Demand for power this summer is expected to shatter previous records, ERCOT revealed in a What can you do about a high electricity bill? If your monthly energy costs in your Texas home are becoming an unpleasant surprise for you, relief can be found in your electricity usage.
Ways to Reduce Your Electricity Bill
1. Lower Electricity Bill: Do laundry in cold water and reduce the number of loads
Did you know that 90% of the energy the washing machine uses goes towards heating water? Save energy by saving your laundry until you can do a single large load instead of multiple small loads in cold water.
2. Lower Electricity Bill: Shorter showers
Less time heating water means less energy usage (electricity or natural gas). Sustainable showering can help reduce your carbon footprint, save water, and save on your electricity bill.
3. Lower Electricity Bill: Seals your windows and doors tight
Proper insulation goes a long way in keeping your nice cold air INSIDE the house where it belongs, especially during hot Texas summers. In winter, those seals keep the cold weather out and the heat in.
4. Lower Electricity Bill: Turn the Air Conditioner up when away from home… duh!
Don’t run the AC if no one will be at one to enjoy it! Save on your electricity bill by manually or automatically changing the temperature during peak times when no one is home.
Maybe use a dehumidifier in areas with high humidity. Dehumidifiers are a great tool to reduce the moisture in your home, which in turn reduces how hard your AC has to work and extends the life of your unit.
5. Lower Electricity Bill: Buy energy-efficient appliances
ENERGY STAR® is a government-backed symbol for evaluating if an appliance is energy efficient. When buying a new appliance, see if it is certified. Those appliances can reduce your overall kilowatt usage compared to non-certified appliances.
6. Lower Electric Costs: Monitor your AC air filters
Most of our electricity usage is through the AC. Remember to check air filters regularly to see if they need to be replaced in order to promote airflow and allow your HVAC to function properly.
7. Lower Electric Costs: Start using LED bulbs
Residential LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy and last up to 5 times longer than incandescent lighting. This is an easy win!
8. Lower Electric Costs: Use dimmer switches on your lights
Dimmer switches save electricity by reducing the flow of energy into the bulb itself. It allows lights to operate with lower outputs and allows full control over the luminescence.
9. Lower Electric Costs: Don’t be lazy… Turn off lights and unplug appliances when not in use
Appliances and devices like the television, desk lamps, overhead lighting, and consoles should be powered down when not in use. Appliances still generate a small amount of heat when plugged in, so you can save even more by unplugging them from the socket.
10. Lower Electric Costs: Have an energy audit done at your home
Check for air leaks, check insulation, inspect your equipment, review your lighting and appliance usage, and making a plan with the household to set goals for saving energy.
More Ways to Reduce Your Energy Cost & Electric Bill
11. Lower Electric Bill: Stay in one room
If you’re working from home, the key is to create a home office—and stay there. Concentrating your workday in one room lets you limit your electricity usage to that space: you’ll only need one fan, one lamp, and so on. If you’re working on a laptop computer, try not to keep it plugged in at all times. Instead, let the battery life carry you through the day until you need to charge again.
12. Lower Electric Bill: Isolate Heat
Turn off your oven and any unnecessary electronics that produce heat, like lamps with incandescent bulbs. This will help you use less power while also avoiding the warmth they can add to your living space. If you have a grill or cooking fire pit outside, use it, but if you must turn on the oven or stove, isolate its ambient heat by closing your kitchen off from the rest of your home. This can be as simple as closing some doors, setting up a privacy screen, or hanging a heavy blanket over any open areas. If you go for that last option, we recommend nailing the cloth up like you’re hanging a painting (the wood that forms the side of any opening should continue straight up to the ceiling)—tape can strip the paint off your walls.
13. Lower Electric Bill: Empty your outlets
Unplug anything you aren’t using. Even empty phone and laptop chargers draw a small amount of electricity from the outlets they’re plugged into—and the same goes for your toaster, kettle, video game console, and more. It adds up!
14. Lower Electric Bill: Dry your clothes outdoors
Clothes dryers use a huge amount of electricity. In fact, they can consume as much power as a fridge, a washing machine, and a dishwasher combined. Summer is the perfect time to forego your clothes dryer and hang your laundry outdoors to dry instead. Let the hot sun and fresh air do their thing, and save money while you’re at it.