Eight Ways to Save Money on Electric Bill

Everyone’s always looking for ways to save money and lately with fuel prices skyrocketing, people are scrambling to have enough extra money to put in their fuel tank.

I’ve compiled a list of tried and true changes you can make in your life to not only save on your electricity and power bill but it’ll also help out the planet.

Think green and save some green.

The first step I took to reduce our power bill was to determine what areas used the most power.

In our home it was the dryer. During the summer months that’s an easy remedy. I hang clothes outside as often as I can. Everything from shirts and shorts and unmentionables to towels. Granted the towels were a little stiff but if you add one-half cup of regular table salt to the rinse cycle of your washing machine the crispness and stiffness aren’t so bad. The winter months provided a roadblock. Living in the north part of the United States we tend to get snow.

Our remedy…we put four clotheslines in the basement. With our wood furnace burning strong, the clothes dry within hours. I also hang a few unmentionables upstairs in the bathroom.

The second area I looked at was wastefulness. The old as time gripe people, mostly moms have, is leaving lights on in rooms when not in there. My remedy was to revoke Internet and television usage for offenders. Trust after two or three times of this, lights were being turned off at an alarming number.

The next step I took was to have the electric company come out to our house and do a maintenance and evaluation of our meter. You’d be amazed at what this little telephone call can accomplish. Making sure your meter is reading accurately can save you almost one hundred dollars a year. Break that down over twelve-months and you’ve saved yourself and your budget about nine dollars monthly. Not much but ever little bit helps.

We invested a little more into the new energy efficient light bulbs. I know they’re expensive…I shuddered at the almost ten dollar initial investment. But when I started receiving power bills and saw the savings I decided the extra money was well worth it.

Do you, or the kids, really need to have the television or radio on when you hammering away on the Internet? Turn one off. The rule in our house is to have one electrical device working at a time per person. Trust me…you won’t even miss it.

Other ways to cut your power bill are to completely shut down every computer in your house every night. Not only does this save money but it’ll lengthen the life of your computer’s fan unit.

When you’re not using your coffee pot, toaster oven, blow dryer or other small appliance; unplug it. Believe it or not this saves money too. Electricity still flows through the electrical plug…hence costing you money.

Try cooking once or twice a week instead of daily. Using your oven for five hours a day versus five days for and hour or two really does save money. Plus your conserving propane, fuel oil or natural gas. A cost savings all around.

Plan your menu out, buy your grocery items and spend one day cooking. You’ll be happy you did when you come from work exhausted and realize you don’t have to cook dinner…it’s already done.

Have one night a week without the television. Spend the time together and get to know one another. The time spent together is beneficial and healthy.

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  1. Very sensible ideas, good article

  2. I have been using the energy efficient lightbulbs for a few years now and I’m still amazed at how much lower my electric bill is because of them.And…..
    I have only replaced one bulb in 4 years.

  3. I already use some of the ideas but now will try some new ones.
    Good article.

  4. I already do most of these. gimme somemore!

  5. I have taken classes with the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children at Montclair State University which simply has me thinking more. That is one way to save on electricity simply think there a way I can save more money today? Or is there a different, better way to save money today? For instance, just this blog inspired me to think further about saving electricity. In my basement I have a dehumidifier which is on regularly and on some days there is low humidity. So I will adjust the system to work only when there is higher humidity. Secondly, My wife does not accept clothes drying on a basement hanger line because they end up too rigid and un fluffy. They dryer does fluff them up. But I can hand things on the line and THEN use the electric dryer. Because much of the dampness has come out of the clothes on the line it still reduces the time in the dryer. This might be the philosophy of American pragmatism.

  6. I USE MY DRYER VERY LITTLE AND HAVE AN OLD DRYER RACK. MY HOT WATER HEATER IS OLD AND HAVE TURNED DOWN THE THERMESTAT BUT IS STILL TO HOT. CAN\\\’T AFFORD A GAS ONE. MY HOUSE IS OLD AND ITS COLD IN HERE WITH INSULATION IN THE ATTIC AND UNDER THE HOUSE. SOME INSULATION ON THE SIDES BUT I DON\\\’T THINK IT\\\’S ENOUGH.

  7. First unplug all those little bricks for your unused and uncharging electronic gizmos. They transform power even if you are not using them.

    Second re-spin the clothes in the washer after the regular cycle to reduce drying time.

