your electric bill. How do companies charge you for electricity, anyways? To be honest, with a unit of measurement that’s tricky to explain. Basically, you’re charged for the amount of energy your home consumes in the hours of the day.
The unit is called “Kilowatt-hours” (kWh), and you usually see it on your bill or the company’s website. Your bill is calculated by how many kWhs you use during your billing period. This is why you notice your electric bill varies by a few dollars month to month. Spending even a little less time using a particular appliance can reduce the number of kWhs on your bill.
Can You Save Money on Your Electricity Bill?
First off, you might be wondering if it’s even possible to save more than a couple of cents on your electric bill. The short answer is: Yes, of course, you can.
The longer answer is: There’s going to be some moving parts to this, but still yes. You aren’t going to find one magic solution that cuts your electric bill in half. (Sadly, Penny Calling Penny isn’t a Fairy Godmother, just a Financial Godmother.)
The good news is that there are lots of little things you can do. These can include using less energy, contacting your energy company, and even using a service that can help you shop around for lower rates. All those little things can add up to a lower bill. Adding up to less? Now that’s some financial magic.
How to Use Less Energy?
So how can you use less energy without disrupting your day-to-day life? As working from home gets more common, you might find yourself using more energy than ever. Even when you’re at home all the time, there are ways to lower your electricity usage. No headache, no missing out, just saving money. Let’s take a look on some ways to save money by reducing your energy usage.
4 Excellent Ways to Save on Electricity Bills
Some of the best money saving ways are as as follows:
1. Use it or Turn it Off
First, turn things off when you aren’t using them. Don’t put them in sleep mode, turn them all the way off. This might not seem like it makes much of a difference, but it does.
Take your desktop computer, for instance. In “Sleep” mode, it uses an average of 21.13 Watts. If you turn that same computer off, it only uses an average of 2.8. That’s a difference of nearly 20 Watts on just one appliance.
This goes for any appliance with a “Sleep”, “Rest”, or “Standby” mode. It’ll use much less power and only take a little longer to boot up when you need it.
2. Don’t Let Vampires Drain You
An appliance that uses energy when plugged in but not in use is called a “vampire”, and it can do more damage than you expect. In fact, vampires account for as much as 10% of your total household energy. So how can you stop vampires?
First, you can unplug things that aren’t in use. This fully disconnects them from the energy source, so there’s no extra energy “leaking” into the appliance.
If you’re like me and couldn’t imagine trying to remember to unplug things when you leave a room, there’s another way. Christmas light timers and smart plugs work great to reduce the amount of energy you’re losing to vampires.
If you’re working all day but like to use your DVR, gaming console, or other appliances at a particular window of time each day, set your timer to only provide power during those times.
Since a light timer or smart plug is still plugged into the wall, you’ll still lose a little energy. However, you won’t lose nearly as much since these devices are designed to save energy.
3. Get Smart With Your Bulbs
Smart plugs aren’t the only energy-saving smart device. You can also invest in smart bulbs, which are designed to help you save money in a variety of ways, including dim functions and timers.
If smart bulbs aren’t your jam, you can also switch to LED or CFL bulbs. These are a great in-between option. They aren’t as expensive or time-consuming to set up as smart bulbs, but they are energy efficient.
4. Don’t Fight the Weather
Air conditioning and heating are often some of the biggest energy guzzlers. So how can you cut back on energy usage during the hottest times of the summer or coldest times of the winter?
Work with the weather, not against it. Blackout curtains can keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. These are especially helpful if there isn’t anyone in the home during the day since you won’t have to use the lights, either.
If you don’t have or don’t want blackout curtains, you can just use your home blinds in the summertime. They won’t block out quite as much heat, but even blocking a little light can cool your home.
In the winter, embrace cozy sweaters and fluffy socks. You can also use space heaters to keep rooms warm while you’re in them while keeping the rest of your home closer to the outside temperature.
How to Spend Less on Your Electricity Bill?
Ok, let’s say you’re using less energy but that’s still just not cutting it. Now what? Don’t stress; you’re not out of options. There might still be ways to spend less on your electricity, depending on where you live.
First, you’re going to want to look around and see if there are other energy companies willing to service your home. If there are, you can use that to your advantage.
Call up your energy company and ask to negotiate your rates. If you have multiple companies in your area, let them know you’ve been looking around. They’re often willing to compromise with you in order to keep you as a customer.
After that, you can ask about usage programs. Companies will give you a monthly or yearly credit in exchange for unplugging for a few hours during peak times. You can still use your phone, as long as it isn’t plugged in, so you may not even need to change your pattern much.
Finally, you can check out Arcadia. Arcadia is a company dedicated to helping you save money and switch to cleaner energy. Best of all, Arcadia functions on its own, giving you notifications when you save money and doing all the negotiations for you.
Saving Energy, Money, and the Earth
In this guide on how to save money on electric bills, lowering your energy bill can seem like an impossibly huge task. The good news is that you can make lots of small, sustainable changes that add up to a big difference.
Even better, these changes don’t just save you money, they save the earth. By using less energy and switching to clean energy, you’re helping to reduce greenhouse gases. Fewer greenhouse gases mean healthier earth for all of us.
Healthier earth and a lower bill are a real win-win, and all you have to do is make a few small changes. Which changes those are is up to you and your lifestyle.
Here at Penny Calling Penny, we believe you shouldn’t have to be miserable to save money, even on your electric bill. Start making those changes and racking up the savings — you got this!