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Saving Money on Your Electric Bill

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Saving Money on Your Electric Bill, Money and Light Bulb on Top of Electric Bill

Finding ways to save money on your electric bill can really help the family budget. This is a guide about saving money on your electric bill.

Solutions: Saving Money on Your Electric Bill

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Tiny Changes To Save Electricity

The recent essays on saving money on fuel bills in small ways got me thinking. I was getting annoyed with myself because I was wasting so much power boiling and reboiling my electric kettle. I kept forgetting to only heat as much water as I needed and left the coffee maker heating ring on all day. Realizing that there must be an answer to all this waste, I made these changes to my daily routines to save some electricity and some of my precious cash!

I found a 5 pint pump action vacuum flask on sale for $2, a fantastic bargain, but they can be picked up for around $10. I boil the electric kettle twice in the morning, fill the flask and have hot water for tea on tap all day. If there is anything left come the evening, I use it for cooking or dish washing.

The answer to the coffee problem was far more simple, I make the coffee, turn off the machine, then microwave it a cup at a time as I need it. It tastes better and saves me money too. Such tiny changes in our ways of doing things may seem insignificant on a daily basis, but they can add up to make a difference at the end of the month when we open the bills.

By Ayesha from Kranj

Tip: Save Electricity with Motion Detector Light Switches

A good way to save on electric bills, especially when you have someone in the home who forgets to turn out the lights, is to install motion detector switches. These are great. They turn themselves on when you enter the room and off when you exit.

By Carla from Huntington, WV

Tip: Check for Energy Draining Devices at Night

Cutting back on your electrical usage can be easy IF you know where to look. This exercise must be done after dark, with the lights off, if possible.

Walk around each room and look for red or green lights on appliances and electrical devices. Your television, cable box and the DVD player, coffee maker and electric toothbrush charger, etc. probably all have the indicators, which mean your appliances are pulling electricity EVEN when not in use, adding dollars to your electric bill.

These phantom energy drains can be a large part of your annual energy bill. Evaluate how important each device is and consider unplugging. OR if that is too drastic, plug like devices into a power strip and turn the strip on when you are ready to use the television/DVD, for example. You may be pleasantly surprised when you receive your next bill. A little inconvenience can add up to BIG savings.

Source: LG and E PowerSource Customer letter, April 2009 edition

By skibum1910 from Prospect, KY

Tip: Unplug It And Save On Electric Bills

In Florida, electric bills run high, particularly in the summer. I save on my electric bill in two ways:

First, I hang my clothes to dry, only using my dryer to de-wrinkle the clothes. In this way, the dryer is on for only 20 minutes vs. over an hour.

Second, I unplug everything that is not being used: the microwave, the toasters, the hair dryer, the cell phone chargers, the computers, the washer and dryer.

Although it is minimal, these items still use electricity even when dormant. We probably save around $20 or more a month just by unplugging everything.

By combining these two methods, along with having cooler weather and being able to turn off our A/C, last month we had our lowest electric bill since moving into our house (which has vaulted ceilings) from an apartment. Contact your local electric company for more ideas on how to use less and save more--they are glad to help.

By Lynne from Orlando, FL

Tip: Keep Your Freezer Full To Save On Electricity

Here is a way to be green and prepare for an emergency at the same time. I rinse out 2 liter soda and juice bottles and fill them 2/3 full with clean water. I then lay them almost on their sides (without the lids on tight), leaning against something, in our large freezer. The next day I screw the lids on tight. This keeps my freezer full so that it uses less electricity. The bonus: If we ever have a water outage, I have gallons of water to rely on. I also grab one or two to use in my ice chest when needed.

By Suzy from UT

Tip: Wait To Preheat Oven

Almost every recipe I have for baked goods begins with "Preheat Oven." While this may be a time saver, it is not a money saver. Especially if, like me, you have distractions and the ten minutes it should take to prepare the recipe turns into thirty minutes.

Today I waited until after I had prepared my recipe to turn the oven on. While it preheated, I finished cleaning the kitchen. Just as I completed, the oven was ready. I saved about 20 minutes of 'electric'. Over a month's time I believe this will add up significantly since an electric oven is a high electric use appliance.

By Donna from Crystal River, FL

Tip: Tips For Saving On Electricity

First, swap out any incandescent lights with compact fluorescent, even your exterior lights. I discovered the latter when my outside light, an incandescent, kept burning out every few weeks. I never have needed to replace the fluorescent that went in its place. Nowadays, there are even spotlights that are fluorescent.

Second, my exterior yard lights are on motion sensors, the front yard lights are on daylight sensors and go on at dusk.

Third, I use smart sensors inside. For the TV and applicable equipment, generally one plug controls the others, i.e. if the TV plug is inserted there, only when the TV is switched on can those items in the "controlled" outlets amongst the others can be turned on. For instance, the latter might include your amplifier and your DVD player, if you watch a lot of movies. These "controlled" outlets may or may not include your VCR, depending on whether you use it a lot or not.

For instance, if you record a lot of shows to your VCR, you'll want to plug that item into one of the "always on" outlets, otherwise its clock and hence the way your programs can be accurately recorded will be switched off. Another candidate for "always on" outlets would be something that doesn't draw power when off, such as a tape rewinder or a lamp.

