How to Cut the ELectric Bill – a Guide for the Average Family

If you’re like most people, next to your house payment, your electric bill is likely to be one of your largest monthly expenses. Many people wrongly assume that in order to significantly reduce their electricity consumption, that they need do something dramatic, like get new windows, or increase the amount of insulation in their attics. While these measures no doubt might help, it is a number of small changes and corrections that will make the most difference in the average person’s home. Examples of how to cut electric bill include the following:

  • Caulk and weather stripping around windows and doors.
  • Apply heat and seal plastic to single pane windows and use heavy drapes to keep heated and cooled air inside.
  • Pack insulation or foam core behind outside wall electrical plates.
  • Close the ducts in unused rooms and keep the doors shut.
  • Ensure that your filters are clean. If you have lots of dust and/or indoor pets, check your filters every few days. Vacuum as needed and replace weekly or monthly.
  • Install ceiling fans in rooms with high ceilings. Set them to run clockwise in the summer, and counter clockwise in the winter.
  • In the winter, turn your thermostat down at night and use a heated mattress pad or blanket.
  • Wash clothes in cold water
  • Consider switching to a gas dryer as opposed to an electric. A gas dryer takes very little electricity and dries faster than does an electric dryer. Only your oven uses more electricity than does your electric clothes dryer.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. The price of these bulbs, while higher, have come down significantly in the last year. The average LED bulb is rated to last over 20 years, and unlike CFL bulbs, are not hazardous to your health. LED bulbs are unbreakable.
  • Don’t preheat your oven.
  • Turn down the temperature on your hot water heater. Better yet, install a tankless hot water heater which heats the water only as you need it, to the precise temperature you set.

It is also helpful if you can convince the others with whom you live to adopt a conservation mindset. For example, if all family members turned off lights in rooms as they exit them, turn off computer monitors, turn off the television, radio, etc. and remembered to adjust the thermostat when leaving the house, the accrued savings are likely to be substantial.