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Easy ways to save electricity to save money

Updated on March 24, 2012
Use compact fluorescent (CF) bulbs
Use compact fluorescent (CF) bulbs | Source

There are many ways to save electricity at home. The savings of these steps can be significant. Though some of these suggestions may seem trivial, they really add up and can take a nice chunk out of an electric bill. The listed suggestions require minimal effort and are inexpensive or free. Follow these suggestions to reduce your electricity usage and lower your energy bill.

  • Plug devices into a power strip and then turn off the power strip when the devices aren't in use. TV's, stereos, and video games can consume a large amount of power win in standby - shut them off when not in use!
  • Adjust power saving settings on computers so that monitors will turn off after a specified time. The computer can also be set to go in standby mode after a time. Advanced users can tweak power savings even further for increased savings.
  • Turn fans and lights off when leaving a room for an extended period of time. Installing sensor switches can help by turning the lights on and off when needed.
  • Raise your AC thermostat a degree or two. This can make a huge impact on energy used over a period of time.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs. These bulbs will cost more up-front but the electricity savings are substantial and the bulbs typically last longer.
  • Adjust the temperature of your hot water heater. Hot water heaters are a big source of energy consumption. Hot water heaters are often set much hotter than they need to be. If you are going to be out of the home for a few days, turn the hot water heater temperature down, or even turn it off.
  • If you have an older hot water heater, consider installing a hot water heater insulation blanket on it. This is a cheap and easy way to make your old hot water heater more efficient by helping it keep heat inside the tank.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature in your home. This can be set to change temps while you sleep, or turn on or off when you leave your home for work. Setting it to turn on shortly before you return home is convenient and efficient. This single change may reduce your energy bill by as much as 10%.
  • Make sure to change your air-conditioner filter regularly. This should usually be done every month. A dirty filter causes your air-conditioner to work harder, resulting in increased energy usage.
  • Operate laundry machines and dishwashers only when you have a full load. Use cold water with laundry if possible.
  • Install low-flow shower heads to reduce how much water is used when taking a shower. This will decrease how much water your hot water heater will have to heat up.
  • Use a microwave when possible for smaller meals, rather than the oven. Not only does this use less electricity in most cases, but it will prevent putting heat into your kitchen by heating up the oven. In turn, this saves electricity spent on cooling the home as well.
  • Make sure outside lights are turned off in the daytime. Use a photocell sensor or a timer to ensure they aren't left on. A motion-sensor light is another alternative, and will only turn on when triggered by motion, rather than staying on all day or night.
  • Check seals around windows or doors. Apply weatherstripping around them if necessary. This will help keep the desired temperature in your home and will decrease heating or cooling energy requirements. This is a simple way to better insulate your home.
  • Turn off the automatic ice-maker in your freezer. It may be an inconvenience, but ice-makers expend a lot of energy. They contain a heater used to release ice from their molds, and this device uses a lot of energy. Up to 20% of energy used by a refrigerator is used by this heater.
  • Involve kids and family members in following these ways save electricity. Get them involved and make it a challenge or contest. See if they can come up with additional ways to reduce electricity. You may find that kids, particularly, respond well to trying to save electricity and money. They can be a great ally in saving electricity!

More ways to save big money

There are countless other ways to save electricity in the home. Some of these methods require an initial investment and more effort. A combination of these energy saving efforts can save big money on your electric bill.

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    • onthegrind profile imageAUTHOR

      onthegrind 

      6 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks Robert Erich. I appreciate the comment and the share.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 

      6 years ago from California

      These are some great suggestions to conserve energy! Thanks for sharing. This has been voted up and shared.

    • onthegrind profile imageAUTHOR

      onthegrind 

      6 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for the comment, Deborah. Switching to CFL bulbs does make a pretty significant difference. Yep, the ice maker one is pretty surprising.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Good tips. We've about completed the switch to compact fluorescent bulbs throughout the entire house. I had no idea the ice maker used so much energy. Thanks for sharing!

    • onthegrind profile imageAUTHOR

      onthegrind 

      6 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks, Kosmo. You're right there are endless ways to save on energy costs. Later!

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley Marks 

      6 years ago from California

      Thanks for the valuable tips. There always seem to be ways to save electricity and gas. Later!

    • onthegrind profile imageAUTHOR

      onthegrind 

      6 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for the comments, buckleupdorothy. You are right about the programs about greening up a home. I have participated in a few of them over the last few years. It's amazing that I've been able to continuously lower my bill over the last couple years.

      That's too bad about the hot water heater - it's definitely a little harder to do certain things when you are renting.

    • buckleupdorothy profile image

      buckleupdorothy 

      6 years ago from Istanbul, Turkey

      These are great! In some places in the US I know there are programs to help homeowners green up their houses for free - among other things, they replace all lightblubs with the lower-impact ones you described.

      I wish we could turn our hot water heater down, but unfortunately it was installed in such a way that doing so during a rainy season will allow water to get in there and do all kinds of mischief. If we weren't renters, we'd be able to do something about it, but the landlord is a bit of a tightwad (no big surprise there). I'll try to assuage my guilt by being more conscientious about turning power strips off and using the microwave. Thanks!

    • onthegrind profile imageAUTHOR

      onthegrind 

      6 years ago from Florida, United States

      dBrian, thanks for the comment. It's amazing how much a difference CFL's can make. Turning off power strips really adds up too.

    • dBrian profile image

      dBrian 

      6 years ago

      Turning off power strips and replacing all incandescent lights to CFL's helped me save a lot of money.. good tips.

    • onthegrind profile imageAUTHOR

      onthegrind 

      6 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for taking time to comment. Many of the newer hot water heaters have easily-accessible controls on top of the tank now. This makes adjusting them very convenient. I adjust mine whenever I am out of town for the weekend.

    • thebiologyofleah profile image

      Leah Kennedy-Jangraw 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Nice hub, these are great suggestions and I agree even if it seems like something little to do it will overtime be worth it. Turning down or off the water heater is one in particular that is new to me- great suggestion!

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