Two Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Electric Bill

No matter where you live, these two tips to save money on your electric bill will come in handy.

If you’re like me, no matter how hard you try to conserve energy, there are times when you look at your electric bill and your eyes bug out because of the cost.

Well, if you’re tired of your utility bills blowing a hole in your household budget, here are a couple of things you might try to tame your electricity use. In fact, these tips are so easy it’s almost a crime not to try them.

Low energy lighting

By now, most of us have gotten the word that compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are much more energy-efficient than incandescent light bulbs. That’s very true; they use about a tenth of the electricity. They also last about 5,000 hours, which is 5-8 times longer than an incandescent.

But if you really want to save on electricity, buy one of those newfangled LED bulbs. Admittedly, they cost at least 50 times more than an incandescent bulb (for the moment), but they also last at least 50 times longer–and use only 5%-10 of the electricity.

Ferret out phantom loads

Believe it or not, you can install low-energy bulbs and do else everything right, and still end up with a high electrical bill. Assuming your electric company didn’t raise rates suddenly (always a possibility), you may be getting hit by phantom power loads.

You see, some appliances and electronics chow down even when powered down. Power draw during “sleep” cycles, or even when a device is completely turned off, can account for up to 40% of a home’s energy use every month.

To avoid this, you can physically unplug each and every appliance, computer, charger, TV, DVD player, etc. when you’re finished using them, but this can get old real fast. Instead, connect them to a power strip and switch it off when the item’s not in use. That will cut off the flow of electricity completely.

Upshot

I realize that both of these tips are cases of spending money now to save money in the long term, but look at it this way: so what if you spend $50 today, if you save $300 or more next year?

That’s not an outrageous expectation if you’ll just institute these minor tips. And you know, I’m pretty sure you can find something to do with that $250+ you save on your electric bills!