The average family spends approximately $ 126.65 per month on their utility bills. That’s more than $ 1,500 a year. And when money is tight, cutting your electricity bill is one of the fastest ways to save every month. But if you are like many people you are not sure how to do this. We all have to use electricity, don’t we? We’ve rounded up some of the best free ways to reduce energy usage and save money on your utility bills (as well as some bonus tips to save on gas and water bills).
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Request a power audit
Many electricity companies offer a free audit that will perform a room-by-room survey of your home and check your utility bills to see where you are wasting energy. You can follow their recommendations to lower your electricity bill.
Even if your electricity company doesn’t offer this service, you can easily perform a DIY home energy audit using the instructions on the US Department of Energy’s website.
Change your thermostat setting
One of the easiest ways to cut your electricity bill is by setting your thermostat. According to the Ministry of Energy, you can save up to 10% on your heating and cooling costs by setting your thermostat at 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours a day. In other words, keep it a little warmer in the summer and a little cooler in the winter.
An easy way to do this is to adjust the thermostat when you are asleep or not at home. If you have a smart thermostat, you can set your thermostat to adjust during these hours so you don’t forget about it.
Turn off your water heater
Many water heater manufacturers set thermostats to 140 degrees. In reality, most households only need a maximum setting of 120 degrees. This unnecessarily higher setting can result in hundreds of dollars in losses.
By adjusting the temperature of your water heater, you can reduce these losses. The thermostat dial on your water heater is likely located near the tank bottom of the electric or gas control valve. Refer to the instruction manual for instructions on setting. If you have any questions, please contact a professional technician.
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Use your dishwasher
It may not sound intuitive to operate a device to save electricity costs. And yes, there was a time when dishwashers used a lot more water than they do today. However, the US Department of Energy regulates how much water modern dishwashers can use. Any dishwasher manufactured since 2013 must use a maximum of 5 gallons of water. If it’s a compact dishwasher, it’s limited to three and a half gallons.
You might think that you are certainly using less than 5 gallons of water to hand wash your dishes. But the USGS actually estimates that it takes 9 to 27 gallons of water to hand wash a load of dishes.
Take advantage of the off-peak prices
Electricity consumption tends to be higher at certain times of the day and year. First, the demand is higher in winter and summer when people operate heating and air conditioning. It is also higher during the day and evening.
Some electricity companies offer lifetime plans that increase tariffs during rush hour and lower tariffs during off-peak hours. If you have one of these plans, you can save money by running large appliances like a dishwasher and washing machine early in the morning or late at night.
Change your air filters
Your air filter helps trap dirt, dust, pet hair and more, and prevents them from getting into your air conditioner. If you don’t change your air filters regularly enough, this residue will enter your HVAC system and block it, reducing efficiency. According to the Department of Energy, replacing your filters on schedule can reduce the energy consumption of your air conditioning system by 5% to 15%.
There are many steps, big and small, that you can take to lower your consumption and save money on your bills. The Department of Energy has an entire section of their website that has tips on how to save energy. And while many of them come with a price tag, there are many more, just like the ones on this list, that you can do for free.
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