Thursday, August 11, 2011

Easy Ways to Save Money On Your Electric Bill

Typically, I cringe when I look at my electric bill in the summer. This record-breaking-heat year has been no exception. But, I've been working to lower our energy bills, and have a few easy tips to get you started. Even saving a few dollars month adds up!
  • If The AC Is Not Cooling Well, Have It Checked, Don't Crank It Up!
    • I learned this the hard way a few weeks ago. When our AC wasn't cooling well, instead of getting it looked at, I just set it on a low temp and ran it constantly. Turned out we had a freon leak, and I was just throwing away money. Now I know that having my AC checked for leaks is much cheaper than wasting energy, and I can't "will it" to cool when there is an issue.
  • Turn Off Lights When You're Not In The Room
    • This sounds like a no-brainer, but I can't tell you how often I turn on lights upstairs or in the other room, and leave them on all evening because I forget to turn them off. Each standard light bulb costs about $0.10/kWh to run, even when you're not in the room! Get in the habit of turning lights off when you leave a room, and watch the savings add up!
  • If Someone In Your Home Has A Medical Condition, You Could Qualify For Discounts
    • Check with your local electric company, but having a medical condition that necessitates use of an air-conditioner or extra power, (such as MS, immunity issues, or paralysis), you can often qualify the lowest possible rate on your bill, saving at least $30/month. 
  • Check Door Seals
    • If your doors and windows have faulty seals, you could be wasting a lot of energy. For a quick fix, place a blanket against the seal, thus insulating it. Eventually, you should re-caulk the seals, or look into getting dual paned windows and doors. (Which can also qualify for tax rebates.) 
  • Do Chores At Off-Peak Hours
    • Do laundry or dishes first thing in the morning, or in the evening. Using these appliances during peak hours can cost you more, since rates are higher at certain times of the day.
  • If Purchasing a New Appliance, Look For Energy Saver Features, and Tax Rebates
    • Sure, you can get a cheaper used fridge on Craigslist, but in the long run, purchasing used, older appliances may not be that great of a savings. New appliances use significantly less energy than old appliances, which lowers the cost of running. In addition, new energy saving appliances often qualify for federal tax rebates, saving you even more.

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