How To Save Money On Electricity
Ways to save electricity
When you're analyzing your expenses to find places where you can cut back, there are three categories: fixed expenses (which are the same month after month), necessary but unfixed expenses (which are unavoidable but may change from month to month) and luxuries. Electricity is one of those "necessary but unfixed expenses" which you can't do without. Even so, that doesn't mean you need to spend as much as you are on your power bill. Knowing how to save money on electricity can put cash back in your pocket for use elsewhere, especially in this age of rising power costs.
Reduce Your Electricity Bill
There are lots of simple ways to save electricity that will help keep your monthly expenses in check. You can use the extra money to pay down loans or credit cards, or to put in a savings or investment account. Here are some common-sense ways to use less electricity:
- Turn out the lights. This may seem obvious, but many people don't do it. If you're not using the lights in a particular room, make sure they're off.
- Switch to fluorescent bulbs. Drop the incandescent tungsten bulbs and go for fluorescent ones instead -- they have longer lives and use less energy. Even better, switch to home LED lighting if it's possible to affordably retrofit your home -- light-emitting diodes use the least electricity of any available option.
- Invest in energy efficiency. Newer appliances use less energy; in some cases, they use so much less that you can quickly recover the investment you've made in the form of energy savings. Aging dishwashers, stoves, fridges, freezers, washing machines and dryers can all be upgraded. Also, make sure your windows, ducts, crawlspaces and basements are airtight.
- Use your HVAC system wisely. Get a programmable thermostat for your heating and air conditioning system, and invest in regular maintenance to ensure your system is running efficiently. Replace aging water heaters, boilers, furnaces and air conditioners as soon as possible.
- Go solar. If your home gets enough sunlight, one of the best things you can do to save money on electricity is to install photovoltaic panels -- it can greatly reduce or even eliminate your reliance on the traditional power grid.
If you're wondering how to save electricity, try out these strategies and watch your power bills go down. You may need to make an up-front investment, but over time, it can really pay off.