How to Lower Your Electric Bill

Energy is expensive. In today’s high-tech world, families are spending more money on electricity than ever before. For some families, it’s becoming an increasing burden just to keep the lights on and all of the appliances, computers, and electronic devices running.

While it would be difficult to live without electricity altogether, there are some things you can do to reduce your usage. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can go about lowering your family’s electric bill:

  • Start with your heating and cooling. Heating and cooling are one of the largest areas of improvement when it comes to a family’s electric bill. Ideally, you’ll have a certified technician come out and check your furnace and AC to make sure they’re operating as efficiently as they can. Clean your air filters regularly. Consider using a programmable thermostat. All of these together can save as much as 20% on your heating and cooling costs.

  • Get energy efficient appliances. There are regularly federal and state incentives to buy more energy efficient appliances. This not only includes air conditioners and furnaces, but other energy efficient appliances, as well.

  • Switch out your light bulbs. If you’re not using CFLs yet, you need to switch. Advancements in CFL bulbs offer much friendlier light than the first generation, so if you haven’t looked at them in a while it’s time to do so. By replacing 20 incandescent bulbs in your home with CFLs, you’ll save about $70 per year on electricity costs.
  • Unplug your gadgets. Cellphone chargers, microwaves, computers, and televisions all use power and generate heat when they’re plugged into the wall. It’s estimated that this “standby” power makes up about 7% of your home’s electrical use. Consider putting such devices on a timer, or on a “smart” power switch that recognizes when they’re in use.

  • Check into your supplier options. Many states now have deregulated the energy marketplace, and you may be able to save as much as 15% per month on the cost of your electric bill by switching.

Implementing some or all of these techniques will lower your electricity bill and help reduce your impact on the environment.

photo by: brendan.wood

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