Simple tips on how to lower electric bills

Over the last year, there have been frequent increases in electricity tariffs, making it necessary to explore ways to reduce electricity usage so as to pay less.
Electricity Consumers lament 'crazy' Bills amid poor Power Supply | Nigeria  Electricity Hub

Over the last year, there have been frequent increases in electricity tariffs, making it necessary to explore ways to reduce electricity usage so as to pay less.

Things are hard enough as it is especially in a place like Lagos, and if you don’t plan to pay double, you have to adjust accordingly.

Although you would certainly pay more, knowing how to reduce your electricity usage in Lagos would do you a lot of good.

28 Ways to Save Energy and Lower Your Electric Bill - Swift Salary

Here are four ways on how to reduce your electricity bill:

To start with, you should know that for these tips to work for you; you need a prepaid meter installed.

Without a prepaid meter, your bill pretty much runs on estimates and leaves you with little room to contest its accuracy.

If you want to save power, start by getting a prepaid meter installed at home.

3 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Consumption - wikiHow

1. Remove all plugs and turn off switches:

Many don’t know this but turning off a device while leaving it plugged in does not cut off the power supply. The device still consumes residue energy called vampire or standby power. To avoid this, cut off power to a device by turning off the socket and the device’s power switch.

2. Replace all your bulbs at home with energy-efficient models:

Although non-energy-efficient bulbs are cheaper to purchase, they become more expensive in the long run to use. This is because they consume far more power than energy-saving bulbs.

For example, the average wattage of an ordinary bulb is around 60 to 200. However, energy-saving bulbs are as low as 7 to 11 watts. This means that one would consume more than ten times the other’s power; the choice is yours.

Also, it would help if you become more cautious with how long you leave your bulb on. Turn them off during the day, and when you want to sleep at night; especially your kitchen, toilet and bathroom lights. Only leave security lights on.

3. Limit your fan and Air conditioner’s runtime:

The ceiling fan is one of the home’s highest passive power consumers. You might not know it, but your fan practically runs all day and night, which significantly impacts your power bills.

One thing you can do is replace all your fans with energy-efficient models if you have the means. However, if you don’t have the energy-efficient model, simply regulate how long the fan runs.

The energy-consuming capacity of an air conditioner is well known. Keep it running for a day, and it would make a telling impact on your bills. A 1.5hp (1119watts) Ac running for 10 hours at a rate of N60 per kilowatt would cost you well over N30,000 alone. You can shuffle run time between your fan and air conditioner, depending on how many units you purchase per month. Limiting your fan to running only about 8 hours a day can save you hundreds of naira.

4. Revisit your refrigerator:

This is another appliance that consumes the most power at home. The average watt consumption of a refrigerator is 1200 watts per day (depending on the model), which means they consume one of, if not the highest power at home. You can reduce consumption by purchasing a smaller freezer, which is the more expensive approach or doing the following:

Move the refrigerator to an area with adequate air circulation, as it helps it become more power-efficient.

Your fridge should also be at least 2 inches away from the wall and not stand directly exposed to sunlight.

Another thing you should do is not stuff up your refrigerator. This reduces the overall efficiency of the unit because of the lesser space available for air circulation. It also means that the unit would draw more power to meet the demand. Ensure you defrost the fridge regularly too

Asides from the tips mentioned in this article, you should also sit down to study your home. If possible, create a list of all your appliances and their watt rating. Start trimming down consumption by replacing the device with a more energy-efficient model, or reducing its use.

50 Tips to Cut Your Electric Bill in Half - HomeSelfe

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of 50 ways—both big and small—to cut your electric bill in half. By employing these tips, you can accumulate big time annual savings!

1. Start with an Energy Audit

An energy audit will tell you how efficient your home’s energy usage is. You can enlist help from your utility company to conduct an energy audit. Many utility companies offer this as a free service. You can also do your own energy audit too. The main goal is to identify areas you can cut back on energy use.

2. Cut Out Phantom Energy

You are probably wondering what “phantom energy” is. Don’t worry, your home isn’t haunted, but it is sucking energy up like a vampire. Did you know that 75 percent of your energy use is caused by electronics that are turned off?

For example, your toaster could be sucking up 876 watts while on, but zero when off and unplugged!

Your TV, computer, Internet router, and kitchen appliances are making your electric bill higher. This is because they are continually working even while off. To cut your electric bill significantly, use power strips and turn them off when electronics are not in use.

3. Use Dimmer Switches

Installing dimmer switches is another great way to start reducing your electric bill. What makes dimmer switches unique is that they restart every 120 seconds, and the restart isn’t noticeable to the human eye. This essentially modulates how much energy is needed, saving energy and money!

