woman adjusting thermostat

How To Lower Your Electric Bill Today And Save

Jamie Johnson8-Minute Read
June 23, 2021

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Regardless of where you live, you can probably benefit from saving money on your electric bill every month. Utility bills don’t seem like much on their own, but when you add them all together, it makes up a substantial chunk of your monthly budget.

And for many people, utilities are an area of unnecessary waste. So if you know how to save on energy, you can lower your electric bill and dramatically reduce how much money you spend every month.

This article will offer some tips on how to save on your electric bill and give you 20 practical strategies you can begin implementing immediately.

20 Ways To Lower Your Electric Bill

You probably know that you should be trying to conserve energy, but it’s hard to take action if you don’t understand how this effort is going to pay off. By focusing on cutting down on your energy consumption and finding creative ways to save, you can lower your electric bill by as much as 25%.

Plus, focusing on energy efficiency will improve the value of your home over the long run. Here are 20 tips for how to lower your electric bill and start saving money today.

Buy LED Bulbs

According to one survey, the average home uses at least 20 light bulbs in their light fixtures and lamps. For that reason, the type of lighting you use matters, and LED bulbs are 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs.

You can save as much as $1,000 over the next decade by replacing standard bulbs with LED lighting. For the best results, look for the Energy Star label on all of your bulbs.

Lower Water Heater Temperature

Did you know that your water heater accounts for roughly 17% of your home’s total energy usage? Hot water is likely a staple in your daily life as you shower, run the dishwasher, and perform other household tasks.

The default setting in your water heater is typically 140 degrees, and lowering it just 15 – 20 degrees can make a big difference in your home’s overall energy consumption. And if you’re planning to go out of town, you can prep your home for vacation by turning it to the lowest setting possible.

Check Window And Door Seals

If you’re spending too much money on your utility bills every month, then the seals in your home are the likely culprit. A bad seal allows energy to seep out of your home and costs you money in the process.

Check to see if you have a solid seal on your windows, doors and appliances. This will ensure that you’re aren’t wasting energy and losing money due to an improper seal.

Turn Down Thermostat At Night

Many people are wasting money on electricity by turning up the heat in their house while they sleep. But research has shown that it’s actually healthier to sleep in cooler temperatures at night. If the temperature in your bedroom is too high, it’s much harder to get a good night’s rest.

Plus, turning down the thermostat at night is going to save you money over the long run. Reducing the heat in your home by 10 – 15 degrees at night and while you’re away can save you 10% on your electric bill every year.

Adjust Refrigerator/Freezer Temperatures

You don’t have to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as you think you do. Refrigerators should maintain a temperature of around 38 degrees to operate at peak efficiency. The temperature in your freezer should be set to 5 degrees.

If you’re keeping the temperature much lower than this, then you’re using up more energy than necessary and costing yourself more money. That’s because your appliances have to work much harder to maintain these low temperatures.

Make sure you regularly check the thermostat in your fridge and freezer to ensure they’re at the correct temperatures.

Replace Your Air Filter

Regularly replacing your air filters will not only be better for your health, it will also ensure that your HVAC system is operating efficiently. Dirty filters make your HVAC system work harder and waste more energy.

Set an alert to remind yourself to change your air filters every 30 days. This will make the air in your home cleaner, and will go a long way toward lowering your electric bill.

Wash Clothes In Cold Water

You probably have no idea that you’ve been doing laundry wrong all these years. First of all, most people wash their clothes way too often.

If you wash your clothes every time you wear them, you’re putting unnecessary wear and tear on the fabric. Not to mention, you’re wasting a lot of water.

And there is no reason to wash your clothes in hot water. Cold water washing is just as effective for more of your laundry needs. Plus, washing your clothes in cold water will reduce the amount of work your water heater has to do.

Get Rid Of Dust

You probably have a routine for dusting your blinds and furniture, but do you dust your appliances as well? If your appliances are dusty, they have to work harder than necessary.

And this doesn’t just apply to your air filters; the same goes for your refrigerator coils and other appliances as well. Keeping them free of dust is a great way to cut down on your monthly electric bill.

Use Smart Power Strips

One of the biggest energy wastes occurs when devices are plugged in but not in use. For instance, if your toaster is plugged in, it’s still consuming energy even if you aren’t using it. So you’re paying for energy that you aren’t even using.

