Saving Money on Electricity

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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

An electric plug in an outlet.

About The Author: Robin lives in Washington, Iowa. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Scott. They have two daughters, Jessica and Caitlinn, both of whom are grown. The oldest, Jessica, and her husband, just had a baby, Robin's first grandchild. They also have 3 dogs who are very much part of they family, Jazmin, Shelby and Libby. Her interests are cooking, computers, volunteering at our local animal shelter, working with the elderly and also children and music. She also very involved in her church.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 398 Posts
February 20, 20120 found this helpful

Those are very good things to do to save money. Gas prices are so high, it is a good thing to know how to save money!

Thumbs up!

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February 20, 20120 found this helpful

Very good. We do the same. The hot water heater is controlled to only be on 4-5 hours per day. At night we turn the heat down to at least 60, or lower and use electric blankets. Clothesline is used year round. All appliances, electronics are turned off when not in use.


In the summer, windows and doors are opened to catch the breeze until mid July, then the A/C comes on, set at 78. Year round average for us is $100. a month. NC

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February 22, 20120 found this helpful

I do all of the same things and it does make a significant difference. My utilities have always been a lot lower than most people I know, with no real compromises in my daily living.

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February 23, 20120 found this helpful

I think your ideas for saving electric in your home are very good. I do them too. I have gone quite a bit farther though. I have a four bed. two bath house and my bill for electricity each month is $27-$30. Gas bill is normally $16.

One reason mine is so low is because I now live alone and am fully responsible for paying them. My husband passed away one year ago. He payed all the bills, so I had no idea what the cost of things really were. Boy what a wake up!

In addition to what you do, I have turned the breakers off in areas of the house not used much or only used a couple of hours a day. The garage is one of them.

I also don't have heating or air (the unit also died).

I wash dishes by hand so the cost for running a dishwasher is eliminated.

Maybe trying some of these things will help you folks bring yours down to mine! Good Luck

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February 23, 20120 found this helpful

Another thrifty-nifty idea: I stared using ... night lights! They draw way less than 40 or 60 watt bulbs & add enough light not to be left in the dark!

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February 23, 20120 found this helpful

I use night lights too. I have one in the bathroom, and one in the kitchen. I leave those on all the time and they save me from flipping on the light when I make a quick trip to either room. I have two in the living room as accent lights that are fine for watching TV.

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January 22, 20150 found this helpful

Thanks to all of you for the pointers! For those of us who live in the north (Canada), hanging freshly-washed clothing to dry indoors, in the winter, is a great way to add humidity, something we badly need during the cold months.

Summer days can be hot here as well, and the nights fairly cool, but closing all the windows as well as blinds / curtains during daylight hours and opening all windows at night is a terrific way to avoid using air conditioning. Last not least, using a timer on the hot water heater is another terrific way to save money on the gas bill.

Rose Anne

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