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What is the best way to save on your electricity bill?

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A sizeable portion of one’s paycheck goes towards paying the utility bill. What is the best way to save on electricity bill according to you?

I keep my thermostat at 78 degrees,I have solared panels to each window,I also keep the blinds closed throughout the day. I also use surge protecters and when I am not using an electrical appliance, I will unplug it, even my microwave and my cell phone charger. I keep my water heater at a low temperature and I refraim from using the dryer during the day. We do not dry clothes until after 9pm or later. I also do not wash my whites in hot water. When I am goning to be out for several hours(more then 8) I turn off my cooling unit.

Sub: #1 posted on Tue, 07/05/2011 - 06:41

Patrice1990 Patrice1990

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My old boss used to complain and complain about his electricity bill. I started wondering then what could be done to bring down our shop's bill. This was all before computers came into play - where all you have to do is type in a question and up pops 1000 answers. So, I called our local electric cooperative and asked to speak to a technical representative. I explained to the rep that my boss and I had a disagreement about whether to leave the heat on a constant temperature through the winter, and conversely to leave the A/C on a constant temperature through the summer or whether (as my boss insisted) we turn heat or A/C off, or nearly off, when no one was in the building. My belief was that it would take forever to heat the walls and everything in the shop back up each day. I was told in no uncertain terms to maintain as constant a temperature as possible. My boss still didn't believe this, but I know from a little experimental home usage that this is the case.

Now that I have my own shop, I am constantly trying to lower the electric usage there. I am in a metal building which heats up rapidly, and cools quickly - so this is a real problem for me. Two years ago I had a Service Rep come out to my shop and analyze my electric usage. He asked me to turn various things off like the flourescent lights, heat, equipment, etc. After each we would walk outside to see how fast the meter was running with just one thing running. The heat made the meter run pretty fast; the equipment like the heat press was small, gallery studio lights, barely noticeable; but when we turned on the flourescent lights - wow- it ran pretty fast. He suggested that I take out one flourescent tube out of each four tube unit, or if it is just me in there with no customers, to turn off the side of the shop I am not using for a while. His other suggestion was for the heat. He said most people think that the small forced air heaters would run up their electric bill, but that is not the case (however the old metal space heaters we grew up with did). He said to keep my heat two or more degrees lower than I already did, and keep the small heater on auto to circulate the heat. We went outside and the space heater was barely moving the dial. I have seen a vast improvement in the dollar amount of my shop's electric bills since he came.

We also improved our home's electric usage by replacing all the windows and the roof within the last six years (when we still had money before the economy free fall), and by doing the basics - turning off lights consistently, and turning off those vampire lights (computer monitors, rechargeable gadgets, etc.) at night. We only heat our two story house with a woodstove during the winter, but we still try to be careful with all the extra things.

Thanks, Shelby

Sub: #2 posted on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 04:36

shelbysframing shelbysframing

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Living in the Ohio Valley, nothing makes my heart go "bu-dub bu-dub", and my stomach feel like it's roller-coaster time than getting my electric bill. I've learned that with a few mindful behaviors, and getting to know your energy company's website, you can lower your bill and/or create a consistent expected amount that makes budgeting per-month much easier.

First, take that extra moment and flip the light off when you're leaving the room. Unless you've got a parade of people going back and forth into the (kitchen, basement, bedroom...) if you're leaving the room and no one else is likely to occupy it soon - turn off the light.

Second, turn off those power strips when you're not using them. That's not always possible if you've got the computer on all day (not the best idea by the way), but if you plug in at night to charge your phone, or like I do, use my CPAP machine, do yourself a favor and turn off the power strip during the day when it isn't running.

Third, keep the house a little bit warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter - has some good guidelines. Turning your thermostat down to 62 in the winter - particularly when you're not in the house (say when you're at work - chipping away at that debt) can ensure your house isn't spending money you can't afford while you're away.