Another great candidate for these "smart" power strips are you computer and associated equipment. Video games are an excellent item to have on such strips, for they (it's my understanding) surprisingly don't have the rigid power efficiency standards that TVs, DVDs, etc. have.

Fourthly, I use a product called Kill-A-Watt to measure the power used by whatever's plugged into it. Large power users, of course, are things like refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, dryers, water heaters, and even furnaces can be replaced with more-efficient models, in some cases having rebates from your utility company as well as the federal government. Between this and the electricity savings, the new unit may pay for itself. Of course, with furnaces, improving insulation in walls, ceilings, floors, in unheated areas such as, around pipes, and under the water heater (and wrapping the water heater), closing gaps in windows, ducts, and where pipes enter the home will reduce power usage as well.

Last, don't leave power chargers plugged in after the item has finished charging, such as for cell phones and laptops.

By abcs from Shoreline, WA

Tip: Use Timer on Bathroom Light

We live in a two story home and the kids always manage to leave the upstairs bathroom or hallway lights on. I don't notice it until after they have left for school. I then had to walk a flight of stairs to turn off the lights. I purchased a light timer switch and replaced the on/off switch in the bathroom and the light will cut itself off after 15-30 minutes depending on how far around it was turned. No more running up the stairs.

By kimsukie from Florissant, Missouri

Tip: Saving Money on Electricity

An electric plug in an outlet.This week I thought I would share some ideas on how our family has saved money on our electric/gas bill. We have found that this particular bill has been one of our easiest to control. There are a several different things you can do to keep this bill under control.

We use budget billing with our electric company, so each month we know exactly how much our bill will be. They re-calculate our bill every 6 months, but it doesnt usually vary all that much. Our bill payment, at this time, is $113/mo. That is winter time in Iowa. Granted, we have had a mild winter, but it is still cold and our furnace does still run.

We set our thermostat at 60 degrees F during the day. At 5:00 pm, it goes to 65 and stays there until 10:00 pm, at which time it goes back to 60 overnight. If we get cold, we put on sweaters or a blanket. I know that not everyone can have it this cool in the house. If you have children, or for the elderly, I would suggest a setting of 65-68 degrees. The elderly may need to go even warmer. If you and your family are dressed warm, you will probably stay warm. By all means, be safe and dont compromise your health.

We turn off all lights when we leave a room. That is a hard thing, it seems, to teach kids, but they can learn and it will save a bundle. If you use a power strip, you can actually turn the strip off when its not in use and save even more.

I hang most of our clothing up to dry. The only things I put in my dryer are bedding and our bath towels. In the summer, I dont use the dryer at all, but make use of my clothesline. In the winter, I use drying racks.

When summer comes around, we dont turn on the air conditioning until its almost intolerably hot. We use fans, strategically placed throughout the house to pull air through. Having cold drinks in the refrigerator also helps so much. If you have kids, fill their pool outside and enjoy spending time with them and keeping cool at the same time. Wear loose, cotton clothing. Cotton breathes better than most other material and it helps keep you cooler.

When we do turn on the central air, we set our thermostat at 78-80 degrees F. We have ceiling fans in every room in our house except the bathroom. They are pretty inexpensive to run as well. Dont run heat-producing appliances. Eat fresh, cool meals and use your slow cooker, microwave or grill for meals. Again, at this time of year, do what you need to do to stay safe and not compromise your health.

Using your microwave or slow cooker is less expensive to use than your oven. I use my slow cooker on a regular basis. Unplug appliances you are not using, as they continue to draw a small amount of energy if they are plugged in, even if you are not using them. Also, concerning appliances, keep the coils on your refrigerator clean to help it run more efficiently and also last longer. Appliances are very expensive to fix and replace.

I do only full loads of laundry and only full loads in the dishwasher and I dont use the heated dry cycle on my dishwasher. I let the dishes air dry. Again, no sense in using the electricity. Washing clothes in cold water helps save on our gas bill as our water heater is gas. Sometimes I do wash in warm, but most times cold water will get things just as clean.

During the day, I open all my blinds and curtains in the house and take advantage of the sun light. Even if it is a cloudy day, there is usually plenty of light so that its not necessary to turn on any lights in the house.

None of these things are big or difficult things to do, but they have saved us an incredible amount on our utilities. Our bill is much lower than most of our friends bills. Hope these things are helpful!

By Robin from Washington, IA

Tip: Clothes Washing Savings

Wash clothes in cold water, and skip the dryer. A regular load of wash and wear can be hung on the shower curtain rod. Start slow, one load per week = 52 loads a year. Family members may catch on. Good luck.

By Caroline from Syracuse, NY

Tip: Use a Coolbox Instead of a Fridge

If you live alone and have a freezer, you can use it to freeze cold cells for a coolbox, so that you don't need to use electricity running a fridge as well. My daily routine includes changing my cold cells when I get up, and when I go to bed. I also put anything that I'm defrosting into the coolbox in place of a cold cell, and I always freeze my milk when I first buy it, then leave it in the coolbox, using it gradually as it defrosts. The only items that have gone off are ones that would have done so if I'd had them in the fridge - some soft herb cheese and some mozzarella, both well past their use by date. My coolbox is one of the polystyrene containers that are used for frozen food or vaccines, so it didn't cost me anything.

