There’s nothing worse than the shock of opening an electricity bill and discovering it’s sky-high. But unlike a phone bill that explains why your costs may have increased, electric bills often leave consumers in the dark. If you’re not sure of why your electric bill is going up, don’t despair. Below are five easy ways to get your electricity bill under control.
Get an energy audit. Many utility companies offer their customers free energy audits. These audits may include a walk-through of your home that allows an auditor to perform a visual inspection and point out areas of concern. Energy auditors will often offer simple, inexpensive suggestions like switching off power strips before leaving your house or switching to LED lighting.
Smarten up your thermostat. The average U.S. home spends about $900 each year on heating and cooling costs, according to EnergyStar.Gov. For households trying to cut energy costs, installing a smart thermostat can help by allowing family members to control temps remotely using their smartphones or tablets. Many even have sensors that can “learn” when you’re most likely to be out of the home and can even switch onto vacation mode when you’re away for lengthy periods.
Wash your clothes in cold water. Most of us learned that the only way to get certain items really clean was to wash them in hot or warm water. But now fabric experts and environmentalists agree that all machine washable fabrics do best in cold water. In addition to keeping your clothes spotless and helping the environment, you also stand to be saving up to $150 per year on your electric bill.
Clean your refrigerator coils. We all like to know it’s in a refrigerator but often fear to see what’s behind it. That’s because dirt, dust, and grime can accumulate in the back and prevent the coils from doing their job – keeping your fridge cool by dispersing heat. Experts suggest cleaning the coils twice a year using your vacuum and a dryer vent brush to remove debris from hard-to-reach spots. Regularly cleaning the coils can significantly reduce your electricity bill while extending the life of your refrigerator, too.
Run appliances at night. According to EnergyStar.Gov, some utility companies charge more for electricity used during peak daytime hours when there’s high demand. If your utility company’s rates go up during the day, it’s a good idea to run big appliances like your washing machine and dishwasher at night when rates are cheaper.
Keep in mind that changing your energy consumption habits helps both you and the planet. By making a few simple lifestyle adjustments you’ll be benefitting your wallet and helping the environment by reducing fossil fuel usage and conserving natural resources.