All of these tasks should add up to noticeable savings and don’t require much time or money. (Fingers crossed that ceiling fan will be an easy fix!) Once I’ve taken these steps, maybe I’ll be ready for more. For now, it’s much too hot to think about new appliances, insulation, and replacing windows. Besides, I’ve got triple chocolate brownies to bake.
The first comment said to use heat causing appliances at night when the temperatures are cooler outside. That may be true & I’ve done that for my own comfort. It may not save money thought because it’s my understanding that power companies charge different rates for electrical power at different times of the day, afternoon & night being the most expensive. 3am until about 10am would probably be cheaper. I might not want to vacuum but the delay setting on your dishwasher would work at that time.
I just had a new HVAC system put in a couple months ago and I had been using one of the expensive cleanable/reusable filters. I thought I was saving money and being green, but my HVAC guy recommended the really cheap filters and frequent changes. Those other filters apparently make the system work harder, especially if it isn’t changed frequently and that damages the system. Our programmable thermostat has a 30 day filter reminder (which is 30 days of use, not 30 calendar days).
Putting your water heater on a timer can also lower your electric bill dramatically. Many experts recommend setting the temperature to 120°F (49°C) to save money and prevent the water from scalding; this temperature may not be hot enough for dishwashers, however, so you may want to consider a dishwasher with a booster heater. In addition, make sure that your water heater is the right size; you're wasting money if you're heating a lot of water that you won't use.
Don’t worry about losing the settings on new computers and TVs. They have a memory chip that resets everything when you power back up. If you have an old VCR or other devices that flash when the power goes out, keep it plugged in. Some power strips have a few outlets that always have power even when you flip off the switch. This type of strip has a main outlet for the computer. When you turn off the computer, the strip also shuts down other devices, such as your scanner, printer or modem.
On the one hand, long-term, fixed-rate (contract) plans offer stability in pricing. If energy supply costs suddenly go up in your area, you won’t be left paying more than what you bargained for. You’ll have peace-of-mind. If you want to switch out of your contract before it ends with a lower cost plan, you’ll likely face a cancellation fee (early termination fee).
For example, in 2012, Hawaii residents had the highest average residential electricity rate in the United States (37.34¢/kWh), while Louisiana residents had the lowest average residential electricity costs (8.37¢/kWh). Even in the contiguous United States the gap is significant, with New York residents having the highest average residential electricity rates in the lower 48 U.S. states (17.62¢/kWh).
Although electricity prices in the aren't cheap some countries have it much worse. In this article I'm going compare internationally to look at who is paying more $/kWh for their energy. I’ve gathered some numbers and crunched a little data to see who is really paying a lot for their power. For my neighbour here in the USA I’ll add a bit more data at the end.