By

Article: The Electric Bill Battle

An electric plug in an outlet.Every month I open the electric bill and accept it with quiet discontent. However, this month the bill was too high to ignore. I stepped away from my desk and took a 360 degree look around my home. What did I see? A giant electric sucking vortex of wasted energy. I immediately blamed the seven-year-old light flicking, TV viewing, aquarium owning member of the family. However, he was not the only one to blame. With him in tow, I decided to single-handedly battle the unnecessary use of electric in our home.

Battling Standby Power

It didn't take long for us to adapt our power consumption. Only a quick talk to my son informed him of the problems with leaving lights on when not in the room, and he's now the Power Policeman of the house. However, the electric still continued to seep into my home, but from where?

Standby power is the culprit. When appliances are off but plugged in, many of them still drain power. While the consumption is much less than when the appliance is turned on, it still pulls a few watts at a time for nothing. Yet, I wasn't ready to turn into my grandmother who unplugs everything from her toaster to her lamps when they're not in use. Her electric consumption is admirable, but I'm not that devoted.

Indicators of standby power vampires are easy to spot. These features often pull electric even when the appliances are off:

  • a large box power adapter on the power cord or plug

  • an appliance or power cord that feels warm even when the product is turned off

  • anything cordless that has a recharging base (it pulls electric whether the battery is fully charged or not)

  • appliances that have a standby light on them
The only solution to completely eliminate this electric pull during down times is to unplug the items or to plug them into power strips and flick the power switch off.

Where Can I Save?

Unplugging some of these devices doesn't stop the electric seepage. There are other accessories that increase the usage of each appliance. Think about your surge protectors and power strips. Each one pulls a bit of electric when the red light is on. Consider shutting down your computer equipment at night and flicking off the surge protector. While the protector is made to protect electrical surges from ruining your equipment, the closed circuit created when the equipment is off protects it just as well. With the equipment turned off and the surge protector turned off, severe surges have a fraction of a chance to hurt your equipment.

Who Are the Main Culprits?

Types of electronics lend themselves to standby power usage more than others. It's safe to assume that all of these electronics pull some power whether on or off:
  • microwaves
  • video game consoles
  • flat screen and plasma televisions
  • audio and video equipment (look for the standby indicators)
  • cordless phones
  • laptop chargers (whether the laptop is plugged in to the cord or not)
  • light and motion sensing lamps
  • digital displays
  • surge adaptor strips and plugs

By Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

Tip: Use Timer Light Switches for Easily Forgotten Lights

Purchase timer light switches and install in the bathrooms, kids rooms or any room were lights may be forgotten on. The timers automatically shut the lights off after 15 to 60 minutes or whatever the time is on the one you purchase. No more lights on in the upstairs bathroom that you don't notice until after the kids are gone.

By Kimsukie from Happytown USA

Tip: Use Batteries Instead Of Electricity

To save on electricity during peak costs, use a battery operated radio. I also use a battery operated lamp in my bedroom. The batteries last a long time, saving money.

By Sheila from Ontario

Article: Can Saving Water Save Electricity?

Retrieving Jewelry Dropped in a Sink Drain, Water dripping in bathroom sinkAfter unplugging every gadget that wasn't being used, turning off every light that didn't need to burn, and replacing every appliance with an energy saving model, there still had to be an unseen way to save electricity. It wasn't until we played Monopoly that I made the connection between the utility companies. Saving water can save electricity as well.

Well Pumps Use Electricity

While my home taps into the public water lines, those that have well water use electricity to pump their water. The connection between saving water and saving electricity is an easy one for those with well pumps hundreds of feet below the ground, pumping water and pulling electricity at each turn of the spigot.

To save water and therefore electricity, consider saving extra water runoff from rinsing dishes, wetting washcloths, or rinsing vegetables. Plug the sink and allow it to catch extra runoff that can be used later for washing. If the runoff is dirty, let it slip down the drain. It's the extra water from overfilling sprinkling cans or dousing a dusty item with a spritz of water that can be reused.

Hot Water Is the Culprit

The larger connection between water and electricity is found in the hot water tap. If your water is heated by gas or oil, you're still saving money by using cold water. Water heating is one of the largest uses of energy in your home. While the water heater maintains the temperature of the water as a constant, it costs more to heat cold water than to maintain the temperature of already heated water.

One mistake that many people make is to turn the faucet to the middle when drawing water. We know that if we push it all the way to the right we have water that is quite cold and a turn all the way to the left produces hot water. This then leads to the assumption that midway is room temperature, when in fact midway is partially heated water.

Do you fill a pitcher of water with water drawn at the coldest temperature or water drawn halfway on the tap? Only the water that is coldest is completely drawn from your water supply without adding some of the heated and costlier water. Knowing this, it's actually cheaper to heat water on the stove or in the microwave than to pull already heated water from our faucet, according to one major electric company on the east coast.

