Especially in today’s economy, everyone wants to know how to save an extra dollar. When looking for savings, bills are always one of the first targets to look at. Things like electrical bills, fuel usage and groceries are always places where individuals want to save. It is a very common question for our electricians to receive, how can I help to lower my electric bill? Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet that can reduce your electric bill, however; there are steps which individuals can take to ensure that their electric bill is as low as possible for the needs of their life.
Should I Switch Electrical Suppliers?
A very common practice in today’s age is for 3rd party electric suppliers to be offered in replace of the traditional power company supplier. These 3rd party companies typically appear as door-to-door salesperson who ask if you would like to save on your electric bill. While this may seem like a no brainer when talking with the salesperson, in most cases you end up paying more for your electric in the long run.
If you are to sign an agreement with a 3rd party electrical supplier, then your first bills may come in at a slightly lower cost. However, these agreements typically include variable pricing. This means that after the first few months, the supplier has the ability to raise your rate. In many cases this results in shockingly high electricity bills, when a lower cost was expected. In most circumstances, we do not recommend switching electrical suppliers in order to save on your energy bill.
5 Practices to Save on Your Energy Bill
Just because there is no magic bullet to lowering your electric bill, there are practices you can put in place in order to get the lowest bill possible for your needs. We have outlined 7 best practices below which can help you to reduce your electricity bill.
- Raise the Temperature of Your Central Air Conditioning Unit
One of the easiest ways, depending on who you ask, to lower your electric bill is to raise the temperature of your central air conditioning unit. One study found that for each degree which you raise your central air conditioning temperature, you can experience a 2% decrease in your electric bill! For example going from 69 degrees to 71 degrees as your set temperature could result in a 4% decrease in your overall electricity bill.
- Switch to LED Lighting
Making the switch to LED lighting has been a recommendation which has become popular over the past few years. Roughly 15% of your electric bill goes towards keeping the lights on. By making the switch from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs you can help to reduce this relatively larger portion of your electricity bill.
- Adjust Your Shower/Hot Water Temperature
Heating water is another large portion of your electricity bill each month. Just like adjusting the temperature a few degrees for your central air conditioning unit can help to save on electricity, turning the temperature on your hot water down can do the same! Of course, shortening long hot showers is another way to help reduce the cost of electricity each month for heating your water.
- Purchase Energy Efficient Appliances
Purchasing energy efficient appliances is always a top recommendation for lowering your electric bill. While this certainly does help in the long run, the benefit may not be as large as advertised. For many energy efficient products, the savings in electricity usage compared to your existing model can take YEARS to surpass the increased cost of an energy efficient appliance. When considering a new appliance, purchasing an energy efficient appliance will certainly lower your electric bill, but you also want to make sure the increased cost on the front-end does not outweigh the benefits.
- Use Smart Power Strips
Most appliances and electronics nowadays do not power off totally when you hit the power button. Most stay in standby mode which results in a slow “leak” of electrical power being used. By installing smart power strips to where your electronic plug-in, you can cut the power supply to the device entirely and stop that “slow leak” of electricity usage.
Above we have laid out our favorite recommendations for lowering your electric bill, but this does not cover all of the possibilities! Having an energy audit completed could help to identify areas of your home which are creating a drag on efficiency as a whole. Additionally, things like installing dimmer switches and washing your clothes in cold water can help to slightly reduce the overall usage of your electricity. While it would be great if there was a magic trick to lowering the cost of electricity, the simple answer is as always, use less!