4. Start Line Drying Laundry

Dryers are energy hogs, and cutting them out of your home routine can save you quite a bit of money. For instance, dryers consume between 1,800 watts to 5,000 watts per load. Instead of turning on the dryer, line dry your laundry to chop away at your electric bill.

How much can you save? Let’s say your dryer uses 3,000 watts per load, and you pay $0.10 per kWh. If it takes your dryer 30 minutes to dry a load, you are looking at $2.74 per month and $32.85 per year savings.

5. Keep Your Fridge and Freezer Full

You probably know not to leave your refrigerator or freezer door open—after all, when you open the door, cooled air escapes and your fridge has to use more energy to recondition the air. In fact, on average, open refrigerator doors count for up to 7% of its energy use.

But did you know that keep a full refrigerator can also help cut it’s electricity usage? How? Well, the food and drinks you stuff into your fridge and freezer acts as insulation, keeping your refrigerator from working so hard to cool things off. Energy saved!

6. Keep Refrigerator Coils Clean

Your refrigerator can suck up a lot of energy. A fridge can use anywhere between 201 kWh to 500 kWh per year, depending on the type of fridge you have.

Image via EnergyGuide.be

But you can decrease appliance energy loss by keeping coils clean, because dirty coils make your fridge work harder. Checking and cleaning them every three months can help cut electricity costs, and lengthen the life of your refrigerator too.

7. Install and Use Ceiling Fans

Air conditioner units are among the top energy consumers of any household. By installing ceiling fans, or using the ones you have can help circulate air throughout your home. This will ease the job of you air conditioner.

8. Get an Attic Ceiling Fan

While on the topic of ceiling fans, do you have one in your attic? You may notice how hot it gets in the attic or on the top floor of your home in the summer. Having an attic ceiling fan can reduce hot air and allow your home to be cooled faster.

9. Keep the Sun Out

Direct sunlight can quickly turn up the heat, especially in the summer months. By keeping the sun out, you can reduce air conditioner energy consumption. Close blinds and curtains on the sunny side of your home, or even using tinted window film to start cutting your electric bill in half.

10. Get Annual HVAC Maintenance

Your HVAC system accounts for a large portion of your electricity bill. According to Energy.gov, “Air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at an annual cost of about $29 billion to homeowners.”

To ensure your HVAC is operating efficiently, get annual maintenance done on it. The inspection can identify any wear and tear that could be causing your HVAC system to be working harder than needed.

11. Clean HVAC Filters

Cleaning your HVAC filter also promotes efficiency. Cleaning or changing your HVAC filter every 30 days can help you cut electricity costs.

A few helpful filter-changing tips include:

  • Panel Filters – Replace every 30 days
  • Pleated Filters – Replace every 3 to 4 months
  • Media Filter – Replace every 6 months
  • Permanent Filters – Clean once a month

The added bonus is that your home will also have cleaner air flowing through it. This is a definite bonus during allergy season!

12. Turn Off Your Stove

This is an easy tip to implement to help cut electricity costs. When you use your electric stovetop or oven, turn it off a few minutes before your food is done. The heat built up can continue to cook your food while you cook off a few dollars a year from your electric bill.

13. Use LED Lighting

LED lights can reduce your lighting energy consumption by 90 percent. This can save you quite a bit of money long-term!

Image via EnergyGuide.be

You don’t necessarily need to replace every incandescent bulb in your house with an LED one, just the major rooms in your home.

14. Wash and Dry Dishes by Hand

Eliminating your dishwasher can save you money. However, it all depends on how much water you use, and the temperature of the water. Cutting down on any appliance use in the kitchen will ultimately help you cut your electric bill in half. It is just important to understand the alternative costs.

15. Turn Off Dishwasher Heat Dry

If you can’t ditch the dishwasher, or if washing dishes by hand is not as cost-effective as your dishwasher, you can still cut electricity costs. To maximize energy savings, turn off the heat dry selection on your dishwasher. This can reduce energy needed to heat water.

16. Insulate Electrical Outlets

Did you know your electrical outlets and switches could leak heat and let in cool air? To maximize your heating and cooling efforts, insulate those outlets and switches.

This is actually a pretty easy way to cut electricity costs. Buy a pack of electrical outlet sealers and install them behind outlets and switches. Want to go the extra mile? Place child-safety plugs into outlets after insulation is installed.

17. Install Storm Doors

Storm doors can save you a little bit on your electric bill. Installing them also makes you eligible for a $500 tax credit. The average storm door costs around $200, but if you only need two or three of them, the tax credit alone makes it worth it.

18. Do Energy Saving Landscaping

There is a lot of focus inside the home when it comes to cutting electricity costs. However, you can take energy saving outside too. How? By doing a little energy saving landscaping.

Planting trees to shade your home and your air conditioning unit can help naturally insulate your home, thus saving energy on heating and cooling. Decreasing the amount of rock and cement is also another great way to combine landscaping with energy efficiency.