Laundry is a large pull on the hot water supply. While hot water washing loosens dirt from fabrics best, it should only be used on the heavily soiled loads. Washing in cold water usually has the same effect as washing in warm or hot water. Try adjusting the wash temperature on a few loads a week and you'll see notable savings in your hot water usage.

Lastly, set the temperature on the hot water tank a few degrees lower. Like setting the thermostat for your house two degrees lower to save on heating fuel, setting the water heater's temperature lower not only prevents scalding, but will also save electricity.

Tip: Pull the Plug on Electrical Costs

Power Strip With Many Cords Plugged InOne can never save enough electric. Yet, the growing concern over the cost of utilities coincides with the growing concern for the health of our planet. This enables a household to cut utility costs while "going green" in ways that are easier than ever before. (But honestly, what comes easier than turning off a light?) Put out your left hand to embrace green living and put out your right to embrace cheaper living; you are going to make the connection between the two.

Just Unplug It

We all know to turn off the lights and let our computers go into sleep mode when not in use, but seemingly dormant appliances use a great bit of energy. One magazine editor recently noted that by unplugging his TV, his stereo, and his unused cell phone charger he saved the equivalent of one continuously burning 100 watt bulb each day.

This power is known as "standby power", and by understanding it, you'll better be able to combat it. Unless your electronic item is a complete paperweight when it's off, it most likely is pulling a little standby power from the wall socket. If it uses one of those bulky boxes on its power cord, known as a transformer, it definitely is using standby power. Count the number of those box cords in your home and you'll be surprised.

It's probably impractical to plug and unplug your TV every time you use it. However, when it's off, there is some power drawn into it so that when you press the ON button it responds quickly. (Think about it; the ON button is an electronic button rather than a toggle switch, right?) Older sets use more standby power than newer sets. Most newer sets use less than one amp, and older sets use closer to 5 amps. It's not a huge electrical usage, but it does account for 5% of the yearly household budget once all of the television sets, stereos, VCRs, microwaves, and chargers are taken into account.

Light Pollution

Light pollution is a serious problem that is just coming into the public's awareness. On a dark night, count how many decorative lights are burning in your neighborhood. One porch light or a driveway spotlight is a safety addition; solar powered walkway lights also fall into this category. But, what about the candles in each window to give a home a colonial feel? Floodlights that wash the front of a home in light are appealing but a heavy burden on the electrical usage. Don't forget the white twinkle lights that are strung year-round for added charm. Wouldn't it be more charming to receive a smaller utility bill each month?

Try to get over the idea of "mood lighting" and set the trend for the neighborhood to be energy efficient without flood lights and candles. Then, install motion sensors for your outdoor lighting. That way, the lights are on when you need them (either when you or an unwanted stranger enters the property) and off when you don't.

Opt for Better Efficiency

Try to replace items with more energy efficient items as often as possible. Washing clothes in cold water rather than hot can save more than $150 a year for the average household. Hanging clothes to dry rather than using a clothes dryer will save an additional $150. Meanwhile, cooling a room with ceiling fans instead of a central air conditioning unit can save $600.

It's a small savings, but cooking meats in a crock pot rather than an oven can save money and make tastier dishes. A crock pot can cook for 3 hours and use only $0.03 while an electric oven uses $0.20 each hour. Using the crock pot for two meals a week can save $18 a year. It's minimal savings, but it's yummy savings!

By Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

Tip: Borrow A "Kill A Watt" Monitor From Your Library

Our local library offers, to members, free usage of Kill A Watt monitor for three days. There is a waiting list but it is well worth the wait. Check your local library to see if they offer it. It was donated by the local power company.

For those not familiar with Kill A Watt, it is a device that will monitor your electrical usage for each item in your home. This can help you make changes in your usage if need be. By knowing how much power is used by an electrical item may help you save money by eliminating it or cutting back.

By mkymlp from NE PA

Tip: Looking At Everyday Household Energy Usage

I am such a creature of habit that I often do not think of the things I do that use expensive energy and climate changing fuels.

When I do put mind to trying to reduce my energy footprint, the steps I take often save less than I think. For instance, I seldom blow dry my hair because, it's obvious, it uses electricity to heat up the thing, and more to blow it around. So I keep simple air dryable cuts.

Then we measure how much electricity the darn thing uses.* For my shortish fine hair, a quick warming blow uses about 1/3 of a kilowatt hour and costs about $0.03. I still don't use the hairdryer much, but when I do use it on a cold winter morning, I do not feel too guilty.

It is refreshing to know the waffle iron makes a big breakfast for 0.31 kWh, about three cents worth of electricity (and 3.5 waffles are in the freezer!) The electric tea pot is a bargain, if I remember to turn it off after the tea is poured.

The fridge and freezer run 24/7. So checking how much they use and replacing ones that are energy efficient makes a real difference. Our fridge is Energy Star and comes in at about 430 kWh per year. The chest freezer, most efficient model generally (cold air sinks) uses about 226 kWh per year and holds those waffles for a quick breakfast one day. But what I want to remember is that the leftovers and ice cream are here because I choose to use the electricity. Nice choice to be able to make!

