Do you ever feel like your electricity bill sneaks up on you? These tips will help cut down your usage, so you won't freak out when the electric bill arrives.
Tip 1: Pull the Plug on Appliances
Even when you’re not using appliances, they still continue to use energy. So pull the plug when you’re done with the blender, toaster, food processor, even your television—everything except appliances that need constant power to preserve a special setting.
Tip 2: Insulate Your Outlets
Did you know that you could be losing warm (or cold) air through your electrical outlets? We placed some fireproof foam insulation under our outlet covers and switch plates, and were able to save several dollars a month on our utility bill.
Tip 3: Turn off Unused Electronics
One of the easiest ways to save money on electricity is to turn off electronics when you’re not using them. To make it easier, get a power strip like the SmartStrip, which powers down devices based on the device’s usage. For example, when you switch off your computer, the SmartStrip will cut the power to your monitor, printer, and scanner as well.
Tip 4: Use Lighter Paint
If you’re trying to decide between deep or baby blue for your walls, you should know that lighter colors of paint well help you use less energy, as they reflect the light and heat in a room better than darker hues.
Tip 5: Be a Night Owl
You may not realize that most electric companies charge more for power during the day than at night. Contact your local utility to find out whether this is the case in your area. If it is, make sure to do all your laundry, dishwashing, internet surfing, and other power-intensive tasks during off-peak hours. We noticed the difference on our electric bill, and you will, too.
Tip 6: Use Jars for Heaters
Here’s a neat trick for keeping your house warm without spending a cent in the fall and spring: Pour water into mason jars or glasses (we use cleaned-out salsa jars with their labels removed), and line them up along your windowsill. During the day, the sun will warm the water, which will gently warm any air getting through your window at night. To make the jars even more decorative, add ribbons and bows, or add food coloring to the water for some pretty windowsill reflections.
Tip 7: Watch Out for Cordless Phones
Especially if it’s an older model, your cordless phone can use a lot of electricity. Keep your energy bills down by making sure you dim the lights on the display (if possible), and by not cranking up the volume, which can force the phone’s amplifier to work twice as hard.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.