  8. Put a timer on your hot water heater. The water shuts on and off all day long. If you put a timer on so it only comes on twice a day for 1 or 2 hours at a time, you will save money. It took $10 off our electric bill! and we still have enough hot water for baths, dishes and laundry for a family of 4.

  9. hey, i am divorced and live alone, i do my own laundry which isn’t much at all i never cook and if i do i use the grill outside. i use one old skillit that i fix every thing in only got one fork and one plate so i don’t use much water for dishes never run the dish washer keep my heat set on 72-75 and i still get cold there is never any light’s on in the house i have the heat vent’s closed off in at least 4 room’s only time i watch t.v is to watch the news occasionaly i’ll watch a movie the only water i use is to bath and do a little laundry and flush the toilit i only use the one bathroom unless i have company. and my electric bill is still unreal my water bill on the other hand is real reasonable. so i think that the electric co. charge what they want to. but i am open to other suggestion’s

  10. Try cooking once or twice a week instead of daily. …maybe you might save on your electric bill, but don’t you think you will spend tons more at a restaurant?

  11. To Number 10 JIM: Call your elec company tell them you want a digital meter. Also you can do this:
    to see if the elec man is reading the meter you can put a note on the meter that says when you read my meter please bring this note to the front door. I did this my self and for two months the note didnt move, he was not reading meter just “guessing” based on older bills. also let the meter guys supervisor know whats going on, because when I called him out to read the note he knew it had been there two months. Good luck

  12. Compact fluorescent light bulbs have limitations. They work best in situations where lights are left on for extended periods. They have to warm up to work efficiently. If you put them in fixtures where lights get turned on and off frequently, the life of the bulb is greatly shortened and you may not realize the savings you thought you would. Also if you have a dimmer switch, compact fluorescent bulbs are not compatible with incandescent dimmers. You need to buy a much more expensive type of C.F. bulb that works with an incandescent dimmer switch, or buy and install a C.F. compatible dimmer switch. Good and Bad- not all good as you would be led to believe.

  13. What do you do if it’s your husband leaving the lights on? I don’t think he is going to go for the no T.V. punishment!

  14. Another great way to save on electricity is to run an extension cord to your neighbors house without them knowing.

  15. I don’t like the curly cue light bulbs. Hubby bought a multi-pack at home depot and put 3 into the 4 light ceiling light over the dining table. The old light has been in there 8 months and the 3 CF lights 2 months. Two of the 3 have already blown. The light is on for at least 5 hours twice a day, so it is not being turned on and off frequently, nor is it on a dimmer switch. There was no savings on my electric bill during those 2 months. I will use regular light bulbs until “they” perfect an energy efficient bulb that lasts as long or longer than a regular bulb and isn’t so expensive. I need to see “real” savings before I “go green” with my light!

  16. Check electric versus natural gas/propane in your area. In CA you can save a bundle by getting rid of that electric dryer for a gas one. I’ve saved over $500 since March of this year by switching dryer alone. Talk about a quick payback. Family of 4… Same for water heater and furnace.

  17. Get a Kill-O-Watt meter for $25 and you can figure out where your electric $ are going. It will surprise you what consumes the most (42″ plasma TV = 365 Watts, Subwoofer sitting idle = 65 Watts, etc). Well worth the investment.

  18. I too have bought the fluorescent go green light bulbs only to have three of the ten pack blow within a month or too.I have put them in every light socket in our home and have yet to see any improvement in our eletric bill.I have unpluged every unnessary item in our home and still nothing I have installed a digital thermostat and still nothing, It makes me think that the eletric company is not doing something right for me to have not seen any change with the things I have done. ???

  19. I almost didn’t post this but being an engineer, I have got to tell you that during the HEATING season, most of the energy saving ideas don’t work, they just shift the energy use from the electric bill to the gas bill or vice versa.
    The only real energy saving during the heating season is by reducing the temp in the exterior touching rooms, then keeping as much heat as possible inside. A touch of a good idea is the clothes line inside OR you can buy a $14 flapper that blows the dryer vent inside; it is free wonderful warm moist air if you’re drying anyway. Get a HUMIDIFIER for use in the winter(then turn the thermostat cooler) and a DEhumidifier for use in the summer(then turn the thermostat warmer). If you can’t afford double pane windows, get the “plastic wrap” kits for your existing windows – you’ll get the $ back in two months.
    By the way, if you’re NOT heating, do ALL of the energy saving ideas; CF bulbs, turn things off, cook less, etc.,etc.,etc. You will love the $$ results.