I love hot water! When I think about it, hot water is the best thing of my lifestyle, really! The stupid hot water heater sits there polluting the world all day, even if we only use hot water in the morning and in the evening. How dumb is that? Grinding away burning money and ruining the planet for my convenience seem a little silly and very selfish. Thank goodness we can use thermal solar hot water heaters in many places and ours is one of those. And we can install on demand water heaters for the intermittent extra boost in temperature we like.

It is good for be to remember that what is hot in winter and cool in summer is using extra energy. Then I get to decide if it is worth it, to me and my planet.

Drying dishes is a good time for me to go over the day's events with family, or in my mind. Hanging out clothes, and running to bring them in if it ever rains again in Colorado's east side, gets me in touch with the world around me. Having an indoor line in a dry region actually adds some needed moisture to the indoor air.

I have heard that when one writes about a problem it is de rigueur to finish with a plan. So here is my plan: think. Followed by measuring energy use and acting consciously. Remember the big cost of using energy thoughtlessly. I decide to put on a sweater or two, or to go sleeveless, buff arms or not! I chose to turn off the lights or the drying cycle on the dishwasher.

This may not save the world, or even balance my budget, but I hope it will help. I want to live my life engaged and aware of what is around me. That is my best plan for saving energy, dollars, and the climate.

By Wyncia

*There is a great little device called Kill-a-Watt Energy Usage Monitor available at Amazon.com for about $20 . Just plug it in and then plug the appliance into it. It tells you all sorts of good information.

Tip: "Time Of Use" Electricity Plan

We are on a "Time-of-Use" plan for the electricity we use in our home. Our provider is Wisconsin Public Service. From 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. and 24 hours/day on Saturdays,Sundays, and holidays, we are charged $.0549/KWH. During peak time, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., the rate is $.2073/KWH. It can amount to a nice savings if one learns to use her electric stove, dishwasher, dehumidifier, clothes dryer, and other appliances during those off-peak hours. It is a habit that we found quite easy to adapt to. Contact your utility company to see if they offer this plan.

By Anne from Green Bay, WI

Article: Electrical Savings 102

Think you've mastered electrical savings? Take another look around your home and find even more places to pull the plug and keep the meter from spinning.

Wash It Well

Knowing that hot water demands large amounts of energy, try to use it less in the home. When doing laundry, use the cold/cold cycle rather than a warm/cold cycle. This will lessen the demand for hot water and save energy all while washing clothes to the same degree. Try soaking soiled clothes before washing for the same effect as hot water, and save the hot water cycles for extremely soiled clothes.

While drying clothes there are also ways to save electric. The most obvious is to hang the clothes to dry rather than use the dryer. If this option doesn't work, try a compromise. Remove clothing from the dryer a few minutes before the cycle is complete and hang the clothes immediately. This saves a few minutes from the drying cycle, saving electric, and it allows the clothes to dry practically wrinkle free. In practicality, many people prefer to use a clothes dryer for all of their laundry loads rather than hanging clothing to dry. Save electric while using the dryer by running it continuously. As soon as one load is dry, replace it with a wet load and start the dryer. This eliminates the cool down/warm up time that elapses between loads and thus uses less electric.

Fix It

A leaky faucet doesn't seem to warrant an expensive plumber; at least that's what most people believe. However, one leaking hot water faucet can add up. At the rate of one drop per second, a leaky faucet can waste 165 gallons of water a month. Imagine how much electric is used to heat 165 gallons. The water wasted adds up to the amount of eleven average showers.

While you're doing handy work around the house, check the furnace and have it cleaned as well. Vacuum baseboard heaters, thermostats, and other elements of heating devices. Built up dust and dirt prohibit them from working properly and allow them to eat up more electric. This includes the coils on the back of the refrigerator and water cooler. Clothes dryers which have clogged lint filters can use almost 30% more energy to dry a load of clothing than those with clean filters.

Keep a Lid On It

When cooking, try to trap energy whenever possible. Use the oven window and light to peek at dinner rather than opening the oven and allowing hot air (energy) to escape. Along those lines, when cooking with pots, cover the pot when possible. Water will boil faster and less energy will be wasted when heat is trapped in the pot. Align the pots to the properly sized burners as well. This eliminates heat from escaping needlessly around the sides of the pots; instead focus all of the energy on the item to be heated.

To see Kelly's article, "Electric Savings 101, click here

By Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

Tip: Electricity Savings 101

Electrical PlugThere are more than a few ways to keep the electric meter from spinning at an alarming rate. Some require a little electrical inventory, such as turning off unused appliances or switching to Energy Star appliances. However, others take a bit more creativity and planning.

Go Solar

It requires a little initial investment, but it's all savings from there. Outdoor lighting may provide safety for a home, but it also requires electricity. Opt for solar lights instead. Reasonably priced sets of solar lights can be purchased and stuck in the ground for ample night light without any further expense at all. For those who tried solar lights years ago, they have improved and now stay lit for most of the evening, even charging on cloudy days.

