Winter is here. And with it, shorter days, colder temperatures, and increased electricity usage and pricing. Electricity costs can quickly add up and become a significant expense for many households, especially when energy demand is high. According to a recent government study, U.S. residential electricity bills increased 5 percent in 2022 after adjusting for inflation.* But you already knew prices were up just from looking at your electricity bills. With the cost of electricity constantly rising, finding ways to reduce your electricity bill is crucial. Luckily, there are many simple and effective ways to save money on electricity. Here are ten tips to help you save money on your electricity bill and lower your energy costs.
- Install a programmable thermostat: Installing a programmable thermostat is a great way to save money on your electricity bill because it allows you to program your heating and cooling system to run at specific times. For example, you can set the temperature to lower when you’re out of the house or asleep, saving you energy and money. Many electricity utility companies offer rebates on these purchases.
- Unplug unused appliances: Unplugging appliances you’re not using is an easy way to save money on your electricity bill. Even if an appliance is turned off, it can still use energy if plugged in.
- Switch to LED: LED bulbs are much more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. They use less energy and last much longer. Switching to LED light bulbs may not show rewards immediately, but the savings will appear over an extended period. Another benefit: you won’t need to change bulbs nearly as often.
- Turn off lights when not in use: Leaving lights on when you’re not in the room wastes electricity and can add up quickly. Make it a habit to turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Take shorter showers: Taking long showers can significantly add cost to your electricity (or gas) bill. Reducing the length of your showers is a simple way to conserve energy used to heat the water. And you get the bonus of using less water, which helps your budget and the environment.
- Use fans instead of air conditioning: Summer air conditioning is probably the last thing on your mind today, but installing a fan now can help you decrease summer cooling costs. Fans use less energy and may be able to cool down a room as effectively as an air conditioner (A/C) or keep a room cool for longer after using A/C.
- Use solar power: Installing solar panels is expensive initially, but if you plan to keep your home for a while (break-even is 9-12 years on average, and their life span is 25 years), it can make sense financially. Check with local city and utility company programs to see if you qualify for discounts or rebates. One way to help you pay for solar is with a home equity line of credit (HELOC). We offer rates as low as 8.49% APR** when you have Direct Deposit.
- Wash your clothes in cold water: Most detergents work just as well in cold water, so you won’t have to worry about sacrificing cleanliness. Try to wash and dry full loads whenever possible.
- Seal air leaks: Air leaks can cause your heating and cooling system to work harder, resulting in higher electricity bills. Seal any air leaks around your home to save money when using the appliances.
- Install energy-efficient appliances: Replace your old appliances with newer, energy-efficient models with the ENERGY STAR label. Local water and utility companies often offer cash rebates when buying energy-efficient appliances.
These ten tips can save money on your electricity bill and lower energy costs. Implementing even a few of these tips can significantly affect energy costs.
And if you need funds to make some of these energy-efficient changes, always consider your Credit Union for a HELOC or a fixed-rate home equity loan. Unlike most lenders, we are not-for-profit and return earnings to our Members in the form of better rates than most banks and other for-profit financial institutions can offer.
*DeVilbiss, Jonathan, 31 May 2023. “U.S. residential electricity bills increased 5% in 2022, after adjusting for inflation,” eia.gov.
**APR = Annual Percentage Rate. APR is the annual rate of interest that is paid on an investment, without taking into account the compounding interest within that year. Rates are subject to change at any time. 0.50% Rate discount for $1,000 monthly Direct Deposit into a Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union Checking Account and Automatic Payment/Folio Deduction. There is a $500 refinance fee for Home Equity Loans booked within the last 12 months, unless $20,000 new cash is added to the loan request.