This is where smart power strips can be helpful. Smart power strips detect when a device is in standby mode, then cut off the power to that device. Using smart power strips can drastically cut down on your energy usage and save you money in the process.

Plant Trees In Your Yard

Landscaping isn’t just about making the yard look nice; it can also be a strategic way to reduce your energy usage. Trees create shade and cool your home in summer months, and deciduous trees will enable sunlight to help heat the home in winter months.

Look For Discounted Rates

Some utility providers offer discounted rates at off-peak times of the day. Simply reducing your usage during high-volume times of day can result in a big savings on your electric bill. Peak hours will vary by state and by provider, so make sure to ask around to learn what your options are.

Use A Programmable Thermostat

One of the easiest ways to save money on your electric bill is by using a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat will automatically lower the temperature in your home at night and lower your usage during peak times.

Plus, a programmable thermostat can turn down the temperature while you’re at work or when you’re out of town. You may forget to do these things on your own, but a programmable thermostat will take care of the heavy lifting for you.

Some electric companies provide free programmable thermostats, so be sure to check with your provider and see if this is something they offer.

Take Cold Showers

The thought of taking a cold shower every morning may sound pretty unappealing, but don’t rule it out just yet. You should consider making cold showers a part of your daily routine for the health benefits alone.

Research has shown that cold showers can improve your circulation, boost your energy, boost your immune system, and improve the appearance of your skin.

Not to mention, cold showers are a great way to cut down on your hot water expenses. If you take a shower every morning, imagine how much hot water you could save by switching to cold showers even a couple of times per week.

Repair Leaky Ducts

Another way to save money on your heating and cooling is by repairing leaky ducts on all your appliances. If your air ducts aren’t properly insulated, they’re going to waste a lot of energy and cost you more money. Make sure you hire a professional to repair leaky ducts so you can ensure it’s done correctly.

Get A Low-Flow Shower Head

If you’re not ready to start taking cold showers but want to find a way to use less hot water, you can replace your current shower head with a low-flow one. A low-flow shower head is designed to reduce the amount of water you use during showers and make your home more water-efficient.

A low-flow shower head will cost more money up front, but will help you save in the long run since you’ll be using less hot water.

Buy Energy Efficient Appliances

Your dishwasher and washing machine won’t last forever, and it’s inevitable that you’ll need to replace home appliances over the years. When the time comes, consider replacing your current appliance with an energy-efficient appliance.

Energy-efficient appliances are a great investment that will yield significant long-term savings. For the best results, prioritize more commonly used items like your refrigerator, water heater, and dishwasher.

Install Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches are a great way to save electricity in your home and create a welcoming ambiance in any room. Instead of just flipping a light switch on or off, a dimmer switch allows you to slowly increase or decrease the lighting in any room.

And the dimmer switches that are currently available only send the energy that is actually needed to power the bulbs. That means by using less light in each room, you’re also using less energy.

Install A Ceiling Fan

One of the easiest ways to save money on electricity is by installing and using ceiling fans. Ceiling fans consume far less energy than air conditioners. Plus, they work surprisingly well to cool both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Add Solar Panels

The best way to reduce your electric bill is by not using electricity at all. The best way to do this is by installing solar panel lighting. Outdoor solar panels absorb solar energy during the day, and then light up the outside of your home in the evening.

The only downside is that it can be pricey to install solar panels, but you will get to take advantage of the federal solar tax credit. This tax credit lets you deduct 26% of the cost of installation from your federal taxes.

Unplug Unused Devices

And finally, the energy drain from unused devices in your home can add up to hundreds of dollars a year. Fortunately, there is an easy solution to this problem. Make sure you unplug all of your appliances and electronics when they aren’t in use.

Let a pro help.

Connect with a pro and get a home energy audit.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, the previous 20 tips have shown you how easy it is to begin making simple changes and how to reduce your electricity bill. While most of these tips won’t save you tons of money by themselves, implementing several of them could take a big chunk out of your electric bill.

If you’re not sure where to start, many utility companies offer a free home energy audit. This can help you uncover the areas where you’re wasting the most energy, and figure out how to save money on your electric bill.

From there, you can decide which energy-saving techniques you want to implement. And for more suggestions on how to lower your electric bill and other great homeowner tips, be sure to check back with Rocket HomesSM.

Get the right home loan for you.

Jamie Johnson

Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based freelance writer who writes about a variety of personal finance topics, including loans, building credit, and paying down debt. She currently writes for clients like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Insider, and Bankrate.