Alternate the Air

For those who have window air conditioners, the electrical meter is spinning as three or even four air conditioners work to cool a home. Rather than run all air conditioners throughout the day, opt for a rotation. For example, let the one in the dining room work to cool the neighboring rooms for part of the day, allowing ceiling fans or floor fans to circulate the cool air. Then, turn on the air conditioner in the living room and let the one in the dining room rest. Simultaneously, accept the house temperature at 78 degrees rather than 73 or even 75 degrees. You'll see strong savings and little difference in the air quality.

Another option is to evaluate the need for bedroom air conditioners to run during the day. Many of us don't use our bedrooms during the peak heat hours, and we could save some by turning the air conditioners off during the day and closing the bedroom door. Simply turn the air on an hour before bedtime; the time of day provides cooler air, allowing for more efficient cooling. Remember, if an air conditioner is running, it's using electric.

Turn It Down

Electric water heaters (and gas for that matter) use a great deal of energy. Try to save energy by setting the temperature on your water heater a bit lower - ideally at 120 degrees F. Not only will it save electric, but it will prevent scalding accidents as well. When you're planning to be away on vacation, turn the water heater off or adjust the setting so that energy isn't being wasted heating water no one is going to use.

Keep Cooking!

Cooking can have serious effects on the temperature of the home, and by alternating the cooking method you can save more energy than you thought. In the summer, the use of the oven or stovetop adds excess heat to rooms that air conditioners may be working to cool down. Opt for a cooler method of cooking such as the microwave, a crock pot, or a toaster oven. All emit less heat into the air, and they use less electric to cook food than the average electric oven or range.

To see Kelly's article, "Electric Savings 102, click here

By Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

Tip: Frugal Tips For Electric Bill Savings

I just wanted to share my energy savings tips! Our electric bill kwh hour jumped almost double so I had to come up with something to help. It all sort of played out slowly.

Starting in January I decided consciously to stop leaving the lights on so much in the daytime (disabled homemaker), unless I was reading and that was big step one. I wanted to darken my bedroom one day and used an aluminum sunshade (for car windows) to darken my bedroom window. My husband works 2 weeks nights, then 2 weeks days, his schedule flops back and forth. Makes it crazy around here. That worked so well, I went out and purchased (had the first one already) 4 more, so spent about $8 bucks for the whole trailer.I cut them to fit about the top half of all the windows in the place taping them on with wide clear tape. (I know I have seen people using aluminum foil for years , with my kitties that wouldn't last 30 minutes!) It is sort of like you have put up awnings on your house, without the expense! I allowed for my critters needs to look out the windows in various window spots, so it is not a dungeon by any means. Boy, did this cut down on the heat tremendously.

Also by necessity (live by 2 major highways stones throw away and noisy), we run fans 24 hours a day. One of the fans had quit in the living room, goes along with a second fan plus the ceiling fan! Anyway, I went to Walmart and ended up buying an industrial type fan 20 inch high velocity fan (on high I call it our 747 fan, lol). Believe me it has it's benefits besides helping on the electric bill bunches, blocks out the highway noise, and the teenagers' too loud TV and/or music! It's a godsend.) Worth every penny of $35 plus tax. I also got one for the bedroom since I am a light sleeper. These are something we have to have no matter what. Anyway, when I started recently comparing electric bills to last year , say July's bill was almost $60 less, at about 22% savings. It's been every bit as hot, and I am very extremely hot natured. The a/c has been on most of the time since February! We hardly every touch the thermostat leaving it on 75-76 degrees continuously!

I hadn't realized how major a life adjustment we had made until comparing bills. Very importantly, by conscious choice, we only use the oven maybe 4 times a week, as compared to every day before. Yes, I still cook, but mostly do skillet or stovetop meals, or even the crockpot. I found a new skillet cookie recipe that is awesome, and we like to eat rice krispie bars a lot, lol. And of course ice cream! Anyway, seeing as how energy costs have continued to skyrocket I feel like I have done wonders for us and it didn't hurt us one bitty bit!

For us this didn't work, but some electric companies participate in off peak hours for electric usage. I checked with our company and it basically is only for people who are keeping property, but not living there. They told me yeah you can sign up, but if you use ANYTHING at all electric, you start paying 10 cents a kwh. That means not even an alarm clock, freezer , a/c or nothing. I thought how absurd. The only people it would benefit is people not living there at all! I figure they aren't all like that because I have read of people doing their laundry (my intent) during the PM hours. You might check it out to see if it would work in your case. Anyway, all this stuff works for us as a family and might work for yours' as well. Good luck!

By Lori from Marion, AR

Tip: Ways To Save On The Electric Bill

I was absolutely shocked at my electric bill this month, so I sat down and made a list of things I will do to see if I can get it down, this list is now posted on the refrigerator, so I can see it every day. Maybe we can all save by doing these things. Turn off lights we are not using: this is a no-brainer and certainly one of the easiest measures of all. It is the key step to achieving a conservation mind-set. Just flipping a switch stops the waste of power.

Cut back on the lights we do use: I'm the worst when it comes to turning on all of the lights in the room. We will be opting for lamps and task lighting instead of general room lighting whenever possible.

