The best ways to conserve electricity and save money on your electricity bill is to work with an energy broker to ensure you’re paying the lowest possible rate.
Once you have that taken care of, there 10 things you can do on a daily basis to use as little electricity as possible. This is the perfect formula to spend less money on energy so that you have more money available for other bills, vacation and other luxuries.
1. Maintain your HVAC system year round. Schedule a technician to enter your home at least once a year to check for problems and clean out your system. Make sure you’re changing the filters and following other suggested maintenance routines throughout the year. This will ensure your system works as efficiently as possible and doesn’t utilize electricity needlessly.
2. Fix older windows and doors to eliminate drafts. A cold draft will force your heating system to work harder. The best option is to replace doors and windows with energy-efficient models, but you can also use seals around the window to help correct this problem on a tight budget.
3. Train every member of your household to keep doors shut and lights turned off at all times. Open doors allow outdoor air to affect indoor air, requiring your heating or AC system to run harder. Lights burning in empty rooms are a complete waste of your electricity budget. When all else fails, install motion detectors on your lights so that they turn off and on depending on movement in the room.
4. Upgrade to a programmable thermostat. This allows your thermostat to adjust temperature inside your home depending on your schedule. You can reduce the use of heat and air while you’re away and turn it up just before you come back home.
5. Reduce heat on your water heater. If you don’t need scalding hot water, why pay to heat the water to that temperature in the first place? You may also consider turning down the heat more than usual if you’re going away for a long weekend or extended vacation.
6. Exercise control when decorating for the holidays. Use LED lights because they are the most economical. Don’t use more lights than you really need to feel festive. One of the best ways to ways to conserve electricity is just to make sure you unplug all lights during the day and when they aren’t absolutely needed.
7. Consider alternatives to central air and heating systems. Bundle up in the winter and dress in lighter clothing in the summer. Use your fireplace or purchase a stand-alone fireplace unit or other types of heaters. Use an energy-efficient window AC unit if your HVAC system is extremely inefficient. When all else fails, spend more time outdoors in the summer and build campfires outside during slightly cold months.
8. Adjust your daily routine so that you generate as little heat inside your home as possible during the hottest points of the day. For instance, you can dry clothing, run the dishwasher and cook in the oven during the late evening or early morning rather than at high noon in the summer. In the winter, you may do those things during the day to help heat your home while getting housework done.
9. Invest in insulation for your home. Older homes may have little to no insulation under the floors and in the walls. One of the best ways to conserve electricity is to consider investing in more insulation for the basement and attic. The goal is to trap in as much heat as possible so that you can produce less heat and stay warm.
10. Invest in energy-efficient appliances. This is placed last on the list because it does require upfront financial sacrifice. You can update older kitchen appliances, hot water heaters, water filters, HVAC systems and other components to energy-efficient models. You will earn the investment back over the years to come, and you may qualify for state or federal tax credits and other bonuses.