When looking at your electric bill, it can be difficult to hone in on what might be specifically causing your bill to increase or decrease. Of course using a heater in the winter and an air conditioner in the summer will increase prices, but what are the other appliances that do the most damage to your bill and what are some measures you can take to avoid astronomical energy costs? In most cases, the solutions are simple.
The first thing to understand when considering reducing your electric bill is to learn how old your appliances are. It may seem financially irresponsible to get rid of your old fridge before it has breathed its last cold breath, but in the end it is actually more efficient and cost-effective to switch to a new fridge. Purchasing a new fridge could save you $250 over five years. An even simpler switch to improve your bill is to switch from incandescent lights to LED lights. LEDs cost $32/year to run as apposed to incandescent lights, which cost $328/year. Switching to a newer and/or more energy efficient appliances will improve your bill in the long-run.
Not all appliances are created equal when it comes to energy usage. Some appliances use a lot more energy than others. The worst offenders are:
- Heating/Cooling Systems
- Water heater
- Electric dryer
Some of the worst energy users however may be some you may have never even thought of like:
- TV - Some models can suck up energy and cost $150/year to run.
- Video Games - Consoles like PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii can waste $25/year even in “off” mode.
- Laptops - Computers cost $15 in wasted energy as people charge them all day/night
- DVD Players (Blu-Ray Player) – Even when it is off it uses $8/year of energy.
- Cell phone Chargers - Leaving a cell phone charger plugged in while your phone is not charging causes a great amount of energy usage, especially when considered with the usage of other “not in use” appliances.
Aside from purchasing new appliances and switching to LED lights, the simplest solutions to energy efficiency are two-fold. First, don’t be wasteful. Second, unplug devices not in use.
- Walk Out, Turn Off – When you leave a room, or leave the house, make sure that everything is turned off. Turn off the porch light. Turn off the nightlight in the kids’ room. Make sure that everything is switched off so that while you are not using it, it can save energy.
- Turn Off, Unplug - If you are not using it, don’t just turn it “off”—unplug it. Toasters, microwaves, Wii’s, cell phones, laptops, and mustache trimmers all use energy simply by being plugged in. By unplugging all unused appliances, especially those that are used infrequently, can significantly reduce your electric bill and save energy resources over time.
- Live by the Power Strip- Purchasing energy-efficient power strips will not only allow you to turn off everything that is plugged into them at once, but can also reduce the amount of energy flowing to each appliance.
Using energy wisely is good for the environment, and good for your wallet. Embracing small changes can make a big impact both financially and on the well being of the planet. Your energy provider can help you with more tips on how to save energy, and remember you have the power to choose an energy provider and to choose them wisely.