Adjust the thermostat: an air conditioner uses a tremendous amount of electricity when it runs, as does electric heat. During the hot months, we are committed to setting it at 78 degrees F and at 68 degrees F during the winter and leaving it there. As a rule of thumb, every degree you lower a thermostat's set temperature will save 3 percent of energy costs over a 24-hour period.

Maintain the refrigerator and freezer: because these appliances are the biggest energy users in our home, we need to make sure they are running at maximum efficiency. I checked, and sure enough, both were set to the highest setting, which makes them run nearly all the time. I set them back to reasonable levels, and I will be defrosting our standalone freezer this weekend. It is way past due, and that, too, makes it use more power.

Use the oven and stovetop less: there are many times that the microwave, slow cooker and toaster oven will work just as well for our meal preparation as the standard oven and stovetop. The smaller appliances use a great deal less energy.

Turn computers off: it used to be that computers would wear out prematurely if they were turned on and off routinely. But technology has improved to the point at which it makes no difference in the computer's longevity. So the best advice is to turn it off when it's not in use to save energy.

Run only full loads: I have fallen into the habit of running less than full loads in the washing machine and the dishwasher. But no more! I'm sure by being careful to wait for a full load, we'll be running those appliances half as often in the coming month.

By Bobbie G from Rockwall, TX

Tip: Save on Hot Water Bills

If you have an electric water heater, turn your hot water heater off when you go out of town, or even when you leave for the day. It will cut your electric bill!

By Judy - Louisville, KY

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Questions

Here are questions related to Saving Money on Your Electric Bill.

Question: Energy Usage of a Dryer Not in Use

Does a laundry dryer that is turned off use a lot of energy with a 220 plug?

By Tonya from CO


Best Answer

By weinerdog41 [32]03/02/2014

A dryer that's not running doesn't use any energy. The things that use energy are things with a continual light like electric clocks, anything with a timer. etc.

Question: Can Breaker Tripping Make Electric Bill Go Up?

If my breaker keeps tripping; would that make my electrical bill go up, since I had to turn it off, then turn it back on? Wouldn't that take up a lot more power? I'm trying to figure out why my bill is 3 times higher than the other month. The only thing I can think of is when my breaker kept tripping.

By Ti


Best Answer

By Louise B. [5]02/21/2014

No, breakers tripping would not make your power bill go up. Whatever is causing your breaker to trip repeatedly might be the issue. Have you figured out WHY the breaker continually trips? (They do wear out as well, and have to be replaced, if they continually trip. However that would not make your power bill go up.)

Question: Saving Money on Energy

How can we save $$ on our energy bill when my utility company increases our rates because we are using less energy?

By Ted

Question: Saving on Electric Bill

Moldy, worn gasket.My electric bill was over 220 dollars for one month in a small 2 bed/1 bath apt in Ohio. My apartment has old appliances, stove, refrigerator, hot water heater, and AC unit from 1999. Whenever I say anything to the landlord, she gets mad! The seal around the refrigerator and oven are old, moldy, and don't fit well enough to seal properly. Now my utility bill is so high, but I can't afford to move!

By Marie H.


Most Recent Answer

By Sandi [391]08/07/2013

First off, the responsibility to fix the apt. is not yours. Here is a link to just one of the Ohio Landlord Tenant Laws but you can google more.

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/5321

You can also go to the utility company and often they will do an energy audit, where they go in and make a list of things that are causing the problems.

Most counties also have energy assistance, so you can often look into that. In Oregon, you have to be one day overdue and low income. This is the time of the year when you probably wouldn't have to wait long for an appt.

In many cases, you can withhold your rent and it's legal, esp' when you present them with the bill, the energy report and the laws stating they have to fix things and can't retaliate against you.

Don't fix, fight. Good luck!

Question: How Can You Save Money on Your Electric Bill?

I started recently saving money on my electric bill, and wanted to hear if anyone else had ideas, feedback, etc. I switched my energy provider to North American Power (www.napower.com/kdegross). I am literally saving about $20 a month in my small apartment. I didn't even see a difference on my electric bill, and CLandP still handles any problems.

Has anyone else had this success? Any other ideas? Gas is so high in CT, I figured that if I can save on my electric, I am ahead of the game!

By Jenn from CT


Most Recent Answer

By Jesus Freak06/02/2011

A friend saves money and I've read of other who turn off their water heater or have their water heater on a light timer. I've started doing it this month and found that mine is on a hardwired light switch. (;

I live in Florida where, in the summer, the water is pretty warm right out of the tap because of the water tower storage and all day/night heat. With this said, I've found that I have boiling hot water showers (that's what we like round here!), baths and a dishwasher load w/ having it on for only about 30 minutes a day. The rest of the day, we have hot water from the reservoir for washing hands, small amounts for hand wash dishes, and other sundry tasks.

Question: Saving Money on Electricity

Tip for saving money on electricity. Post your ideas.


Most Recent Answer

By UtilityBills2High12/24/2009

Addressing the sentence of turning off the hot water heater a night does not save on electricity cost. The statement is wrong; any amount of time the hot water heater is turned OFF by the breaker or other means helps reduce or lower the electric bill (laws of physics). If the bill still seems to go up, there are many other reasons or causes that contribute to the condition(s).

