Nowadays, homeowners throughout Pennsylvania look for ways to maximize their budgets. Whether it’s cutting coupons from the Reading Eagle (the local newspaper in our hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania) or double checking if you turned the lights off when leaving a room, every bit of savings can add up.
When it comes to cutting back your electric usage, energy experts suggest a variety of methods to reduce your electrical bill and conserve money. Below, we outline 10 key tips to lower your energy bills in 2015 below.
How to Lower Your Electric Bill
Follow these 10 key tips to lower your electric bill and save money this year!
- Install LED or CFL light bulbs – Did you know that traditional incandescent light bulbs burn an average of 1,200 hours? In comparison, LED lights (light emitting diodes) have an average lifespan of 50,000 hours (6 – 8 watts per lumen) and CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs have an average lifespan of 8,000 hours (13 – 15 watts per lumen). Installing LED or CFL lights is a much more efficient way to light your home than incandescent bulbs (approximately 60 watts per lumen). Available at a fairly inexpensive price compared to incandescent, LED and CFL lights are a great electricity saving alternative!
- Install dimmers and/or motion activated lights – Dimmers and motion activated lights are a simple and relatively cheap way to reduce your electrical use. Dimmers allow you to adjust the brightness of your bulbs, while motion activated lights turn off when no motion is detected. You won’t have to worry about turning your lights off with motion activated lights—just leave the room and your lights will automatically turn off after a set time of inactivity.
- Install timers on outdoor lights – Many Pennsylvania homeowners use outdoor lighting to illuminate their home and show off its aesthetics. But, those lights are often a waste of energy in the late hours of night and wee hours of the morning. The solution? Install a timer to automatically turn your outdoor lighting off when their source of light is no longer needed.
- Install energy efficient appliances – Major in-home appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators, TVs, etc.) use much more energy than smaller electrical devices (e.g. iPad chargers). So ask yourself, “How old are your in-home appliances?” Are they more than 10 years old? If so, chances are they were not built for maximum efficiency. Newer, more energy efficient appliances can help significantly reduce electricity consumption in your home.
- Switch to economy mode – Even if your appliances aren’t new, some older equipment use “economy mode,” an operation setting to maximize its efficiency. If your hot water heater or any other large electrical device in your home has an economy setting, we recommend taking advantage of it!
- Wash clothes with cold water – Always washing your clothes with cold water reduces the amount of electricity used by your hot water heater.
- Install a timer on your hot water heater – Your hot water heater heats and stores water throughout the day so it is readily available to you when you need it most—showers, washing dishes, laundry, you name it! But, when kids are at school and you’re at work, there’s no reason for your water heater to continuously heat water. Installing a timer allows you to set the timeframe when you most use hot water to ensure you are not wasting electricity when you don’t.
- Install high-performance windows – Installing high-performance, energy-efficient windows not only helps protect your upholstery and furniture from UV (ultraviolet) rays, but also keeps heat and cool air inside your home. As a result, if you have an electric furnace or air conditioner this can help conserve electricity during winters and summers.
- Set computers to “sleep” or “hibernate” – Your computer is another device consuming a significant amount of electricity. To conserve energy, consider setting your computer’s display or graphic settings to “energy saver” mode and be sure to set it to sleep or hibernate when not in use.
- Unplug electrical devices when not in use – Take a look around your home. Chances are there are a lot of electrical devices still plugged in that are not in continuous use. Toasters, home theater systems, and phone and tablet chargers are just a few devices constantly drawing power, even when you are not using them.