General Question

Jude's avatar

Any tips on how to cut the cost of your electric bill?

Asked by Jude (32098points) November 1st, 2010

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

27 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Call your power company. My sister just did this and got all our windows replaced for free. And the furnace was replaced for about 1K.

And we fill the empty space in the fridge with bottled water. Water holds its temp longer then air.

Otto_King's avatar

Led light bulbs are available in every shape now. They are using one-tenth electricity of the regular light bulbs.

squirbel's avatar

Try using electricity “on-demand”. Only turn lights on when you need them, use sunlight when you can, and turn lights off when you leave.

When I was staying in my first apartment, I refused to use the central air/heating – I live in a moderate climate so I was able to get by comfortably, or with an extra blanket or two.

Try sealing, or re-sealing your doors and windows.

Plucky's avatar

The first thing that comes to mind…unplugging anything you aren’t using (toaster, electric can opener, blender, or any electric small appliance).

– replacing all bulbs with energy saving bulbs.
– remember to turn lights off when not in use and/or use more candles.
– keep your fridge at least 2 inches away from the wall
– turn down your cooling devices a bit (fridge and freezer).
– buy energy efficient items
– adding a solar panel or two.. or more.
– don’t preheat the oven
– if you have air conditioning in your home, don’t use it as much.
– reducing the hot water temperature on your water appliances (dishwasher and clothing washer) ..also if your hot water tank has a temperature setting, you can turn it down.
– try not to use as much electric heat if possible

There really are alot of ways.. so I’ll just send you to a good link that has more

jrpowell's avatar

The hot water heater tip is good. Crank your sink to hot. Does it hurt. If it does turn the shit down. It is easy.

JLeslie's avatar

You are in an apartment right? Most of the tips are mentioned above. I don’t think anyone said to turn down your thermostat 5 degrees farenheit when you are out. I save a ton doing that.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If it’s just you in an apartment then buy a plastic bowl/tub large enought the bottom of your sink and get in the habit of stack your dishes and flatware in there. Once a day then fill with hot water & soap, soak an hour and then wash and risnse.

Warm or tepid rather than hot showers. It takes some getting used to but is better for your skin, hair and water bill if it’s on the electric.

Adjust your freezer to where you can keep ice but just barely. Anything that goes in there will become an ice cube and help chill the other things.

I think the refrigerator needs to be 65 degrees or cooler to keep bacteria from growing? I’d try and adjust towards that if you usually eat leftovers or store bought stuff within a few days.

JLeslie's avatar

@Neizvestnaya I wouldn’t cheat on the fridge and freezer personally. Oh, and I think fridge temp is around 40?

But, it is true the more full the fridge and freezwr the less energy you use. Think about it like this, you can stand in below freezing air for a while, but you cannot be in below freezing water, or hold ice for a long time. The frozen and cold foods hold onto the cold.

Trillian's avatar

I more than halved mine by unplugging everything when I’m not using it except the fridge and stove. Can’t….. reach…..uhhhhh!

Plucky's avatar

@Neizvestnaya I think the fridge temp needs to be around 45F to keep your food safe.

Cruiser's avatar

I just came back from the Doctors office and the nurse there was telling me how her husband just brought home their first computer ever and that they did not own a TV or a Radio and her only electric appliance was her coffee grinder and everything else like the alarm clock ran on batteries! I almost had a heart attack!!!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@JLeslie & @PluckyDog: I’m not sure what the lowest safe temp is, my grama did and used to set her frig/freezer that way. She always said to keep flour, sugars, rice, lentils, etc. in the freezer to take up space.

Kardamom's avatar

Unplug your counter appliances, like toasters, when you’re not using them. This also goes for lamps all around your home. And unplug your power-strips (like the one that may be attached to your computer or your entertainment center) when you are not using whatever item is plugged into it. And here’s something that might help with your lighting. We have this thing called a Solatube installed in one of our bathrooms. It’s kind of like a skylight, only it has a much smaller hole in the ceiling, then it has a tube that goes down into the ceiling of the room where you are trying to add more light. The tube has a bunch of relective mirrors inside of it, so you get a lot of light for only a small-ish hole. It depends upon the design of your house as to where you can use them. You wouldn’t be able to light a room that had another room directly above it because you’d have to drill through it (not so good) but they are really nice for bathrooms, bedrooms on the top floor and hallways.

Then switch out most of your light bulbs to CFL’s and LED’s where appropriate. Use more blankets and sweaters instead of using an electric blanket or turning on your electric heaters. Snuggle up with your sweetie.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Replace all your 100 watt light bulbs with 60 or 40 watt equivalent CFLs or LED bulbs. Ask the power company if they will come and do an energy audit, my company did mine free.

jrpowell's avatar

I just checked the amps pulled with a meter on my toaster and TV and DVR. It was trivial compared to my fridge and hot water heater.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’m going to try unplugging the power strip when I leave the house and see what happens on next month’s bill. Our Xbox and TV put out an incredible amount of heat so they must be big energy eaters.

wilma's avatar

Do you need to unplug the power strip? If you switch it to OFF wouldn’t that cut any electrical use to 0?

I also put jugs of water in the refrigerator and freezer if I have empty space.

iamthemob's avatar

@wilma – technically, the power cord is still “completing the circuit” itself if it’s plugged in. I don’t know if it’s doing so with all the other devices, but I think you will still use less power regardless if you unplug it as opposed to switching it to “off.”

WestRiverrat's avatar

@wilma most power strips have a warming phase just like TVs and computers. If you leave them plugged in you will use more power than if you unplug them, unless you shut the circuit off at the panel.

YARNLADY's avatar

Our power company has a reduced cost plan where they reserve the right to turn off your power during peak use spikes.

Kayak8's avatar

Proper fridge temp (to avoid growing bacteria) is below 40 degrees F. If you don’t want things to freeze that will put fridge temp between 32 degrees and 40 degrees. Freezer should be at 0 degrees F. Best tip for fridge and freezer is to get thermometers for each so you will know that your food is safe.

DandyDear711's avatar

i only dry shirts and pants in my dryer for about 5 minutes – til warm – and then hang neatly on hangers. the rest of stuff gets hung outside or on drying racks.

i turn heat down to 50 at night, 68 at wake up, then down to 64 during the day.

(other money saving – cloth napkins, cloth rags instead of paper towels, got rid of cable and landline)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I do what @DandyDear711 does with laundry, seems to me less wrinkles are in slightly damp (weighted) clothes like pants and knit shirts. We have the type of dryer you can choose the timer and temp functions over the presets. With washing clothes, it took a long time to accept cold water washes as well as warm or hot and that we humans rarely get filthy and encrusted enough to deeply foul our towels and sheets or clothes so a shorter wash is fine.

92elements's avatar

dont lave equipment on standby get rid of your TV use low voltage LED light bulbs

wilma's avatar

When I am using my oven, I try to cook everything for the meal in there. If I have extra room I might also put in something else to cook for another meal, then it’s just a quick warm up in the microwave to reheat later.

Thanks @iamthemob and @WestRiverrat I don’t understand electricity very well, but that makes sense.

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