Electricity rates have been rising and they are expected to keep rising in the future so the earlier we act the better. Habits are learnt and once you keep repeating them they become part of your life. There are certain things you can do to save money on electricity bills. These are easy ways which you can apply if you have not done so already.
Change the incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Bulbs CFLs which save as much as 75% electricity and last for many years. ENERGY STAR CFLs are energy-efficient. Fluorescent bulbs also produce less heat so you will not need to use high cooling costs in summer. Switch off the lights when you are going out of the room even if it is briefly.
ENERGY STAR-qualified products
Light Emitting Diode LEDs bulbs are the most energy-efficient bulbs saving up to 80% energy and lasting 25 times more than the traditional incandescent bulbs although they are more expensive. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs CFLs are cheaper than LED. You can use LED in hallways or where you need light through the night. Buy ENERGY STAR refrigerators, ovens, water heaters and dishwashers.
Unplug appliances and electronics
Unplug all electronics when they are not in use because they use power even when they are on standby. Unplug computers, phone chargers, microwaves, toasters, kettle, oven, dishwasher, hair driers and all appliances when not in use. Hand wash dishes and clothes if they are not many. If you have to wash clothes with a washing machine, use cold or warm water for most of the clothes and hang them in the laundry line or a rack to dry instead of using the drier. You can put the clothes in the drier briefly to smoothen them when they are dry.
Use washing machine, clothes drier, water heater and dishwasher during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower. Find out from your supplier the off-peak hours which are usually early morning hours and late evenings.
Heating and Cooling. Heating and cooling takes most of the energy. Since we cannot change the weather we can achieve our target by reducing heating and cooling expenses by using a programmable thermostat. You will only need to heat and cool the rooms which are being used.
Regulate air conditioning by using a programmable thermostat. Lower heating costs by setting lower temperatures 1-2 degrees lower during winter when you are at work and at night when you are asleep and raise the temperature by 1-2 degrees during summer. Open the windows when it is cool outside to let in the natural coolness inside during summer. Use a portable fan which uses less power instead of using an air conditioner. Ceiling fans save more energy than the central cooling system.
When air filters get clogged they use up more energy than is necessary. Make a habit of cleaning and replacing air filters regularly. If you do it monthly you will notice the ones that need to be cleaned and the ones that need to be replaced.
Energy Deregulation. This is great news. If you live in a state where this is possible, you should switch to a company that charges less. Check the different rates charged by different power companies and move your money to the one offering the best deal.
Install solar panels. During summer you can use solar lighting although installing solar panels costs money which might not pay off immediately but it saves money too in the long-run. Install a roof skylight in the upper rooms to provide natural lighting. Paint bright colors to reduce the need for extra lighting.
Buildings and Landscaping
If you live in warm climates you can reduce cooling costs by planting trees to provide shade. Draw the curtains when the sun's rays hit the windows to keep the house cool. Paint the roof white to reflect the heat from the house. If you live in colder climates you should insulate the windows and draw curtains to keep the house warm. Paint the roof in dark colors to retain the warmth inside the house. Install lighting sensors outside to conserve energy.