How We Save Money on Our Electric Bill

Occasionally, I’ll hear friends or relatives mention how much their electricity bill was this month, and I smile a little inside because I know mine is lower. Not that having a lower electric bill is a competition, but it does feel good when I see that the effort we’ve put into paying less each month is working. If you’re wondering how to pay less for electricity, here are a few things we do around our house to save:

We started when we bought the house. Built in the 1940s, our little place needed some big upgrades. We insulated the attic and replaced all the windows to seal up the house nice and tight. We also put in an energy efficient furnace. We didn’t live in the home before making these improvements, so I can’t make a comparison, but by comparing our electric bill to other families’, I’m convinced that these upgrades had a huge impact on our energy bill.

A smaller improvement we made right away was installing a $100 programmable thermostat. With it, we can set the temp to stay warmer in the house while we’re away in the summer, or cooler while we’re out during the winter. This was especially useful when I worked outside the home; I would set it to reach the comfortable temp an hour before we got home. We also have the thermostat programmed to stay cooler/ warmer while we’re asleep.

A no-cost change is to lower the temperature on your hot water heater to 120 degrees. Sorry, I can’t help you with how to do this. My dad (the handiest guy I know) did it for me. He said it’s easy, though. I’ve also heard of wrapping the hot water heater with an insulated blanket, but I haven’t tried that.

Use less hot water. I take short showers. I’m not certain if that’s to save money or because I’m a mama who’s lucky to squeeze in a quick one while the babies aren’t screaming. Only run the dishwasher when it’s full (why do dishes more than you have to?).

We also switched all our light bulbs to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). I’m not arguing their effectiveness, but honestly, our experience with them has been hit or miss. Some we’ve installed have burnt out after one a couple weeks. Others, though, have lasted much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Maybe it depends on the brand; I haven’t quite figured that out, yet.

One day, I’ll have all energy-star appliances. For now, I don’t. We bought all our appliances when we moved in as newlyweds, and the objective was cheap, cheap, cheap.

These changes will not only help your reduce your bills, but you’ll also be living a little greener.

Photo courtesy of Lydia.

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