We use a lot of electricity in the United States. The average American household expends 2.7% of income on its energy bills. A lot of us would like to know how to lower electric bills, what electricity provider is best, or whether new energy saving devices really work. If you’re looking at how to improve electric bills, read on for some useful tips.
Know Where Your Energy is Going
It’s important to know what you are expending electricity on before you can think about how to use less. Air conditioners, for example, are using about 5% of all the electricity that America produces. 22% of all our electricity goes for lighting, according to the Department of Energy. About 13% of electricity use in the average home is expended in heating water. Most of us, or at least most families, are spending about $2,200 each year on utilities, and there are a number of ways to bring that number down.
Change up Your Habits
There are lots of simple ways to lower your electricity usage before you even look into changing your electricity provider. To lower the bills on water heating, set the thermostat of your hot water heater down a bit, to something between 130 and 140 degrees. You might not be aware of it, but most of home electronics are still using power, even when turned off. Actually, a whole 75% of their power is consumed when they’re turned off. If you get in the habit of unplugging the television and your computers, you can help to lower your electricity bill. A programmable thermostat is a smart buy that could save you $180 a year in energy costs. It lets you lower the air conditioning use while no one’s home, but turn things back up in time for the house to be comfortable when everyone returns.
Be Smart About Lighting
lighting is a huge expense, so look into light bulbs that will provide you with the lighting you need, but not the power drain you don’t. A standard halogen light uses a lot more energy then an LED, for example. LEDs only use about 15% of the energy of the halogen while giving you 85% more light. If the house is older, you can also having the lighting retrofitted to make it more useful for your needs and more adaptable to modern energy saving bulbs.
Utilizing solar power is a great way to reduce your energy needs. Your household’s entire carbon footprint for a year could be reduced buy 35,180 pounds of carbon dioxide just by installing solar panels. The average savings when solar panels are installed is $84 a month off the electricity bill. These and other energy solutions are something your electricity provider can tell you more about.
Check Electricity Providers
The electricity provider you currently use may not be the best one for your needs. There may be choices for you in commercial electricity services, so it is worth checking to see if you can find a cheap power company. A good electricity provider can also give you tips about lighting retrofit, solar panel installation, and programmable thermostats that could help to lower your electric bills.
Electricity makes our modern lives possible and comfortable. Make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to energy rates.