  20. Some of your ideas on saving borders on nonsense….I would like to know how a hair dryer that is turned off can consume electricity if it is left plugged in the wall outlet?

  21. As an electrician for more than 10 years, I can tell you that a toaster, hair dryer, or coffee pot (with no clock), do not use any power unless the appliance is turned on. The only power consumption used would be, if the toaster, coffee pot, or hair dryer had a clock or transformer built into them. As far as the plug in phone chargers (I call them wall warts), they consume power when they are plugged in, but you would have to have quite a few of them to make a noticeable impact on your power bill. Most power meters are designed for the long haul, and I have seen many that are over 30 years old, and only have a variance of less than 1% accuracy.
    I have touched on some of these things in my article: “10 ways to Save Money on Your Electric Bill.” Good tips though.

  22. My mom always uses the drying rack outside. it help us alot. The other month my mom got a new heating unit for the house and man is our electric bill gone down. and we dont have to pay to get the old one fixed over and over again. Usualy my dad will have the lights on. I always turn them off when he is in a different room. Once again saves very little but worth it. I used to take about 45 minute showers. the water bill and electric were high. then i started taking 15 minute showers. that saves electric and the water bills to. Thanks for the information i realy learned some ways to conserve energy. when i get an apartment or whenever i move out i will be sure to save as much money as i can. of course that wont be for another 5 years. but still the electric bills would be raised by then. Thanks

  23. Join the Navy and learn to take two minute showers! Even fifteen minutes is forever in a shower! Also, turn the water off while you’re lathering and shaving, if you shave in the shower.

  24. Good list, I’ve got quite a few of these on my series of 13 articles ‘Big Tips for Small Bills’Double Glazing your windows and cavity insulating your walls and loft (attic) works wonders in saving money also as we’ve found out.

    You are right about the energy saving bulbs also, they are expensive (we bought them one each month for all the rooms to spread the cost), but they do make a difference.

    Number 12, the author meant that you could cook in bulk and store in your freezer, not just cook 1 or 2 meals a week. I’ve mentioned this in my article as well. Twice a week, you’ll be defrosting meals which have already been cooked, which means you save on cooking.

  25. I had to laugh at #25. It brought back some funny memories. My father is ex-Navy, and he was always trying to teach us the “two minute” shower when we were kids.

  26. DO PLUGED IN ITEMS USE ELECTRICITY? I KEEP HEARING YES AND KNOW. WHAT HAS BEEN PROVED?

  27. I can’t hang my clothes outside because of allergies, but I love the solution of hanging them in the basement.

  28. First – you should get your facts straight before you tell everyone what they should do.People with alegeries cannot dry clothes outside.Electric companies have a basic rate they will charge you just to have their service. Water companies charge 3 time the amount for sewage ( in the sity) than for water usage. Again there is a basic charge for water service.
    You assume everyone has a basement. 90% of the senior citizen housing have no basements. If you cook once or three times a week you have to use your refigerator more, therefore it has to cool more, therefore it useses more electricity.
    You are a example of “lets put a bandaide on it and call it a savings”
    You must be a person of means because poor people in the US have been doing these things for years.
    And yet the government does not reward them or give them a energy tax rebat.
    What about all the jets that take off every day? About 40,000 in a 24 hour period.
    I have never heard the gov. say anything about the polution they cause. But my gas lawn mower, they want to ban that.
    Electric cars- no one has said what they are going to do with the batteries once they dont hold a charge. Spend more for a eletric car- no drive less!
    Buy food on sale-cut coupons.
    Lady get real. If I had more than one radio or computer I might listen to you. You obviously have you head where solar panels dont work.
    I’ve gotten laid off, am poor, so I have done more than you could ever suggest just to survive.

