Each time you look in the mailbox and see yet another electric bill to pay, does your heart stop for a second?
Wouldn’t it be great if you knew how to save money on electricity?
While some money saving tips are downright obvious (turning off the lights when you leave a room, for instance), there are plenty of other ways to lower your electricity bill!
Here’s a list of 50 ways to save money on electricity that work:
How to save money on electricity
How to lower your electricity bill: around the house
1. Turn off the lights if you’re not using them – tip no.1 and the most obvious: just turn the lights off if you’re not in the room or out on the hallway. Also, turn off your lights during the day, if natural light coming in is bright enough.
2. Only use the lights when necessary – do you really need the light on to pee during the day? If the answer’s no, then you can probably avoid turning it on every time you go to the bathroom. Or into another room, for that matter.
3. Switch to a cheaper electricity provider – this can help you save hundreds every year. Why pay more for the same service, if there’s a cheaper option?
4. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs – this has literally reduced our electric bill by half! Make a financial effort and buy energy efficient light bulbs, like LED (light emitting diode) or CFL (compact fluorescent lamp). We’ve been using CFLs for years and our electric bill has been lower ever since.
5. Use less light bulbs around the house: do you have chandeliers with more than 1 light bulb? Unscrew the extra lights and use 1 light bulb per room, if possible.
6. Buy energy efficient appliances & electronic devices – energy efficient devices cost more, but you’ll save a lot of money in the long run!
Bonus tip: by buying energy efficient home appliances, you could also qualify for a tax deduction.
7. Turn off devices you’re not using – if you’re not watching TV, not using your computer right now or your laptop, turn them off.
8. Unplug devices you’re not using – if you’re not charging your phone at the moment, not using your washing machine or your appliances, unplug these devices! Believe it or not, even when switched off, certain devices still ‘suck up’ a little bit of energy.
Related article: How to downsize and save more money
How to save money on electricity: laundry
9. Fill up the washing machine before running a cycle – it doesn’t make sense to turn on the washing machine for just 3 T-shirts. Wait until you have a full load to save energy.
10. Wash clothes at 80°F (30°C) -you can safely wash everyday clothes at low temperatures. Use a higher temperature only for really ‘dirty loads.
11. Spin your clothes faster in the dryer – the faster the clothes spin, the faster they dry! Hence, the less energy the dryer will consume.
12. Clean the lint filter periodically – clean the lint filter preferably after each drying cycle. It will help your dryer run more energy efficient.
13. Separate clothes according to the time it takes the to dry – if you’re doing more laundry loads, it’s wise to separate quick-drying clothes from those that take more time to dry. This way, you can run your drying cycles accordingly and avoid spinning already dry clothes just for a few T-shirts that take forever to dry!
14. Dry your clothes naturally – No need to run the dryer with warm weather! Simply hang your clothes outside or on a drying rack inside (with your window open, to avoid mold problems) and let them dry naturally, for free!
15. Avoid ironing your clothes – save energy by not even using your clothes iron! When air drying your clothes, stretch them well before hanging them up. This way, you can avoid ironing most of them altogether.
How to pay less for electricity: kitchen
16. Fill up the dishwasher before running a cycle – avoid running a dishwasher cycle if you only have a few dirty plates. Fill the dishwasher up before turning it on to save energy.
17. Rinse or soak the dishes before placing them in the dishwasher – in order to run a more energy efficient dishwasher cycle, remove all chunks of leftover food or soak them before washing. You’ll be able to run the lower temperature setting and save money.
18. Wash dishes by hand – to avoid using electricity altogether, you could hand wash your dishes. Use the dishwasher only when you have too many dishes and no time to wash them.
19. Keep your dishwasher clean – maintenance does wonders when it comes to saving money. Keep your dishwasher clean and follow the proper maintenance steps in order to avoid problems (and having to rewash all dishes).
20. Let your dishes dry naturally – avoid using the heat-dry setting for your dishwasher. Instead, unselect it or simply stop the washing machine before the cycle starts.
21. Keep your freezer & fridge clean – cleaning the fridge and freezer prevents them from having water leaks or ice forming in the freezer.
22. Keep your freezer & fridge almost full – When the fridge and freezer are almost full, they air keeping the food cold needs less space to circle around. Of course, don’t stuff them with food either, or the cold air won’t be able to reach the food anymore!
Bonus tip: if your freezer is empty and you’re looking to save energy, just place some plastic bottles filled with water in it.
23. Avoid placing hot or warm food in the fridge of freezer – placing hot food in the fridge will only make it use more energy to cool it down to the set temperature inside. Let the food cool down outside, and only then place it in the fridge!
24. Avoid keeping the fridge & freezer door open too long – In order to use less energy to keep food at the desired temperature, avoid keeping the fridge door open for too long. For the same reason, don’t open it too often either.
25. Set the right temperature for your cooling devices – for optimal performance, the fridge can be set to 40°F (4°C) and the freezer to 0°F (-18°C). Lower temperatures are unnecessary since they’re only consume more energy.