19. Lower Your Hot Water Heater Temperature

Want to cut your electric bill in half? How hot is your water? Did you know that water heating accounts for over 1,000 kWh of electricity consumption per year?

Image via ShrinkThatFootprint.com

Around 13 percent of your home’s electricity is associated with heating water. To cut some of this energy consumption, set your water heater to under 140 degrees.

20. Use a Tankless Hot Water Heater

While on the topic of water heating, you can cut your electric bill significantly by switching to a tankless hot water heater. In fact, a tankless hot water heater can save you $100 per year, according to ENERGY STARr.

Image via Energy.gov

If your hot water heater is in its golden years, think about replacing it with a tankless one to reduce electricity costs.

21. Leverage Off-Peak Rates

Some cities and towns offer reduced electricity rates during certain hours of the day (off-peak hours). If you capitalize on these off-peak rates, you can shave a little off your electric bill. For instance, do your laundry or run your dishwasher during these hours.

22. Buy ENERGY STAR®  Appliances

When it’s time to replace appliances, purchasing ENERGY STAR models can help you cut electricity costs long-term. For example, an ENERGY STAR Washer can cut water usage per load by 10 gallons.

Image via Energy.gov

That is 10 less gallons of water your washer has to heat. Other ENERGY STAR appliances include, refrigerators, dishwashers, dryers, air conditioners, freezers, heat pumps, and more. Many of these products are also eligible for ENERGY STAR rebates and tax credits, too.

23. Use Cold Water for Laundry

Do you do your laundry using hot water? This is not uncommon, but it is also a cause for higher electric bills. Your washer’s energy consumption can be 90 percent less if you use cold water instead of hot. This is due to the decreased cost in heating the water. A cost saving method to definitely consider!

24. Do Only Full Laundry Loads

Speaking of laundry, one easy way to make a dent in your electric bill is to only do laundry when you have full loads ready. This will decrease the amount of loads you do, as well as cut energy consumption.

25. Go Low-Flow During Showers

Less water flow during showers means less water to heat. This makes installing low-flow shower heads an easy way to start cutting your electric bill in half.

Traditional shower heads flow at about five to eight gallons per minute. A low-flow shower head flows at around 2.5 gallons per minute with some as low as 1.6 gallons per minute.

26. Use a Programmable Thermostat

Controlling your home’s temperature is an essential way to cut electricity costs. By using a programmable thermostat, you can use less energy when you’re at work, sleeping, or out for the weekend. If you require an upgrade or maintenance on your boiler you can contact EmerGenie for emergency plumbers.

27. More Blankets!

Winter months can drive up heating costs. As we mentioned earlier, one of the easiest ways to cut seasonal electricity costs is to simply use more blankets instead of cranking the heat while sleeping.

28. Empty the Dryer Lint Trap

Do you scrape out the dryer lint before doing a load of laundry? Built up lint can make your dryer less efficient, sucking up more energy. Clean out the lint and scrub the lint trap filter with soap and water every few months to keep your dryer from overworking.

29. Buy Some Dryer Balls

It’s no surprise that running your dryer less will help you cut electricity costs. Dryer balls are great for cutting drying times. In fact, dryer balls can cut drying time by 25 percent. If line drying your clothes is not possible, dryer balls are a great energy saving alternative.

30. Install Motion Sensors

Lighting can drain energy fast, and it can be annoying to keep turning lights on and off as you move around your home. Installing light motion sensors can help. Light motion sensors can be used inside, as well as outside.

Motion sensors can help you shave a few dollars off your monthly electricity bill, especially if you pair motion sensors with LED lighting.

31. Employ Smart Strip Surge Protectors

To keep your electronics and appliances from using energy while turned off, but still plugged in, use Smart Strip surge protectors. These intelligent power strips will turn off power to plugs when things are off. This can help you eliminate those phantom loads.

32. Use a Water Heater Timer

Your water heater will heat water regardless if you need it. This is definitely an area you can save some money. A water heater timer allows you to set heating times for when you actually need it. This can reduce your hot water electricity costs by as much as 12 percent.

33. LED Night Lights Instead

If you use nightlights, it’s time to switch them out for LED nightlights to save you money. For instance, an LED nightlight only costs 25 cents per year. They also normally last a lifetime.

34. Install Outdoor Solar Lighting

One of the best ways to shave money off your electric bill is to not use electricity at all. This makes outdoor solar lighting beneficial. They soak up solar energy during the day, and then light up the outside of your home at night for free. Does it get any better than that?

35. Cover Refrigerated Food and Drink

Did you know that condensation makes your refrigerator work harder? Covering food and drinks before placing them in your fridge cuts down on the cool moist air your fridge needs to try to keep cold. Less moisture, less energy consumed. Your food will also taste better later if covered, so a win-win.

