High electric bills can make you struggle with your budget. A bill that fluctuates from month to month can be unpredictable. However, you can get a handle on your electricity consumption and make electric bills go down every month through steady change and making improvements to your home. While not everything in your home uses the same amount of energy (see Resources), cutting back on how you use appliances and areas in your home can create a drop in your bill.
When you shop for appliances, look for the Energy Star label. It means the appliance meets certain energy-efficiency guidelines. The average household spends $2,000 each year on energy bills. Energy Star says that appliances bearing its label can cut those bills by 30 percent, for an annual savings of about $600. But you don’t have to replace everything to see a savings. Just replacing an eight-year-old refrigerator with a new Energy Star model can save $110 a year or more in electricity.
Programmable thermostats are great, but are useless if someone is home all day. The main point is to set the temperature at an energy-saving setting when noone is home; however, the author is home all day so I can see her point. Also, we installed a programmable thermostat. I do love it and all the settings, but it is currently useless to us since one of us is home all day long; there’s no reason to program it right now.
With the exception of electric kettles, which are easily replaced by boiling water on the stove, reducing energy consumption with electronics requires actually turning them off. When you have tons of devices and appliances, shutting them off regularly gets annoying. The easiest solution? Stick everything you can on a power strip and turn off the power strip. Chances are you have a few of those around the house already so you won't need to buy them. In the case of computers, even letting them sleep can draw a decent amount of power, so you should shut them off completely. To avoid the nuisance of turning them on and off, simply schedule your startup and shutdown times so the computer handles the task automatically.
2. improve attic ventilation. I had to plug ridge vents because my ridge length of 16′ was not long enough for sole source of rooftop exhaust ventilation and I was getting “short-circuiting” between turtle vents and ridge vents. If your roof has a long ridge line, ridge vents are perfect. Also, if you have cathedral ceilings, chances are your soffit vents on the outside of those ceilings serve no function (other than to make you think they do), so you need to make up for that loss by adding more vents elsewhere.
On a side note, I find if I am sitting and working at my computer, I can be comfortable at 79 or 80 as long as I have a fan. This is especially true if it is in the nineties outside and the AC constantly on and sucking out the humidity. Since these days I am constantly chasing little kids around the house, I keep it lower, but I don’t think in a hot climate 79 or 80 should be an unthinkable temperature. I personally find it disturbing when the differential between the outside and inside temperature is anything over 20 degrees in the summer. This makes being outside even more unbearable because your body can’t adjust.
General Disclaimer: Get Rich Slowly is an independent website managed by J.D. Roth, who is not a trained financial expert. His knowledge comes from the school of hard knocks. He does his best to provide accurate, useful info, but makes no guarantee that all readers will achieve the same level of success. If you have questions, consult a trained professional.
I would say running a dehumidifier in a hot climate is counterproductive, unless you are running it in an non-airconditioned space like a basement. Dehumidifiers produce A LOT of heat that remains in your house. It makes much more sense to run your AC which is located outside your house (or conversely a window unit that also vents outside). They both dehumidify your space, only the AC does it much more efficiently. Dehumidifiers use a lot of energy. You would be better to run your AC.
When you have a choice between using the microwave or an electric stove, always use the microwave, which can consume as much as 90 percent less energy. For example, it takes 18 times the electricity to bake a potato in a regular oven than in a microwave, according to the Edison Electric Institute. If you don't like to microwave, consider using a toaster oven for baking or roasting small items. Incidentally, a convection oven speeds cooking by about 35 percent (reducing the amount of electricity used) by using a small fan. Looking to skip the oven altogether? Check out our favorite no-bake summer desserts.
Using an average of 1,063 kWh of power each month, Houston’s electricity consumption rates exceed the national average by over 100 kWh. As a city however, it does manage to maintain a lower monthly energy charge than the rest of the US, incurring an average fee of $99 in comparison to the $112 national monthly average. To further save on their plans each month, residents can choose from a selection of Texas-based energy suppliers and service plans.
Many utility companies offer more than one time-of-use policies. These plans may have different hours classified as peak hours, or may even include some “partial-peak” hours that charge less than peak rates, but more than off-peak rates. Many rates will depend not only on the hour that you’re using electricity, but also the season. Summer rates are often higher than winter rates because of energy-intensive air conditioning systems running during hot days. You might also have a plan that has lower peak rates, or fewer peak hours, on the weekends.