26. Use 1 fridge only – unplug the second fridge, if you have one. One fridge can definitely store enough food for a few days, even for a large family. So, avoid adding to your electric bill and stopusing the second fridge.
27. Use a gas stove to cook – if possible, invest in a gas stove. Electric stoves consume a lot of energy and your electric bill will skyrocket if you cook at home often.
28. Don’t overuse the electric oven – just like the electric stove, an electric oven can become quite expensive if used very often. Try cooking most of your meals on the stove or preparing no-bake recipes if possible.
29. Turn off the oven a few minutes earlier – if a recipe states you need to “bake for 50 minutes”, try turning the oven off 5-7 minutes earlier, without opening the oven door. The oven will remain hot for a few more minutes, allowing your food to bake properly.
30. Preheat the oven only when your’re recipe is ready to be baked – most recipes state you should preheat the oven even before you prepare your ingredients! Avoid using too much energy by preheating it for only a few minutes, instead of half and hour or how long it usually takes you to prepare your meal.
31. Avoid using appliances when you can use your hands – need to whip up some mayonnaise? Mash some bananas? Open up a can and have a manual can opener lying around in a drawer? Do these things by hand if you want to avoid using electricity. It saves you money + free bicep workout!
32. Avoid using the garbage disposal – if you want to save even more money on electricity in the kitchen, avoid using your garbage disposal and just take the trash out yourself.
33. Use your gas stove rather than the microwave – if you need to heat up a cup of cocoa or melt some chocolate, it’s more energy efficient to use your gas stove rather than your microwave oven.
Related article: 6 kitchen appliances that save time and money
Lower the cost of electricity: air conditioning and heating
34. Only turn on your AC and heating system when absolutely necessary – if you can still open up a window to cool down, or wear a hoodie inside to keep warm, avoid turning on your AC and heating system!
35. Avoid turning the heat off when you’re not at home – for years, I though by turning the heat off when we leave for work, we’ll save money. It doesn’t work. It takes up a lot more energy and time to heat up a cold room, than it does to keep the place warm for an entire day.
36. Use a thermostat – a thermostat helps you keep the temperature under control in your home and save money in the long run.
37. Properly seal your windows and doors – in order to not let the heat out, seal your windows and doors properly. You’ll use less energy to maintain a certain temperature inside your home.
38. Set a lower temperature during winter – set your indoor temperature to a lower value. The recommended winter indoor temperature is 70°F (21°C), but if you can “take it”, you can lower it by just a tad and maybe use an extra blanket or wear a thicker sweater inside.
39. Cool down rooms during summer by closing the shades – to avoid turning on the AC altogether, cool down the rooms by not letting the sun and heat come in during the day. Closing the shades helps.
40. Invest in energy efficient radiators – switch to energy efficient radiators. Even if it turns out to be a costly investment today, choosing the right radiators for your home can save you lots of money in the long run.
Other ways to save money on electricity
41. Install solar panels – while solar panels are a costly investment, they can really help you save money on electricity in the long run.
42. Improve your overall insulation – aside from sealing your doors and windows, improve insulation all over your house (especially if you live in an old building).
Bonus tip: you can probably qualify for an energy grant in order to improve your house insulation, so you probably don;t even need to invest your own money.
43. Use power tools only when necessary – power tools use up a lot of energy, so when possible, use manual tools instead. You can manually trim your bushes, manually sweep up leaves or shovel snow during winter. Again… great bicep workout!
44. Use candles more often– how many candles do you have lying around the house? Whether you bought them or got them as gifts, put them to good use and save money on electricity. Eat candlelight dinners more often, light up candles when taking a bath, simply use them whenever you feel in a ‘romantic mood’.
45. Air dry your hair – I can’t remember the last time I personally used a hairdryer. I avoid using it even during winter. It saves energy, it’s healthier for your hair and, besides, who likes wasting time half an hour to dry long hair? (of course, avoid going out with your hair wet,especially during winter!)
46. Use manual razors instead of electric – lower your electric bill by using manual razors instead of electric razors to shave.
47. Get rid of your desktop computer and switch to a laptop – laptops are much, much more energy efficient than desktop computers! So, if you’re looking to save a lot electricity wise, switch to a laptop.
48. Holiday lights – Christmas lights are awesome! So are Easter lights and various neon signs that show how excited you are about certain holidays. But turn them off if you’re not at home to enjoy them! Also, unless you enrolled in a contest you really want to win, don’t over do it with the light decorations.
49. Buy motion sensors – if getting used to turning lights off is a drag, just buy some motion sensors an your problem will be solved! Each time you leave a room, the lights will automatically turn off.
50. Avoid drapes or get short or transparent ones – tasteful drapes can really make a room look stylish, but avoid getting dark colored ones. Or if you do, make sure they’re the short type or at least tie them back to let natural light come in.
Related article: Is eco-friendliness in the workplace affordable?
Phew! 50 ways to lower the electricity bill that actually work!
Some of them can seriously save you a ton of money month after month. Others methods might seem lame, but the money saved will add up over a long period of time.
What other ways to save money on electricity do you know of? Are they worth the trouble?