how to cut your electric bill in half

Five tips to cut your electric bill in half

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As electricity prices rise over time, finding ways to cut your electricity bill is increasingly important. Here are our top five tips to cut your electricity bill and see instant monthly savings.

1. Install rooftop solar

The best way to eliminate most (or even all) of your electricity bill is to install solar panels on your property. Although the upfront cost to buy a solar energy system is high relative to other possible bill-cutting actions, the long-term savings from a solar installation are many times higher than other solutions offer. This is because having your own solar panels allows you to produce your own electricity, rather than buying it. If you want to avoid paying upfront for solar panels, there are many ways to finance your solar panel system and still enjoy the benefits of solar.

Electricity rates generally increase over time, and having self-generation capabilities through your solar installation allows you to remove yourself from the yearly cycle of increasing electric bills. Increasing electricity prices means that with a solar panel system on your property, you are increasing your savings every year, assuming that your home energy usage stays the same. 

2. Purchase an ENERGY STAR HVAC system and appliances

Devices with the ENERGY STAR label are certified by the federal government to consume less energy than standard appliances. One of the most impactful ways to incorporate ENERGY STAR products into your home is to upgrade your HVAC(heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. ENERGY STAR gas furnaces have separate specifications based on where in the U.S. you want one installed, and can save you 12 to 16 percent on your heating bill. Purchasing an ENERGY STAR central air conditioning unit can save around 8 percent when compared to conventional models. Lastly, upgrading your ventilation system via the network of ducts distributing your hot and cold air throughout your house can lower heating and cooling expenses up to 20 percent.

ENERGY STAR appliances usually cost 9 to 25 percent less to operate than conventional products. Washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, and dehumidifiers are just some examples of the types of ENERGY STAR certified products available. ENERGY STAR appliances reduce energy usage by both lowering electricity use and reducing water use, which reduces the amount of energy used to heat water.

3. Use other energy efficient products (bulbs, power strips, low-flow shower heads)

Many of the products we use in our homes are functional but inefficient. Common household items such as incandescent light bulbs, power strips, and light switches can all be upgraded for a low cost to greatly reduce electricity consumption. For example, using an LED light bulb instead of a conventional incandescent bulb uses at least 75 percent less energy and lasts a remarkable 25 times longer. Multiply those savings by all of the light bulbs in your home, and the energy savings begin to pile up.

Aside from light bulbs, products like advanced power strips, low-flow shower heads, and motion sensing dimmer switches all offer upgrades over conventional home tools to reduce your energy usage (and thus your electricity bill) without changing your lifestyle or habits much, if at all.

4. Weatherize and insulate your home

When you weatherize your home, you seal air leaks around it, which can help greatly reduce the energy you need to use to keep your home heated or cooled. Common areas for leaks are vents, windows, and doors, and they can all be weatherized to significantly reduce air leaks. This is done with caulk on stationary objects (window frames, walls) and with weather stripping on moving objects (doors, operable windows).

Beyond weatherizing, you should fully insulate your home to help retain heat in the winter and keep heat out in the summer. Depending on where you live and the area of your house you are insulating, you will need different types of insulation. Some of the most common areas to insulate are your attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawlspaces. By insulating your home properly, you can make heat and air conditioning last longer, and use less electricity through the powering of your HVAC system.

5. Think about energy savings daily and adjust your routines

Actively thinking about your home energy usage is one of the simplest ways to cut your electric bill, and it doesn’t involve spending any money up front. When you leave a room, remember to turn off the lights. During the day when you might not be at home, turn your thermostat off and turn it back on once you get back. Wash dishes by hand instead of constantly loading and running your dishwasher.

There are many ways to cut energy spending at home, and it all starts with recognizing where you can make small adjustments to your lifestyle. By changing small, seemingly unimportant parts of your daily routine, you can begin to cut away at your electric bill, until stressing about utility payments each month becomes a thing of the past.

Generating your own electricity is the first step to cutting your electricity bill down to zero

Going solar is one of the most effective ways to reduce or eliminate your electric bill, and you should make sure you are getting several quotes from reputable installers before you decide to move forward. Visit the EnergySage Solar Marketplace to solicit quotes from installers in your area and begin comparing options.

