Want to know how to save electricity? Then this post is for you. If you're like most Electricity bills probably represent a big chunk of your budget, so cutting down on the amount of power you use could save you a lot of money. Additionally, you will also be helping the environment. But the surprising thing is that it really isn’t as difficult as you think!
Here are a couple of tips to help you get started:
LED Lighting is Your Friend!
One of the best ways to save electricity requires making a small investment, but in the long run it will pay off. All you need to do is replace all your regular lightbulbs, or at least the ones you use the most, with LED lightbulbs – this will cause significant savings. The plus side of this is that you use less electricity. The small downside is that you're going to be making an initial investment because LED lights are more expensive than regular bulbs – but they also last much longer!
If You're Not Using It, Turn it Off!
Okay, this sounds like common sense, but bare with us. If you're not using something, then it should be switched off. This can be a bit of a problem, especially with kids around who aren't always conscious of energy bills. Timer switches can be a big help here, since they will automatically turn appliances off after a certain amount of time. Another consideration is things like computers and TVs, which we have a tendency to switch off but leave in “standby” mode. Even in standby you're using up electricity, so try unplugging instead. According to the US Department of Energy 75% of electricity used to power home electronics is actually consumed when those electronics are switched off. So unplug wherever possible, every little bit helps! If you’re still saying: “I’m not going to unplug 5 devices every time I stop using them for an hour” because it’s a hassle, then just buy one of those electrical socket splitters with an on off button – these usually have 3-6 sockets and connect with a short cable to the plug/socket – that way you just flip one switch and all the appliances turn off without unplugging.
Consider Updating Appliances and checking their energy efficiency rating
When it comes to electricity saving tips, updating your home appliances might seem like a rather drastic solution. However, appliances such as fridges and washing machines have become a lot more energy efficient in recent years, and you could end up spending a lot less in the long term if you're willing to ditch that out of date appliance model. Yes, you'll be making a big initial investment, but Energy Star rated appliances will use up a lot less of your precious electricity. Fridges are the biggest culprit here, but the same goes for washing machines and dishwashers, and pretty much any other appliance you use regularly. Look for the energy rating. In most countries, each appliance has an energy rating of A to F – “A” being the most efficient and “F” being the least (thus causing a waste of electricity). Choosing an electrical device with a “C” rating compared to one with an “F” rating can save you a lot of money in the long run, especially if it is a device that uses up a lot of electricity like a fridge or a heater.
If you do get new appliances, or even if you already have them, don’t forget to make sure you add them to your home insurance policy – otherwise, if something happens you’ll have to pay a hefty amount to buy new appliances.
Heat and Cool Carefully
Depending on your home one of the biggest power drains is likely to be heating and cooling. Making your home relatively air tight (meaning sealing places where air leaks in and out, having good insulation, and sealing gaps in doors and windows) will mean that you're not wasting electricity heating and cooling the outdoors! You can also try heating and cooling only the rooms that you're actually in, rather than the whole house. And remember fans are a good and energy efficient alternative to using air conditioning. For more on this issue, check out our article about how to heat your home.
Understand Your Electricity Options
Depending on the area that you live in it may be possible to use more than one company for your electricity needs. And just like with everything else, prices can vary between companies. It's worth your time to run a quick comparison to see if you're getting the best deal. Don't forget to factor in additional benefits. For example, some companies will give you a discount if you pay your bills online, or if you pay quarterly rather than monthly. And check off-peak times with the company you choose. Most electricity companies have certain times during the day when electricity is cheaper, and these are the best times to do things like running the washing machine or charging your phone or computer. Switching contracts can be a slight hassle, but you'll benefit from savings on your bills.
Use Things Properly and Efficiently!
Again, this seems like very broad advice, but using appliances properly can save you money. What do we mean? If you've got an electric stove, use the cooking ring that best matches the size of the pan you're using to avoid using unnecessary energy. If you've got a freezer then make sure that there isn't a build up of ice (which will make it less efficient), and that the appliance is standing in a naturally cooler place so it needs to do less work. Don't run the dishwasher or washing machine with only a half load, make sure they're full. It's surprising how much electricity you can save simply by concentrating on the small things! Another example is instead of using a dryer for your washing, you might want to consider hanging things outside (not everyone does this). Dryers use a huge amount of electricity! One last example can be to get a timer for your hot water boiler, which will allow you to only heat the water when you need it heated versus heating it constantly.
If you're interested in how to save electricity then you might want to start tracking your spending to see if the changes you're making are having an effect. Keeping your old electricity bills on hand is one way of doing this. However, there are more high tech ways of tracking how much electricity you're using. There are a handful of mobile phone apps that you can use to help you see how much cash you're saving, and some of them also do handy things like reminding you to turn appliances off, or giving you even more electricity saving tips.
Saving electricity will definitely save you money on your monthly bills. But you'll also be helping to save the world by being environmentally conscious. So start switching off, and stay on top of exactly how much power you're using!
Main subject: how to save electricity