Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Saving money on your electric bill

I honestly think my electricty is the hardest thing for us to control on our budget. We are such a highly powered society. From Laptops to Video games we are always plugged in and in touch with the best technology has to offer. That comes with a price however, and that is your rising electricity costs. Saving money on your electricity goes far beyond what our parents used complain about. "turn off the lights" and "I'm not paying to aircondition the outdoors" are all good things to be careful of, but there are many more energy saving tips out there that will save you some serious cash.

-Change your lightbulbs to those cute little swirly ones. They are expensive in the beginning but will save you a ton of cash both in replacement costs as well as your monthly bill. Just start with the ones you leave on all the time (ie, hallway lights, or bathroom lights) and then replace the others as they run out. There is no sense in replacing perfectly good lightbulbs unless you need to. One more thing to watch is that the majority of the energy efficent bulbs cannot be used with a dimmer switch. If you have one, make sure that you are using the correct lightbulb for it.

-UNPLUG. This is a biggie and a huge challenge for me. Honestly in my mind it makes no sense that things that arent on drain energy. But that is exactly what happens. By unplugging you are preventing phantom energy drains. So at night, unplug that television, computer and that large mass of chargers plugged into the wall and see if it makes a difference in your bill. Its a pain, but if it proves worth it, I will continue to do it.

-Relplace your appliances with energy efficent ones. As appliances break down (and we all know that they do) make sure you are taking the energy labels into consideration. Not only will these energy efficient appliances save you money on your electric bill, but many times they can be a great tax deduction as well

-Install a programable thermostat. This is one thing that is on our to do list. The idea is that the temperature goes up or down depending upon what time of day it is. It can be chillier at night when you are all snuggled under the blankets in the winter, or warmer during early morning hours before it gets hot and sticky in the summer. Try lowering your thermostat by 1-2 degrees and you will see a significant difference on your bill each month.

-Keep your air filters clean. Your air conditioning system can only perform at peak performance if you air filters are clean. By optimizing its performance, you can save money by running it less.

So tell me, what ideas do you have for saving money on electric???


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