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Slash Your Electric Bill in Half


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
January 3, 2017

A package of low energy replacement LED bulbs.In the past 6 months, I have cut our electric bill by half. Several years ago I replaced all our light bulbs with CFL bulbs. Now, with the newer LED bulbs I have been replacing the CFL bulbs. 4 years ago, our average electric bill was around $300 per month for an almost 4000 square foot home. Now, I have it down to $100 or less.

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The best priced bulbs I have found so far are the LED stick bulbs sold by GE. I get a 2 pack at Dollar General for $8. I usually buy these on the Saturdays that the store puts out the $5 off a $25 purchase coupon and sometimes combine it with a GE coupon.

To cut your bill, start by turning off lights when not used. Start replacing your bulbs that are used most often first. You can either replace your old bulbs as they burn out with the LED, or as you buy them. If you chose to replace as they burn out, you may need to rearrange your bulbs so that you are replacing those used the most first.

For lights that your forget to turn off often, put them on a timer. I have put a timer on our porch lights and the closet lights. The timers are simple. They screw into the socket, then the bulb screws into the timer.

Read your bulb packages. Some brands offer a money back guarantee if the bulb burns out before a certain time. I date my package and fold it flat, with the receipt stapled to it. On it, I write where I put that bulb.

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As you are replacing your bulbs, remember that your electric billing normally runs 1 month behind when you look for results. As your bill starts to come down, you can use the money your saving on your bill to purchase more bulbs.

Once you get them all replaced, look on to something else you can do to save; such as newer water saving shower heads or toilets, or replace an old energy hog appliance.

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July 9, 2018

What can I do to get me electric bill down? Background info. I live in California in a 2500sq ft home. I do not use central heat or air, no window boxes, etc. My bill went from 150 to 400 with the only change of going from 3 people to 2 people.

The lights are rarely turned on. Only the stove and refrigerators (2) and a freezer are frequent or constant. Very little else have been left plugged in. I have had the meter tested (ready to go back to analog). I have even had a new breaker box put in, had an energy saver rep come to the house (bill should be under a 100) and had all plugs, etc. checked in my home. The electric company says it's an issue on my end. Any suggestion of what I can do to get the appropriate bill?

Note: I am also getting solar installed.

Answers


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
July 9, 20180 found this helpful

The two things that caused spikes in my bill were when we got a new TV and when I run the dehumidifier. You don't mention either of those items running in your place, so I am guessing that isn't your challenge.

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I talked to a family member in California and she suggested you try to get an independent home inspector, possibly one with "WECA" certification to assess your house to see if someone is piggybacking on your line or what is happening. I have their website attached. Maybe this can get you started on finding a solution.

www.goweca.com/

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
July 9, 20180 found this helpful

If you have not gotten any new electrical equipment, there may be an incorrect meter reading or a faulty meter. Call the electric company

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
July 9, 20180 found this helpful

I live in Southern California as reference 1600 sq ft home. We pay roughly $90-$110 monthly for electricity.

We use the regular tv, computer, toaster, oven, portable a/c, dryer, washing machine, etc.

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Are you using electricity during peak hours? That's the only thing I can think of that can cause a spike.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 107 Posts
July 10, 20180 found this helpful

so I just wanted to share a personal experience:

a few years ago I signed up for an electric bill regulation program where the company would average out my electricity usage over a 12 month period. This helped my accounting because it was easier toalways budget for say $92 a month than $80 one month, $112 another, and so on. The caveat was that if there was a chance in the utility company pricing structure, it would change my rate over the coming months, after the 12 month period expired.

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Lo and behold, one day down the line, long after I'd forgotten about doing the deal, my next light bill is literally $250 more than the regular. No chance in usage. When I call them in they explained that since they were trying to fix the nuke plant down the way they were upping everyone's service charge and that this had happened months ago and since I'd been in the special deal I was not slated to see it till the expiry of the period

so I ask you, did you at any point sign up for a 'deal' like that, and are you seeing the spike as a result of the utility company's resetting their rates at all? It might be worth a look

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
July 10, 20180 found this helpful

How about the bigger appliances?

Another tip I have is perhaps you can ask your nearby neighbors if they saw an increase as well? If not, then it is something in your home and an electrician to visit would be your option to figure out whats wrong.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
July 11, 20181 found this helpful

You say your bill went from $150 to $400 but not how long ago this happened - so - 2-6 months? Have you given some thought to what was going on about the time this changed?

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Remember; you receive your bill several days after electricity is used. Did you get a new/old appliance/new neighbors/work done on your house or yard? Checking this out may help you solve your problem.

I'm glad you will be having an electrician check your house as they have all the correct meters to check everything and I can tell you (from experience) just one "bad" appliance (you have 2 refrigerators and freezer) can make a big difference in your electricity usage.

The electrician should be able to check wall circuits and also tell if someone is stealing electricity from you (this does happen). I would suggest you follow them around and see what they check because you will be paying a big bill and should be able to see what is happening and not just see a "survey" before they walk out the door. A CA union electrician bill can be so high it has to be financed over the year.

Be sure they check your attic and any outside receptacles that could be causing problems. If they do not find a big problem then you should be able to take their findings back to your city department and make them do a better research on your problem.

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Anonymous
September 6, 20180 found this helpful

We are having people with very high electric bills and it's the new smart meters. Our electric comany won't come out and check the meter . they are blaming the COLD winter we had, but this is summer still high bills. I think as many do that there are some bad meters or the tecs didn't install them right. Google "Smart Meters"
to find out more.

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