If you’re looking to go green with your energy use or just wondering how to save on your electric bill, there are a variety of steps you can take, both small and large. In many cases, just a small lifestyle change can have a big impact on what you pay for utilities each month.
We’ve put together a few of the best ways to save money on your electric bill so you can implement just a few or all these ideas to conserve your energy and finances.
1. Install insulation in your home
One of the biggest energy losses in many homes is cold air escaping in the summer or warm air escaping in the winter. Proper insulation can prevent both these issues, as well as keep your home more comfortable in every season.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average homeowner can save as much as 15% on heating and cooling costs by adding insultation throughout the home, specifically in places like attics, crawlspaces, and the basement rim joists.
2. Properly insulate your floors
In addition to attics and crawlspaces, the floors of your home can account for a significant amount of heat loss in the colder months. Older homes are often not properly insulated, which means heat could be escaping through your floors, making it more expensive to heat your house. Consider installing foam insulation and plywood floated subfloor under your carpet to ensure you’re not losing heat.
3. Unplug unused appliances
A simple and effective way to save on your energy bill is to unplug electronics that are not in use. Electronics and appliances that are plugged in never truly turn off and are in fact always using power to some extent, even on standby mode.
While you can’t unplug large appliances like your refrigerator, you can avoid an extra drain on your electricity by unplugging smaller kitchen appliances, such as toasters and coffee makers, as well as electronics like computers and televisions, when they’re not in use.
4. Install smart plugs
Similar to a smart thermostat, smart plugs allow you to control energy use in your home from afar. These plugs identify so-called “energy vampires” in your house—appliances and electronics that are using energy even when turned off or in standby mode. Smart plugs allow you to turn these items off when not in use, so you can save energy and reduce your electricity bill.
5. Switch out your light bulbs
Energy-efficient light bulbs can help you save as much as $100 on your electric bills annually. Plus, they don’t need to be replaced nearly as often as traditional incandescent bulbs, which will also save you money in the long run.
6. Invest in a smart thermostat
A smart thermostat allows you to manage your heating and cooling, even when you’re not at home. You can set the AC unit or heater to turn on at specific temperatures at certain times of day, or to turn off when no one’s at home, making a smart thermostat a great way to save money on your electric bill.
7. Upgrade your appliances
Energy-efficient appliances are a significant investment, but they can potentially save you hundreds on your electric bills over time. When shopping for new electronics, look for the ENERGY STAR® emblem to find products that could help make your home more energy-efficient and save you money on utilities.
8. Get an energy efficiency audit
If you’re not sure how to save on your energy bill, you can actually have your home audited to see where you’re losing the most energy. Knowing this information can help you more easily develop a plan for reducing electricity use and making your home more energy efficient.
9. Update to copper-bottomed cookware
Looking for how to save on your electricity bill at home? Stainless steel and Teflon pots and pans are actually not your best cooking option for saving energy. Copper transfers heat better than stainless steel, which means you can use less energy when cooking.
10. Upgrade your water heater
Your water heater doesn’t need to run all day, only when hot water is needed. A smart water heater can be programmed to adapt to your specific needs, so you never use more water than just what is necessary.
Similarly, a tankless water heater only heats water in time for use, as opposed to having a reservoir of hot water waiting for you to use. Both options can help you save money and energy in your home.
11. Invest in solar panels
Switching to solar power is a big investment that can often provide huge dividends over the years to come. You can potentially save on your electric bill by utilizing solar power to power your home and even your electric vehicle. How much do solar panels save on electricity bills? Learn about solar energy and how it can make your home more energy efficient.
12. Add at-home wind power
Just like solar power, wind energy is a power source with all the benefits of renewable energy, including potentially much lower costs on your electric bill. Learn about wind energy and its benefits.