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20 Tips for Saving Money on Your Electric Bill

Category Home & Garden
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.
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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these ideas shared by the ThriftyFun community! Have something to add? Please share!

March 2, 2011

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

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By 6 found this helpful
November 10, 2009

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

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By 6 found this helpful
May 18, 2009

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

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By 6 found this helpful
February 7, 2009

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

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By 3 found this helpful
October 8, 2012

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

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By 3 found this helpful
February 20, 2012

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.

An electric plug in an outlet.

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By 3 found this helpful
August 26, 2011

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.

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By 3 found this helpful
June 11, 2010

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.

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By 2 found this helpful
August 26, 2011

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.

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By 2 found this helpful
March 7, 2011

If you live in an all electric house it can get very expensive, even with new energy efficient appliances. So think a timer for your water heater. It will save you as much or more than a expensive solar panel on the roof.

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January 13, 2014

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.

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh1 found this helpful
February 15, 2011

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.

An electric plug in an outlet.

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By 1 found this helpful
November 5, 2009

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.

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September 13, 2007

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.

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Judy - Louisville, KY1 found this helpful
March 14, 2001

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!

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January 19, 20170 found this helpful

Utility bills can be very expensive, but there are some easy cost effective ways to reduce them. This is a guide about slash your electric bill in half.

Lightbulbs

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By 0 found this helpful
August 26, 2011

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.

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May 18, 20110 found this helpful

After 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. Saving water can save electricity as well.

Retrieving Jewelry Dropped in a Sink Drain, Water dripping in bathroom sink

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January 8, 20100 found this helpful

One 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.

Power Strip With Many Cords Plugged In

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September 2, 2009

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 22, 2009

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 14, 2008

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.

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh0 found this helpful
July 28, 2008

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.

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh0 found this helpful
July 24, 2008

There 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.

Electrical Plug

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By 0 found this helpful
April 30, 2007

Unplug appliances that are "instant on" appliances, such as TV, phone charger, etc. when not in use. These are "vampire" appliances that have electric current going through them.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 25, 2006

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. . .

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 2, 20081 found this helpful

Tip for saving money on electricity. Post your ideas.

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November 2, 20080 found this helpful

Cover your windows! I don't have the best windows and can't afford new ones and I can feel the cold coming off of them at night! By using drapes to trap the heat and stop the cold, you could save a considerable amount of money on your energy bill. This works in the summer, too. Also, check the fitting on your outer doors. Use a blanket or towel on the bottom if there is any gap. Nobody mentioned this yet so I thought I would throw in my 2 cents.

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November 2, 20080 found this helpful

Putting your outside lights on motion detectors also can save energy. And, turn off lights when leaving the room -- sounds obvious, but it helps.

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July 26, 20090 found this helpful

We save money on electricity by turning our thermostat on 78-80 degrees in Summer. We use propane fireplaces to keep the house warm in winter. Summer time, we keep the curtains and mini-blinds shut. Winter time, we open the blinds. We do have double pane, insulated windows. Also I use a draft dodger in front of outside doors.

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March 1, 20140 found this helpful

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

By Tonya from CO

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March 2, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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February 19, 20140 found this helpful

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

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February 21, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.)

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September 5, 20130 found this helpful

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

By Ted

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August 5, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 1, 2011

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

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October 31, 20080 found this helpful

How do I lower my power bill?

Kent from Dalton, Ga.

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November 2, 20080 found this helpful


Here's some more good tips: Saving Money on Electricity

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October 4, 20050 found this helpful
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.

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
September 15, 20050 found this helpful

I would just recommend turning the water heater down if you will be gone for an extended period of time, but otherwise, on a daily basis, I would not suggest that you turn your water heater off. It will expend much more energy to reheat the water than if you just leave it on all the time. I would open all blinds in the morning and get the natural heat from the sun in the house, and then when the sun moves overhead and is not coming in the windows, close all the blinds and keep as much heat as possible in.