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Categories: Environment and Clean Technology

About Jacob Marsh

Jacob is a researcher and content writer at EnergySage, where he focuses primarily on current issues–and new technology!–in the solar industry. With a background in environmental and geological science, Jacob brings an analytical perspective and passion for conservation to help solar shoppers make the right energy choices for their wallet and the environment. Outside of EnergySage, you can find him playing Ultimate Frisbee or learning a new, obscure board game.

7 thoughts on “Five tips to cut your electric bill in half

  1. Jerry F Olson

    Go to double pain windows and sliding doors at a min. Triple pain is best.

    Somewhat expensive. But without this option you are really wasting you time. Recently did this in my 1985 home and it lowered my electric bill from $348 to $290. That’s $42 a month or $504 a year. You don’t have to do the whole house at once. Do two windows at a time and start on the south side. 5 years down the road should cover most homes.

    Remember Electric companies are all about raising rates every year. You need to lower cost every year.

    Insulate, Insulate and insulate. Good return on investment.
    100% LED lighting, and due it now.

    Weather striping. Good Idea, Low cost.

    As for Energy Star. This is somewhat of a bogus entry in all these articles. You can’t buy a new appliance that isn’t rated. But all these articles tout Energy Star. Unless you are buying used appliance your getting some kind of energy star appliance. Buy the best you can or highest rated.

    The heating/AC is expensive to change out. But if maintenance has become high and you need to change get an efferent Energy Star rated unit. Same with refrigerator and dishwasher. I read somewhere to hand wash dishes.
    So let me think about that. Lower you standard of living to save a few bucks. I’m not into cheap that much.

    And finally add Solar.
    That’s almost all you can do. You will lower you electric consumption and cost.

    My house is set on 72 degrees 24/7/365 and I live in Scottsdale Arizona.

    Water heater. Bottom line. If you have gas, tankless is the way to go. Electric, not so much. Probably no benefit and maybe cost more than your tank heater.

    Pool pump. If you have 210 at the pump motor the new generation two stage pump and motor is the only way to go. Filter you pool in 4 hours instead of 8 pushing more water and and at a lower cost.

    110 stick with what you have. Two stage pump and motor almost no benefit at $1,500 cost which should includes installation.

    The cost of all of the above: $25,000+-. (Note: AC and Refrigerator replaced due to failure, so not included in cost. Add $6,000)

    There is one other possibility to explore. Install a propane home generator to use during the peak usage months (part of Nov. Dec, Jan, Feb – part of June July Aug). You can’t sell that generated power to the electric company but you could power your home and maybe cheaper than buying power.

    The above is what I found by doing this and working through the problems. Not just talking about it.

    Getting ready right now to add the solar.
    Tip: Look for a company that dosen’t up charge every year on the solar you lease. Your just getting rid of one up charge company for another.

  2. Rose Brock

    I don’t have a ice box my t.v. just went out I use a box fan I in plug my microwave when not in use and my elec Bill is still high I lowers the water heater down to 120 I can’t think of any thing else to do I need help

  3. Auto Garage

    Everything listed is an investment for the future, it saves you in the long run. My electric bill was $600 a month at my business. so in one year I spend $7200 on electric. I invested into solar and had panels put on roof. It was a $19,000 investment up front, received a 30% tax rebate of $5700 and pay $0 a month for electric for at least 30years. So it cost me $13300 to install solar and saved 7200 a year. less than 2 years I will never have an electric bill again and that money saved can go towards more ways to become more efficient. At a residential place solar might take longer to break even but it wont cost as much either.

  4. Hilton Electrical

    Your article sure helps but isn’t it too expensive if we had to follow it all? Anyways, I still find this article helpful and the ideas are great too. By the way I like what you said about how installing new utility features can make things more efficient at home.

  5. HP

    Honestly if I had the kind of money required to follow these expensive suggestions I don’t think I’d be concerned with reducing my electricity bill.

  6. Daniel

    I like what you said about how installing new utility features like solar panels, heating, or ventilating can make things much more efficient in your home. My mother is thinking about buying a new place closer to the family so she can save money and spend time with the grandkids, but the neighborhood she’s looking at has pretty old homes. I think she would be smart to look into updating some of the different utilities to save some money.


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