Energy Bills - How to Save Big Money

Saving Energy

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 61% of home energy is used for heating and cooling the home, "lighting and other appliances use 26%, water heating 20% , air conditioning 8%, and refrigeration 5%." It is easy to see how our energy bills can really take a big part of the budget. It is up to us to change basic habits, if we are to save a little money. It is easy to see how our energy bills can really take a big part of the budget.

The U.S. Department of Energy states the average as $2,200, but depending on how cool or warm you like your environment, the amount will vary. It is amazing how simple steps, can shave hundreds of dollars off heating and cooling, and lighting your home. Below are some common sense steps to help you save on your energy bills.

CFL Bulb
CFL Bulb

Compact Fluorescent Lighting

I have heard people complaining about the government telling us which light bulb to use. If it can save you money, why not do it? The fact is you can decrease the amount of electricity you use by two-thirds, by using compact fluorescent light bulbs.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, you can save $30 over the life on one CFL. Multiply that by each lighting fixture you have in your home and count the savings. Some electric companies are giving away free sample CFLs, to help consumers get a look and feel of the bulb and show how they can save.

How to Save Hundreds on your Electric Bill

Washing Dishes

A British study by Waterwise, compared the amounts of water used in a dishwasher and hand washing. The average amount of water used to wash and rinse a sink of dishes by hand is about 10 gallons, while using a dishwasher you use from 3-4.25 gallons of water. So it would appear that using a dishwasher will save on water and the electricity it will cost to heat the water. You can also, turn off the heating element and allow the dishes to air dry.

Electrical Cords
Electrical Cords

Unplugging Electronics

You may remember your parent going through the house turning out the lights, and fussing about wasting money. Today we are losing money by keeping a plethora of electronics plugged in 24/7.

Even though an appliance is turned off, it is still pulling electrical power. Multiply that for each TV, Cell Phone, computer, DVD, microwave and other items you have plugged in around the house. I would not go around unplugging every electronic in the house but try unplugging items you don't use that often.

The number-one item that remains plugged in the home that can be unplugged is the cell phone charger. Especially if you have a few teens in the home. This can save you about $30 a year.

Seal Cracks and Opening

No door or window is completely sealed. Wood around doors and windows expands and constricts causing small space where heat and cool air can leave your home. Place weather stripping around doors and seal windows and outlets to prevent energy loss. If you have a fireplace, make sure the fluke is close to prevent the loss of heat or cool air from escaping.

How to Adjust the Temperature on your Water Heater

Turn Down the Water Heater Temperature

Most people enjoy a long, hot shower. It can be relaxing and quite therapeutic. It also uses up lot of energy. To save money on utilities, turn down the temperature on the water heater to about to about 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

The less hot water you use, the less your heater will have to work, saving money on energy and extend the life of your unit.

You will have to be more conscious of how much hot water you are using. You will have to cut your 20 minute shower to about 5 minutes, so that everyone in the house can have hot water when they need it.

Water Heater Insulation

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends insulating your water-heater. By this little measure you can save on the energy this unit used by 25% or more. If the heater if warm to the touch, it can benefit by insulating it. This is such an easy process, it is foolish not to do it. You can purchase an insulation blanket at any hardware store. Wrap the water heater tightly and secure with some type of adhesive or electrical tape.

Air Filters
Air Filters

Change your Air Filter

Make sure to change your air filter at least twice to three times a year. A good way to tell if it needs changing, is to look at it. If it looks dirty, replace it. A clogged filter will make your air and heating system work harder by hindering the air flow.

This will cost you money and put an unnecessary strain on your system. A dirty filter, will also cause the air quality to become unhealthy. This can be a problem for children, the elderly and those with breathing problems.

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Comments 9 comments

2besure profile image

2besure 19 months ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Thanks, it is only a matter of making these things a habit and you will see results.


Celebrates profile image

Celebrates 19 months ago

These are all great tips on how to save electricity. I did not realize how washing dishes uses more energy but it make sense. I try to use as many LED lights as I can and I keep my hot water tank as low as I can. During the winter months I try to seal windows as best that I can, but I wish I had done more this year because it has been colder and the winter has lasted longer than usual. Great article!


2besure profile image

2besure 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

It is important to seal all holes in your home, but sometimes it is impossible to get every crack, hole and crevice. It is important to be vigilant..


Bedbugabscond profile image

Bedbugabscond 3 years ago from United States

I used caulk to seal my home up tight. I did it because my research on bed bugs expose me to them and I know one of the most important things to do is keep your home sealed. I could not believe the reduction this had on my energy bills. Caulking my house up TIGHT paid itself off and then some! I didn't expect that result, but was very happy with it!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Neat ideas. Electricity costs are rising so it makes sense to do everything we can to lower the consumption. Up and useful.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Thanks so much for writing this. I;m doing what I can to save on energy and these tips are so helpful

voted up and more and will share.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Great information on how to save money. I have been told by our maintenance service that changing the air filter really does save a bit on cost. Thanks for the tips.


2besure profile image

2besure 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Efficient Admin, thanks for taking time to comment. There are tons of ways to save on energy. The dollars really add up!


Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

Very interesting and useful hub, thanks for sharing. I once had an electric water heater located in the garage. One winter I installed a water heater blanket and my electric bill did go down around $8 per month.

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