    2nd-

  29. I only turn on hot water heater 15 minutes every 2 days
    I only run furnace 30 minutes each morning. Space heater for the room I am in.
    Wash clothes in cold unless its whites. Everything except towels, washcloths are dried on a shower rod in the guest bath.
    This adds humidity to the dry winter air too.
    I also use energy saving bulbs.
    My power bill is half that of my neighbors who live in condos just like mine.
    Good luck

  30. No. 24—–45-minute showers? 45 minutes? Ohmigod, I would have thrown you out of the house? lol In my house, I am always screaming for my hubby and my son to turn the water off while showering. I do what no. 25 does. I initially wet myself, then I shut off the water, soap up and shampoo, and then turn the water back on to rinse. There’s really no need to have water running for 10 or 15 minutes, it’s wasteful, of both water and gas (if you have a gas water heater, as we do), expensive and you don’t get any cleaner. I could never understand why this hint isn’t included more in tips to save energy.

  31. If I stop to do all the things you are all suggesting I will not finish my daily workload. But I wont address all of those things. What i will address is the shower issue. Do you realize how much of this earth is water? Do you realize how much of your body is water? Water is the biggest part of our makeup. Water is cleansing and relaxing. A 5 minute shower does much more for me at the end or beginning of a day than fighting traffic to get to and pay for my chiropractor or a psychiatrist would ever do.
    This world will wind down at the pace it was created to. It wont end before each minute of its planned purpose is fulfilled. Rest easy y’all. Be good stewards of what we have, but dont freak out so much. For Pete’s sake, the Creator thought all of this out long before our little pea brained environmentalists got here and started messing with things.

  32. I built several years ago a home furnace where I burn my every day old newspaper and every garbage that is burnable including the ones from my good neighbours that collect me theirs magazines and disposible office papers and save in heating a hot water for all these years, know some companies sell new models that are more efficiency that my, go for one and teach your kids what you can burn and what dont.

  33. You have some good tips here, thank you.

  34. When my husband and I were first married he would turn off the ac/heat when he went to work. I would come home to HOT hot or cold. I told him I worked just as hard as he did and I would NOT suffer and if he didn’t keep his mitts off the thermostat I would quit my job stay home and THEN he’d have a bill to pay! It has been 20 yrs and he has behaved ever since. I am not a wasteful person I even recycle but I don’t drive a fancy car,go on fancy vacations or wear expensive clothes but I will not suffer from the heat or cold. Even if I didn’t have allergies, I don’t have the time to hang my clothes. Cooking once a week sounds like a great time saver. Doing what #36 says is what I do.

  35. To #30 I don’t think the author meant everyone should try this, these are just suggestions. Not everyone can do these tips. Allergies re hard enough without adding problems.
    For #10 If you cook 5-7 meals a week versus rushing home to cook or worse yet getting take out you’re saving money. Take the tips as they were meant to be…tips, not a copmplete way of life change.

  36. I just wanted to say a couple of things. I have learned a few things over the last few years regarding this subject. I am an American tha moved to the Netherlands in an international communtity for the last three years. Honestly, it was amazing to me how much it cost us to run our clothes dryer, it was incredible the cost. I learned that most of the people (from the netherlands and throughout the world) used their dryer much less or at all. My Australlian friend NEVER used her clothes dryer and her bills were next to nothing…me….a person who would like to think of herself as green used ours a lot and HUGE bills electric bills. I had to change. I started hanging the cloth diapers, clothes, towels, etc.. I too like the \”fluffieness\” so I would put the necessary things in the dryer for a few minutes after they were dry or mostly dry to get the effect of the dryer. Also, I don\’t know if it is true in the usa or not but electricity was 1/2 the price after 11pm-7am so we would run our load of laundry, dishwasher and dryer then before going to bed. I have recently moved back to the usa and will keep my new found electricity savings…honestly it isn\’t the most convienent but you get used to it and it becomes no big deal.

  37. Read Department of Energy Fact Sheet on Power Factor
    http://www1.eere.energy.gov/industry/bestpractices/pdfs/mc60405.pdf

    Most motorized home appliances (air conditioning units, refrigerators, freezers, ceiling fans, washers, dryers, dishwashers, pool pumps, vacuum cleaners, furnace blowers, etc.) operate most efficiently when they’re operating at full capacity. When they’re not working at full capacity they pull more energy than they use, wasting the difference.
    And let’s face it, rarely does any appliance or device in your home constantly work at full capacity. In fact, the average home in America today operates at a power factor of .77. That means 23% of the electricity being delivered to the home is being wasted by the use of motorized appliances working at less than capacity.

    You can increases that power factor, in most cases, to .97 or .98, therefore increasing the effective use of your electricity and lowering your usage.

