How to Lower Your Electric Bill to Save Energy

Have you ever wondered how to lower your electric bill? I know that, in part, it has to do with rising electric costs. But, what other factors go into the bill you receive each month? And, how low can you reasonably get your bill?

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How to Lower Your Electric Bill

First, to set the stage. We have a 1500sf, two-story house. We have six people who live here. My husband is disabled, so he’s home all day, every day. The two kids and their significant others are at work or home. I work at home, so I am always here. So, there are people here during the day using electricity.

The house doesn’t just sit there unused and empty all day. When the kids are home, they’re your typical power-hungry young adults who think they must be plugged in to be alive. We have a gas stove and hot water, so we do not use electricity for those two items.

If you want to reduce your electric costs, you must reduce the electricity you use.


Take a look around your house to see what’s plugged in. Are you leaving things on that can be turned off? Do you need all those lights on at night? Does the TV or radio need to be on for background noise?

Is the computer or printer on all day whether you’re using them or not? Start with the easy stuff and turn them off and unplug them.

Phantom Loads

That’s right. Unplug them. Many electric items use electricity whether they are on or not. This is especially true for anything with an LED readout (like a clock).

Your microwave is using electricity all day long whether or not you have it on or not. The same holds true for your cable box, DVD player, TV, computer, etc. Unplug them when not in use.

Better Bulbs

Switch to CFL or LED light bulbs. Yes, they save you money and last a lot longer. I’ve found that Amazon has good quality CFLs that are inexpensive when purchased in bulk. We have very good luck with these.

Hang it Up

Hang your clothes to dry. Your electric dryer uses tons of electricity. Get a drying rack or a clothesline in the backyard and hang clothes to dry there.

If your HOA won’t let you hang a line outside, use a rack over a heating vent or in front of an open window inside instead. Check out this one.

Turn it Down

Turn down the heat! Even if you don’t heat with electricity, your furnace uses electricity to start every time it comes on.

Turn down the furnace, and it will use less electricity. It also goes without saying to turn up the temperature on your air conditioner. I don’t use an air conditioner in Vermont, but I know many people who do.

Do it Yourself

Can you do it by hand? Do you need that electric gadget to do everything for you? Can you open the can with a manual can opener?

Can you mix the cookie batter by hand without your Kitchenaid?

Do you need that electric tart warmer? Conveniences are great, but they all cost money. If you want to pay it, that’s fine but if your electric bill is inching upward, consider eliminating some of them.

Wrap Your Heater

If you have electric hot water, consider wrapping your water heater with insulation. It will help keep your electric bill down because it helps keep in the warmth of your water.

This one works well.

Seal Leaks

Seal off air leaks around windows and doors. They sell plastic that you can put up very cheaply and it will help keep the heat or cool air in your house which will stop your furnace or air conditioner from coming on as often.

Pro Tips

Have you already done all these and you’re still trying to figure out how to lower your electric bill? Try some less common ways to lower your electric bill.

Invest in a solar oven for cooking on sunny days. We use a Global Sun Oven during the nice weather. You may want to check out this one.

Check out solar lighting for your outside lighting needs. We have one near the duck/chicken coops, which eliminates the need for a traditional light source outside on that side of the house.

We need to get one more for the other side of the house. Consider adding a light sensor to rooms you frequently visit.

Hand Power

Replace some of your electric appliances with hand-powered ones. Did you know you don’t need an electric beater, a Kitchenaid mixer, an electric can opener, an electric frying pan, a George Forman grill, an electric coffee bean grinder, an electric rice cooker, or an electric yogurt maker?

All these things can be done without a separate electric appliance. Take a look around your kitchen & see what you can do by hand. People did all these things for hundreds of years without using electricity.

Now that you know how to lower your electric bill share your favorite tips.

Ellen Christian - Confessions of an Overworked Mom
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