Energy audits are good, but may not uncover every source of electricity drain possible. For example, in a trailer park with outside pole lights, one or more pole light might be connected to a trailer and is not even lit at night, maybe the bulb is blown-out, but a night that pole light will still be feed electricity to the ballast which will turn that electricity into heat, without a working bulb.

Most energy audits are performed during the day time, so they may not even pick up on this situation. Insulating the hot and cold water pipes throughout the house is number one priority, and with the highest R-value pipe insulation available, e.g. R-4.9 rated for negative 70 degree F., that 70 degrees below 0 F. Check out www.UtilityBills2High.com for more info.

Question: Saving Money on Your Power Bill

How do I lower my power bill?

Kent from Dalton, Ga.


Most Recent Answer

By April [179]11/04/2008

Insulate switch plates and outlets that are located on outside walls or above an unheated basement. A package of foam outlet insulation sheets cost less than $4 and does several outlets.

Question: Saving Electricity in the Winter

Q: I would like a information on what I can do to save money on electricity during the winter. I live in a condo and face the south east. I get lots of sun, therefore heat during the day. I asked a contractor about wrapping my water, heater he said that my heater is so new it is already insulated enough. Does it really save to turn off the water heater? Won't it just have that much more work to do when i turn it back on?

Thank you,
Sandy

A: Sandy,

There are a lot of easy ways to save on electricity during the winter. Here are just a few related to hot water and hot water heaters:

Even if your hot water heater is new, insulating your water heater and pipes keeps heat from escaping and the project will easily pay for itself in less than a year.

Don't shut off your hot water heater. Turn down the temperature dial instead. You'll be surprised how low you can set the dial and still have plenty of hot water for your needs (try 115° to 125°).

Check "time of day rates" if your hot water heater is electric. This involves having your water heater come on only during "off-peak" times, but at a lower rate. Check with your utility company to see if they offer this plan.

Turn your water heater down to the lowest setting if you will be gone for a couple of days.

Use foam wrap to insulate hot water pipes throughout your house. Keep it three inches away from heater draft hoods and exhaust vents.

Install low flow aerators on faucets and install water saving showerheads. Fix leaky faucets.

Take showers instead of baths-they use less water.


Most Recent Answer

By SnowMan (Guest Post)11/17/2005

Hello. This is a question related to saving on home heating bills. I live in a single family home with a basement and reside in Maryland. My new wife seems to believe that turning off our gas heating thermostat during the day while we are at work saves money. We'd come back and turn on the heat again but this takes time to reheat the whole home. And as the temp's get colder, is this a good idea to save money? Before I got married I have never turned off the heat during the winter days fearing this would freeze my pipes. Who is correct in this case? Thanks!
Editor's Note: We posted this as a new request:
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Question: Save Money on Your Electric Bill

Here are some ideas to help you save money on your electric bill. Post your ideas below!


Most Recent Answer

By marion davidson [22]07/08/2009

Keeping your freezer full to capacity is not always feasible but you can offset this by storing empty, but lidded, plastic containers in it.
I do all of the things suggested here but I always feel my electric bill is way too high. I get far more benefit from my gas, for which I pay just a little more eg gas central heating and gas hob. By the way, I don't have an electric drier!

Archives

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Archive: 10 Tips for Saving Money on Your Power Bill

As temperatures rise across the country, power bills rise across the country. By following some easy energy-saving tips, you can save money on your power bills to spend on summer fun.

1. Clean or change your air conditioner filters monthly. Dirty filters can increase operating costs for your air-conditioning unit by as much as 20 percent.

2. Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable setting. Turn the thermostat up higher when you are more sedentary.

3. Use a ceiling or portable fan to supplement your cooling system. One fan can make you feel 3 to 4 degrees cooler and costs only half a cent per hour to operate.

4. Close your blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest parts of the day to keep the sun from heating your home.

5. Take advantage of cool mornings and evenings; turn your air conditioner off, open your windows and let the outside air cool your house. Don't forget to close the windows as the temperature gets warm.

6. Avoid generating large amounts of heat with cooking appliances, which work against your cooling system by adding extra heat to your house. Use a microwave oven or counter top appliances instead of your stove top or oven. Better yet, cook outside on a grill.

7. Hang your laundry outside to dry instead of using your gas or electric dryer. This saves you money two ways; you eliminate the cost of power needed to operate the dryer and reduce the heat you generate inside your home.

8. Use fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs in your home. Fluorescent use significantly less energy and produce much less heat.

9. Take advantage of the summer sun and use solar lighting in place of traditional electric lighting in your landscape.

10. Use smart landscaping to shade your house from the sun's rays. Plant trees on the east and west sides of your home and plant shrubbery close to the foundation.

Evaluate power usage around your home. There are changes you can make. You just have to be willing to make a small effort. Start now and reduce the amount of money you give to the power company every month! Sherri Allen is the editor of an online publication featuring topics such as family, food, home, garden and money. For great tips, resources, articles, recipes, reviews and coloring pages, visit http://www.SherriAllen.com/