    Research more at:
    http://www.SlowMyElectricMeter.com

  38. I read this article months ago and had to laugh- why would we need to save money. How was I to know a recession was coming- we’re both without jobs now and I have taken some of these ideas seriously. PLus he or she (the author) has some great other articles about living frugally, saving money and reusing. Thank you and I;m glad I remembered your article

  39. We received our electric bill yestrdy and I was furious. $175 for one month. Last year at this time it was $100. We are using the same amount of electricity then we were then so why so much. The electric/power companies greed. Green energy my butt- This was a 70-percent increase in 12 months time. Ridiculous.
    I’ll going to start monitoring our usage and seriously consider becoming Amish.

  40. Since the economy is so “crappy”, every little bit you can save is worth it. I have two young kids ( Ages 3 and 5), and we go through a lot of laundry, from them playing outside. since i can’t stop them playing outside, i have to deal with the fact of using the dryer. After i read this article I tried hanging clothes up in our basement next to our wood burner. The clothes kind of smelled like the wood, but they aren’t going to notice and besides we use it to heat our house, so it really isn’t that big of a deal. This summer i do planned on putting up some wires between our two trees in the back yard to make a clothes line. Thank you for the advice and I will be ready more of your articles.

  41. Great advice. Now is really the time to save money. Wish Ihad known this a year ago when times began getting tough.

  42. I love the advice about an inside clothesline. That’s a perfect solution when the weather is inclement.
    With the increases of electricity lately we’re all in for a rude awakening. It’s time to buckle down and start conserving.

  43. WHo would’ve thought that we’d need to be this particular. Two years agowe were living high on the hog and today we’re crumbling. Maybe the government agencies should take some of this advice instead of buying ice cube trays that cost $20 each. Let them shop at dollar stores .

  44. Awesome money-saving ideas. I’m going to use my dryer less.

  45. Another great way to save money on your electric bill is to install a run capacitor on your home. I have had one on my home for about 6 months now in south Florida, and have saved around 18% a month on my kilowatt usage each month. With my 400 dollar electric bill going down to roughly 330 dollars, the unit paid for itself in only a few months!! SaveOnElectricNow.com

  46. HeatingSave has been approved by the Government (Carbon Trust and DEFRA) to save on heating bills and reduce your business carbon footprint.

    HeatingSave will cut up to 30%+ off the fuel used by gas, oil and solid fuel heating systems whilst still keeping everyone warm. Particularly suitable for businesses, it replaces the boiler time clock of the existing central heating system with a microprocessor controller that constantly monitors the outside air temperature, boiler and room temperatures.

    If you would like more details please visit http://www.heatingsave.co.uk

  47. i think its weird that even though your not useing for example a hairdryer its still takind up energy!?!

  48. keyboardologist-It is nice to see someone who has worked as an electrician giving feedback on this topic. Unfortunately not everyone has the knowledge or know how as to what appliances suck up what energy! There are monitoring devices available that can track your power meters usage. They are called power cost monitors.

    Check them out http://www.bluelineinnovations.com

    I hope the site is helpful

  49. If you are interesting in saving money in your electry bill discover how in vdubon.joinambit.com and vdubon.whyambitworks.com

  50. Some things others haven’t mentioned. (1) went to second hand store & got 5 wool sweaters to wear around house (2) bought @ HDepot a 3-pack of magnetic vent covers to keep even more heat out of unused rooms ($4.50 for 3); (3) put rugs over tile floors (4) keep blinds/curtains closed during the day (5) kept old dryer, but got front-loader washer. It has an “extra spin” cycle that really dries out the clothes before hanging/putting into dryer…hang slightly damp jeans & sweatshirts overnight on rod in the bathroom.

  51. Florida Energy Conservation Advisors provide FREE Home Energy Conservation Evaluations for HOME OWNERS throughout central west Florida, including , Pinellas, Pasco, Polk , Hernando, Hillsborough , Manatee, & Sarasota Counties. This FREE Evaluation should result in substantial reductions from your current utility bills. Our National and State Governments along with local Utility Companies are providing Tax Credits, Rebates and other incentives to HOME OWNERS who reduce their Energy waste and Fluorocarbon Footprint. Please visit our website for more information on Energy Conservation by clicking on our name above.

  52. We also have a power strip on the computer so we shut all of it down when its not being used. We’re not the kind of people who get up at night so we just turn the heat down and use a lot of blankets.

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