Get to know your energy company's website, or sites if your gas/electric is split. My energy company offers budget billing. It isn't the lowest price you could pay, but it is an average price - and the *same* price per month so you can easily budget it into your expenses. If you end up overpaying (per quarter) you get a credit, if you underpay, you'll owe a little more.

Also look into energy-saving programmable thermostats, and other improvements. Some energy companies offer rebates if you install more efficient heating / cooling units.

Check the website for graphed estimate of how much energy you use. Mine has such measurements that tell me if I'm higher or lower than the average user, and on what I used my energy (cooking, lighting, food storage, etc), so I can see where I might be spending too much (water heating), and take steps to reduce that (take shorter showers).

Finally, some companies offer a personalized analysis and even suggestions on how you can lower your bill, so you can fine tune and save even more on your bill.

Sub: #3 posted on Tue, 07/12/2011 - 13:48

carol.darnell carol.darnell

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Turn the lights off when you leave the room, use 40 watt bulbs, set your air conditioner higher during the day when no one is home have timers installed on certain items like hot water heater etc...use energy effecient appliances or just kick out everyone and live their by yourself then your bill would be rally

Sub: #4 posted on Fri, 07/15/2011 - 07:42

Brenda From PA Brenda From PA

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Only turn on the light in the room you are currently in; always turn off the light as you leave it. If you are watching tv and do not need the light, turn it off. Be sure to also plug your electronics (tv, radio, computer, ect) into a surge protector that can be turned off as soon as you stop usage of the devices. This way you do not continue to loose wattage to wasteful status lights and plugs that continue to drain electricity. Also consider replacing burned out light bulbs with florescent lights. You can even sometimes find florescent lights in discount or even dollar stores. If the weather is nice outside, turn off your air conditioner or heater. If the weather is too hot or too cold to do so, try adjusting the thermostat so that the unit does not run as much. Using a sweater in cold weather will allow you to use less heat, while drinking ice water will allow you to perhaps tolerate having the air conditioner set at a warmer temperature. If it is a weekend, try going out somewhere else that has air conditioning or heat. This could be places such as the library or to the mall to walk & "window" shop for a few hours. If you are not at home during the day due to work, either turn the HVAC unit off or set it not to run until an hour before you return home. Finally, check with your local electric company to see if they have any specail energy monitoring programs that you may qualify for and/or if they provide energy audits.

Sub: #5 posted on Sat, 07/16/2011 - 14:16

kodiwoedee kodiwoedee

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Turn off TV's when not in use..they pull a tramendous amount o current...and keep thermastat at 73-75 degrees. Switch to eco friendly bulbs....they are expensive perhaps you can buy them biweekly till all bulbs in your home are replaced. And finally, power down computers, cells...if there plugged in they are pulling current.

Sub: #6 posted on Tue, 07/19/2011 - 04:31

vivianmurry vivianmurry

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First thing, Turn Off the lights when you leave a room. Some people dont realize how important that can be. Turn the tv off at night.
This time of year when it is hot out and we use fans and air conditioners be sure to keep your windows closed and curtains/blinds closed as well. When you open them you are just drawing the heat in causing your airconditioner to work that much harder. This may sound hard to do, but when we leave for most of the day, turn your air conditioner off or raise the temperature. This way its not going as much it will probably shut off, but yet your house will still be comfortable when you get home and safe enough for pets, this also works for heat, turn that down some in the winter when you are gone for hours or more.
Hang your clothes/sheets/towels etc. outside instead of using the dryer each time. It keeps the heat out and obviously those dryers use up alot of electricity.
Be sure to also unplug appliances such as coffee pots, toasters, for one thing its not safe keeping them plugged in and just keeping them plugged in uses electricity ~ thats a huge waste!!
In the winter be sure to keep your thermometer below 70, it wont be going as much so less electricity used as well as less gas.
These are suggestions of mine that my family and I follow, I hope this helps others ~ Stay Cool!! ;-)

Sub: #7 posted on Tue, 07/19/2011 - 05:05

wendylynn93 wendylynn93

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