36. Only Put Cooled Food in the Fridge

Another way to keep your fridge from working too hard is to let your food cool before storing it in your fridge or freezer. Why? Well, warm food will actually raise the temperature, causing your refrigerator to kick into high gear to regulate it.

37. Do Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Keeping your water heater working efficiently will definitely save your money on electricity costs. Doing hot water heater maintenance can make this happen. One main issue is sediment build up, so draining the sediment using the side valve a few times a year can be beneficial.

38. Insulate Your Hot Water Heater

Next time you’re planning water heater maintenance, think about adding some insulation too. Insulating your water heater can improve efficiency and decrease electricity costs (up to $30 a year). You can even insulate the first six feet or so of water heater piping to go the extra mile in cutting household energy consumption.

Image via TheGreenScholar.com

39. Properly Insulate Your Home

Speaking of insulation, is your home properly insulated? According to the Department of Energy, “Properly insulating your home not only reduces heating and cooling costs, but also improves comfort.”

Since 50 percent to 70 percent of energy consumption comes from heating and cooling your home, you may want to ensure it is as efficient and cost effective as possible. Proper insulation can do just that.

40. Use Weather-Stripping

Weather-stripping is another tactic that can help you cut your electric bill in half. First you should go around your home and identify any gaps between windows and doors. Next, seal them to improve your heating and cooling costs. In fact, weather-stripping can decrease heating and cooling costs by up to 20 percent.

41. Insulating Paint

If it is time to paint the inside or outside of your home, consider using insulating paint. Insulating paint can help reduce your electricity costs by keeping heating and cooling efforts efficient.

Insulating paint was found to have a 20 percent reduction in heat gain on freshly painted walls exposed to direct sunlight. There is also an additive you can add to regular paint to make it of the insulated variety.

42. Put that Second Fridge or Freezer in the Basement

Moving your second fridge or freezer to the basement is an easy energy saving tip you can literally do today. That is, if you have a basement. Most homes will have a second fridge or freezer in the garage. However, the poor insulation and changing temperatures can cause that fridge or freezer to work harder, thus running up your electric bill.

If you really want to cut your energy usage, however—get rid of it entirely.

43. Use Lids When Cooking

Another simple way to start cutting your electric bill in half is to cook with lids. No surprise that food will cook faster when covered, and the faster food cooks, the sooner you can turn off your stove to save energy.

44. Stop Preheating Your Oven

We’ve all done it—in fact, many recipes require it! But contrary to popular belief, food that requires lengthy cook times doesn’t actually need or benefit from a preheated oven. Food for thought when reducing electricity costs.

45. Get More Use Out of Your Microwave

Microwaves can actually be very useful for cutting your electric bill in half. For one, microwaves use less electricity. For example, a microwave uses around 1,200 watts. An oven uses around 2,400 watts.

If you cook something for 30 minutes in a microwave at 10 cents per kWh per day, your monthly cost is $1.83. If you use an oven, you will pay double. Microwaves also do not heat up your home, which is good if you are trying to reduce cooling costs in the summer.

46. Turn Your Lights Off

This is a must if you want to cut electricity costs. Turning off your lights will reduce energy consumption related to lighting, as well as energy consumption used to cool your home. This is because most light bulbs produce heat, even CFL bulbs.

47. Do Maintenance on Ducts and Vents

Your ducts and vents can leak air and cause your electric bill to be much higher than needed. You can have air leaks in torn ducts, leaks near the furnace, or poorly sealed vents.

Image via AllQualityAir.com

Doing duct and vent checks yearly will help you identify any leaks and fix them. This can help you save big on your electric bill.

48. Turn Off Your Refrigerator Ice Maker

Did you know that you could decrease your refrigerator’s energy consumption by turning off its ice maker? That’s right. By eliminating the ice maker you can decrease your fridge’s energy use by as much as 20 percent.

49. Regulate Refrigerator Temp

You may think that the lower your refrigerator temp is set, the less energy consumed. However, this is not the case. Lower fridge settings can actually increase your electric bill.

The ideal refrigerator temp setting should be between 37 degrees to 40 degrees for most efficient use. This is a quick and easy tip to shave money off your electricity costs.

50. Cut Back Ironing Time

Did you know that an iron uses 800 watts to 2,000 watts? If you iron daily, you could be adding nearly a dollar to your electric bill every month. If you have to iron, try not to let your iron sit for too long when warming up, and be sure to maximize ironing time by doing all your clothes for the week in one sitting.

Cut Your Electric Bill in Half Starting Today

Not all the above tips will significantly reduce your electric bill on their own. However, by implementing a number of these energy saving tips together, you can eliminate a large chunk of your electricity costs.

Start with the easy ones and work your way up to the big projects. With a few lifestyle changes and elbow grease, you can be well on your way to a much lower electric bill.

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