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September 16, 20040 found this helpful

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

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May 19, 20040 found this helpful

Save Money on Your Electric Bill

Want to save money on your electric bill? One of the biggest electricity uses is your clothes dryer. Hang your clothes outside to dry. They will smell better. They will not be apt to shrink. You will get some exercise. And best of all it's free. Happy clothes hanging.

By Joesgirl

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May 19, 20040 found this helpful

Save Money on Your Electric Bill

Clean your clothes dryer's lint screen frequently. When it is clogged up, your dryer has to work harder and uses more energy.

By Becki in Indiana

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September 15, 20040 found this helpful

If you do laundry, dishwashing or any high power-use chores during the hours of noon and 6 pm each day you are probably paying a peak rate for power. Wait and try to do these chores between the hours of 8pm and noon, when your power usage will be at its cheapest.

By Terri H.

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September 22, 20040 found this helpful

Buy those light bulbs that last forever at a store like home depot. I think they are called fluorescent and they are circular for lamps or they look like a stick for other appliances (compact fluorescent). I paid a lot of money for them years ago and they are still working after about 10 years. They also don't use as much wattage but throw as much light.

If you have an electric water heater, turn off the heater at the circuit breaker box when you don't need to use it. Flip it back on about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to wash the dishes or take a shower. I just put the kitchen timer on. The water stays warm for a long time and heats up fast. Saves about $10 on my electric bill each month. If you have company, leave it on all the time because there is too much confusion when they are there with showers and etc.

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 27, 20040 found this helpful

make sure your windows are adequately sealed by means of caulking (silicone) around the edges. this will save money big time, especially in central air homes.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 2, 20080 found this helpful

Answers:

Hot Water Heater

To save some on electricity I turn the breaker for my hot water heater off every day. Then a couple of hours before bath time I will turn it back on. Some nights I will even turn it off after kids baths. Most of the newer hot water heaters will hold the heat in there for many hours. I never realized how much it would cut down on our electric bill.

By Kat (01/31/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Saving Money on Electricity

To save money on your electric bill, call your local electric carrier and ask about their peak hours for usage. You can do a lot with electricity during those off hours and save a fortune!

By Sandi (01/31/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Hanging Clothes Instead of Using the Dryer

You can save bundles of money hanging your clothes out to dry instead of using a costly "dryer". In the winter when the weather is bad I hang my clothes on a line strung up in my basement.

If you hang your clothes out to dry to save money but hate the "crunchy " jeans, put them in the dryer for 10 minutes to soften. But watch the time or you will leave them in too long and waste your savings from hanging them out. I set a timer.

By Reta (01/31/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Saving Money on Electricity

I unplug the toaster, microwave and anything that I will not be using until later or another day. even when appliances are off, they still use a small amount. Unplug t.v.s and vcrs when you go away no use no cost. (01/31/2005)

By Susan from Hamilton

Energy Saving Tips

Use your small kitchen appliances whenever you can. Microwaves, toaster ovens, and slow cookers can use 75% less energy than a large electric oven.

Use lids on all your pots and pans to reduce cooking times and don't put a small pan on a large burner.

Turn off and unplug any electrical items that are not being used. Many appliances, especially computers, televisions, and VCR/DVD players draw power even when they are turned off.

By Robin (03/17/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Saving Money on Electricity

Replace your old incandescent bulbs with new, energy efficient bulbs in new smaller sizes. Sell your old bulbs at a tag sale. www.smartlivingcatalog.com, or 800-527-4448. (03/17/2005)

By annielou

Saving Money on Electricity

In the winter turn the furnace to go on about 68 or lower. We bundle up during the day and night and we save money on the electric that way.

Ziggee (03/17/2005)

By Ziggee

Saving Money on Electricity

Don't drain your bathwater until it's cool. Prop open the oven door after you bake IF you don't have young ones in the house.

Open the dishwasher door immediately after the final rinse cycle to let dishes air dry and hot steamy air warm your kitchen.

While waiting for the water to run warm, use the cooler water to scrub out the sink or fill bottles (I use gallon milk jugs -- lets the children see how much they waste by running the faucet) to later water plants, rinse tubs, or dump into the washer.

