Lowering your electric bill is in both your best interest and the Earth’s. Whether you’re cutting down on the amount of energy you use or obtaining your energy from clean, renewable sources, both your wallet and the environment will thank you. There are so many ways to save money on your electric bill and some are more feasible for some people than others. We hope to provide you with a comprehensive list of ways to save energy no matter your lifestyle or whether you live in a house or apartment.
Advancements in home technology are making it easier and easier to reduce your power bill and your energy consumption. Through a variety of monitoring devices and efficient products, you can cut your bill immensely without having to change your habits. Here are a few devices that will lower your electric bill:
* **Smart Thermostats:** The Nest Smart Thermostat is an incredibly easy way to save on electricity in the long run and is the top pick from [thewirecutter.com](http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-thermostat/). It learns about your HVAC use habits and decides the most efficient schedule to fulfill your heating and cooling needs. On Average, the Nest Thermostat [saved 10-12%](https://nest.com/thermostat/real-savings/) on heating and 15% on cooling and will likely more than pay for itself in the first two years of use. * Other great smart thermostats: * Ecobee4 ($247.95)- “The Ecobee4 has a responsive display, a remote sensor, and tons of smart integrations, including a built-in Amazon Alexa speaker. It is unmatched on the market.” -CNET * Honeywell Lyric T5 ($149.99)- “Honeywell's Lyric T5 maintains a low price for an impressive suite of automation features.” -CNET * **Smart Power Strips**: Smart power strips like the ones offered by [TrickleStar](https://www.tricklestar.com/products/tier2-advanced-powerstrip.html) are a great way to reduce the phantom load’s impact on your electricity bill. These devices reduce wasteful standby power used by electrical devices that are left plugged in all the time. Plug in your TV, computer or other high energy use devices to lower your bill every month. * **LED Light Bulbs**: LED light bulbs are another great way to see long term savings on your energy bill. While there can be a large upfront cost, your electric bill will be lower every month and after a few years, they will more than pay for themselves. * [Top rated](https://www.cnet.com/topics/smart-home/best-smart-home-devices/best-led-light-bulbs/) LED bulbs: * Cree 60W Replacement LED ($9.97) * Osram 60W Replacement Ultra LED ($5.59) * GE 16W LED ($9.20) * **Energy Star Appliances**: An energy star qualified appliance is one that uses 10 to 50 percent less energy than a standard one. Appliances generally make up 20 percent of a household’s energy use. Energy Star appliances save the average consumer [$80 per year](https://www.energystar.gov/ia/new_homes/features/Appliances_062906.pdf) in energy costs compared to standard household appliances * [Most efficient 2017](https://www.energystar.gov/products/most_efficient): * Medium Refrigerator: Frigidaire FFHI1831Q* (447 kWh/yr) * 50” Television: Samsung UN50J5500AF (66.3 (kWh/yr) * Large Clothes Washer: LG WM9500H*A (120 kWh/yr) * **Switches: **Another great but simple set of devices to cut down on your bill include dimmer switches and timed lighting. With dimmer switches you can choose to only use the level of light you need, cutting down on wasted energy when you don’t need things to be too bright. A lot of people also leave lights and appliances on when they are away for security reasons. You can still make it look like someone is home without having to drain your wallet! Timers for electrical devices are available to allow your devices to turn off at a specified time even when you aren’t around to kill the switch. If you like to leave a television on to make it look like someone is home there are devices that mimic the LED light from a TV and make your house look occupied to passers-by on the street**.**
While using energy efficient devices can lower your bill without requiring too many changes to your daily routine, there are a variety of techniques you can use to consciously reduce your energy usage and your electricity bill. Some of these require changing daily habits to make better use of the energy you use and to lessen the burden on your wallet and the environment.
- Insulating: Evaluating your home’s insulation needs is a valuable exercise in energy saving. You’d be amazed at the amount of heat that is lost in the winter and gained in the summer when your house lacks adequate insulation. Household insulation materials work to combat conductive heat flow keeping you comfortable without having to unnecessarily blast your heater or AC. Insulation is an investment that will help you save energy and money for years to come. With proper and efficient insulation in the right places in your house you can expect to save 10-50% on your electric bill. Here are a couple options for evaluating and improving the insulation in your house:
- Insulation is rated by what’s called an R-value or thermal resistance rating. The bigger the R-value, the more effective the insulation. Having a high R-value is especially important when insulating areas of your house that are tight on space.
- Picking an R-value to use can be specific to the climate in the region where your home is situated. The best way to choose the right insulation is to check out the Department of Energy’s insulation page or visit their Home Energy Saver online portal.
- Insulation can also benefit your hot water heater and pipes. R-8 insulated jackets for hot water heaters can help reduce heat losses by 25-45% saving you 4-9% in heating costs.
- Changing Habits: While no one really wants to have to change their habits to lower their bill, there are a couple of things that you can be conscious of in order to see some savings.
- Take shorter showers. This will prevent you from using too much hot water and lower both your water and carbon footprints.
- Maintain your air filters. Your HVAC system uses a ton of energy in your house and is a huge contributor to your monthly bill. By maintaining its filters you’ll be helping it to run more efficiently.
- Adjust your thermostat. If you can handle it, set your AC a bit warmer in the summer and your Heater a bit cooler in the winter.
- Do chores like washing dishes and running your dryer during off-peak times of day when the price of electricity is lower.
- Use your hotter appliances like the dryer or oven at times when it’s not hot outside. There’s no need to add more work to your AC by making your home warmer. Your wallet will thank you!
- Stopping The Phantom Load: Whenever your electrical devices are plugged in an outlet, even if they are turned off, they are still using power that gets charged to your electric bill. 5-10% of residual energy usage is from this standby power that we don’t even notice we’re using. This costs the average household $100 every year. You can use smart power strips to reduce this unnecessary energy usage or you can simply unplug devices that you are not using anymore. Smart strips are a great way to save energy wasted by the devices you use most or the ones that are difficult to disconnect from power.
One of the biggest steps you can take towards lowering your electric bill is to invest in a rooftop solar system. By sourcing your energy from the sun you can eliminate part or all of your electric bill. The amount you can save depends on how much you pay for electricity supply and delivery as well as your roof’s ability to house a functional solar panel set up. There are a few things to consider before setting up a rooftop solar system.
- Which direction is your roof facing?
- For best energy production and electric bill savings, you should set up your rooftop solar system on a south facing roof.
- Is your roof shaded?
- Shade on your roof will reduce its production and can be tough to overcome. If the shade is a result of other buildings you likely cannot do anything to combat it but if it is from trees you may have the option to trim them to your needs.
- When was your roof built?
- Depending on how long you plan to keep your rooftop solar system online, you will need to make sure your roof itself will not need to be replaced during its lifetime.
- Do you own your roof?
- You need to own your roof in order to invest in a rooftop solar system but you don’t need to in order to benefit from solar energy. Subscribing to a community solar program will give you savings on your electric bill without any installation on your roof.
If you want to learn more about your home’s ability to benefit from rooftop solar check out Google’s Project Sunroof. This web application can estimate your 20-year savings by evaluating your roof’s size and yearly sunlight. All you have to do is enter your address!