Woman adjusting thermostat.

How To Lower Your Electric Bill: 16 Tips To Save You Money

Carey Chesney7-Minute Read
August 25, 2022

Gas prices are rising and inflation is accelerating in 2022. As a result, many Americans are looking for ways to save a little extra cash. One way to do that is to look for opportunities to reduce your monthly bills.

From TV streaming services to club memberships, the list of monthly payments most people have each month often provides opportunities for savings. One important bill to consider is your electric bill. While you can stop other services to save money, electricity is something you can’t cut.

However, there are some ways you can lower that power bill. Here, we will show you some easy tips on how to lower your electric bill and enjoy some monthly savings.

Need extra cash for home improvement?

Use your home equity for a cash-out refinance.

NMLS #3030

16 Ways To Keep Your Electric Bill Low

1. Buy LED Light Bulbs

Start by reviewing the various types of lighting throughout your home. LED lights use less energy than incandescent bulbs, so switching can help reduce your utility bills. To be more specific, LED bulbs are 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs. In fact, 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 (more on this later) on all of your bulbs.

2. Lower Your Water Heater Temperature

Water heaters use a lot of energy to maintain a steady temperature for your home’s hot water. Simply lower the temperature setting on your water heater to improve your energy-saving efforts.

You might be surprised at the savings you will enjoy from doing this, as 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.

3. Check Window And Door Seals

Make sure all the doors and windows throughout your home are properly sealed.  Leaks can let hot and cool air out of your home, making your furnace and air conditioner work over time. As you might expect, this can affect your energy costs.

Replace your weatherstripping or caulk around entryways to make sure there are less drafts. Also consider making your windows more energy-efficient with these tips.

4. Turn Down Your Thermostat At Night

When you are all snuggled up in your bed under the covers, you probably don't need the heat blasting. Reducing your home’s temperature at night can go a long way towards saving money on your utilities.

In fact, 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.

5. Adjust Refrigerator And Freezer Temperatures

You might not 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

6. Replace Your Air Filters Frequently

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.

Be sure to have your furnace and air conditioner maintenance regularly as well. This will ensure that they are working as efficiently as possible.

7. Wash Your Clothes Less And In Cold Water

Everyone wants to save money on energy, right? And everyone wants to do less laundry, right? Well, you can do both at the same time!

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.

Clean up your laundry mistakes to save money and time!

8. Remove Dust And Lint

Add cleaning out appliances to your regular home maintenance checklist. When their filters are dusty, they have to work harder than necessary, so removing dust and lint is essential.

This doesn’t just apply to your appliance 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.

9. Use Smart Power Strips

New smart technology has made it easier to save energy in a variety of ways. For example, using smart power strips will reduce the electricity used by some appliances.

In addition, you can simply unplug your devices when they are not in use. This is a task that is often overlooked by most homeowners.

Let a pro help.

Connect with a pro and get a home energy audit.

10. Buy A Programmable Thermostat

One of the easiest ways to save money on your electric bill is by using a programmable thermostat that 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

11. Purchase Solar Panels

Saving electricity is great. Creating your own electricity is even better. One way to do this is to install solar panels.

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.

You can also consider a get a cash-out-refinance if solar panels seem like they might be cost-prohibitive.

12. 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.

13. Upgrade To Energy-Efficient Appliances

Understanding the lifespan of household appliances will help you know when it’s time to look into replacing home appliances with more energy-efficient models. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Dishwasher: 9 – 16 Years
  • Garbage disposal: 10 – 15 Years
  • Microwave: 5 – 10 Years
  • Furnace: 15 – 20 Year
  • Air conditioner: 15 – 20 Years
  • Washer and dryer: Up To 18 Years
  • Water heater: 10 – 15 Years
  • Trash compactor: 7 – 12 Years

When you do replace an appliance, look at the Energy Star rating before purchasing. This label and rating ensure that products meet energy-efficiency requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). An Energy Star rating of 75 or better is what you should look for.

14. Install Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches only send the energy that is actually needed to power your light bulbs. That means by using less light in each room, you’re also using less energy. In addition, lower levels of lighting can create a nice relaxing ambience in your home.

15. Add A Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans can help cool down a room effectively and can save you money on your energy bill each month. Ceiling fans consume far less energy than air conditioners. Plus, they work surprisingly well to cool both indoor and outdoor spaces.

16. Repair Leaky Ducts

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. In addition, cleaning air ducts can also help ensure they are working at optimal efficiency.

The Bottom Line: Knowing How To Get Your Electric Bill Lower Can Help You Save Money In The Long Run

Hopefully, the previous 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. If some of your most appealing options are looking pricey, you might want to consider a cash-out refinance.

A cash-out refinance is one of the most popular ways to fund home upgrades. With a cash-out refinance, you will typically be paying a much lower interest rate than you would with a personal loan, and you might even be able to take the opportunity to secure a more favorable rate on your mortgage, if rates are down. Why not start the process to get a cash-out-refinance today?

Need extra cash for home improvement?

Use your home equity for a cash-out refinance.

NMLS #3030

Carey Chesney

Carey Chesney brings a wealth of residential and commercial real estate experience to readers as a Realtor® and as a former Marketing Executive in the fields of Health Care, Finance and Wellness. Carey is based in Ann Arbor and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he majored in English, and Eastern Michigan University, where he recieved his Masters in Integrated Marketing & Communications.