Dry loads of clothing one after the other.

If your hot water tank allows it, schedule showers one after the other -- saves that lag waiting for hot water to run through the pipes and arrive at the faucet warmed.

Little things matter -- 50cents savings per day adds up to about $15 per month! (03/21/2005)

By gannon

Saving Money on Electricity

All of these are really good tips, but they didn't seem to work for me. My husband & I moved to Kentucky and rented a 16 x 80 trailer that is total electric. We were told by the electric company that this address normally runs at $120 a month. Well to try and cut that down I did everything that everyone mentioned, throwing the breaker for the hot water heater at night to off, and for most of the day, unplug the tv and vcr, using energy efficient bulbs, etc and my electric bill went up $50, I couldn't believe it and had the electric company come back and read the meter again.

They claim its right. So except for the running the dryer for only 15 mins and only using cold water to wash clothes I don't do any of the other stuff because it didn't seem worth it. But maybe if we were not in a trailer right now, everything would work to help keep our electric down. So hopefully they work for everyone else. (03/22/2005)

Saving Money on Electricity

Hi,
Your electricity seems very high and adding another $50 a month to it is even worse. I wrote to Helmut at Dear Webby who helps us with electrical questions to see if he had any suggestions for you. Here is his response. . .

"I am not familiar with the electricity prices for Kentucky, but that sounds rather high! I would recommend an energy audit to find out if there is some leakage or if a neighbor is plugging in or where all that electricity goes.

If they have a slate or tile floor and electric floor heating, they should most definitely get a programmable thermostat, and put thermal insoles into their slippers. That makes it a lot less tempting to nudge up the thermostat.

By the way, shutting down a water heater at night does not reduce electricity consumption one bit. You still have to heat as many gallons of water as you use. Tying a bunch of old quilts and bedspreads over and around a water heater does make a bit of difference.

For a major difference I would recommend pre-heaters. Just put one or more old water heaters, with all the insulation stripped, off in the warmest spot in the attic, and feed the icy cold incoming water through that first, so that the electric water heater only has to top off the pre-warmed water.

A 16 foot wide trailer would normally have a bit of a peaked roof, however, with flat-tops it's really easy to add all kinds of fun stuff on top, and then cover it with a stylish roof. In some trailer courts it's not just encouraged but required to put a peaked roof on to improve the looks of the court.


Even if the trailer has a very low peak, it's usually enough to crawl around up there. If there is not room enough for a water heater laid flat, there is plenty of room for a few 6 inch black plastic sewer pipes. Usually they are run in a "U" or "W" configuration, so that the connection to the ground water and the hot water tank can be made at the service end.

I would not want to do that work in summer. It gets brutally hot up there in those trailer attics.

I don't know the numbers in your quaint Imperial Loyalist measuring system, but in the metric system it takes ONE calory to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. A liter of water weighs one kilogram (1000 grams), so you need a kilocalorie to raise the temperature of a liter of water by ONE degree. If the water from the incoming pipe is 60 degrees colder than what you want to feel at the hot water tap, then you need 60 kilocalories per liter of water. If the water from the pre-heaters in the attic is 10 degrees below what you want at the tap, then the hot water heater only has to top it off with 10 kilocalories. 50 kilocalories are donated by waste heat and solar.

There is nothing, except for not paying your electricity bill for a few months, that will cut your electricity consumption as much as water pre-heaters.

However, the first step should always be a thorough energy audit to track down leaks and abuses.

Have FUN!
Helmut"


http://www.webby.com/humor/

Because you are living in a mobile home, I know there maybe no attic but getting an energy audit might really help, also putting insulation around your water heater.
Susan From ThriftyFun

(03/22/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Saving on the Dryer

To save electricity while drying clothes in the dryer, I toss in a bath towel to absorb extra moisture and make the clothes dry faster. I did notice the cost of our electric bill went down after doing this for a month.

By Kathleen (03/23/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Saving Money on Electricity

I have found that if I turn my air conditioner up by 5 degrees while I am at work or away that my electric bill has dropped. (09/06/2006)

By Mike

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