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How to Lower Your Electric Bill

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How to Lower Your Electric Bill

Lowering your electricity bill is one way you can put money back in your pocket every month. Follow some expert guidance for year round savings, helping your family move from constant thermostat battles to agreement and comfort. Choose your favorite tips to save hundreds of dollars annually.

1. Use a programmable thermostat

The source of our largest expense at home is heating and cooling, but based on external temperature and personal preference, it can be subject to large spikes. You can reduce the energy you consume and lower your energy bill by resisting the urge to constantly turn up the heat or turn down the air conditioner. One of the best ways to maintain a comfortable, consistent temperature schedule is installing a programmable thermostat. You can program temperatures for certain times of day without adjusting it manually. For example, raise the air conditioner temperature to 80 to 85 degrees while you’re away at work. Then, set it to a more comfortable setting to start cooling right before you return home. Or set a cooler temperature at night in the winter, when you’re bundled up under blankets, and let it heat up when you get up in the morning. Programmable thermostats, including smart thermostats connected to your smartphone, allow you to be more energy-efficient and cost-effective. The Department of Energy estimates 1% savings for each degree setting for an 8-hour period. Turning thermostats back 7 to 10 degrees from their normal settings for 8 hours per day can achieve annual savings of up to 10%! 

2. Extra-insulate your home

In the winter months, freezing, cold temperatures outside can seep into your home in ways you are unaware.. Poor insulation is often the culprit. . Insulation in walls, attics, floors, and roofs enables your home to maintain its temperature inside, during both hot and cold weather. Proper insulation in any climate enables you to save energy and ultimately money. Older homes may not meet the insulation standards of today. And if you live in an extreme hot or cold climate, you also need quality insulation. Check the insulation in your home, from your walls to your pipes, to reduce the need for extra heating or cooling and to cut the cost of your electricity bill. Wrapping extra insulation around pipes also gives your water heater a break from working so hard during the winter months, while preventing the pipes from freezing.

3. Wear comfortable clothing

One of the most effective ways to keep yourself comfortable inside your home throughout the year, without spending a lot of money, is to dress up or down based on the temperature. While in the comfort of your own home, don’t hesitate to bundle up more in the winter or wear short sleeves and a pair of shorts in the summer and spring. As you make the adjustment to your attire, you may find you need less heat or air conditioning, which are the biggest electricity expenses in your home. You can still feel cozy and comfortable at home without running up your electric bill unnecessarily.

4. Replace your air filter

One part of overlooked home maintenance is changing out air filters on a regular basis. The purpose of the air filter is to catch debris like dust, pollen, and lint, and circulate the clean air throughout the cooling and heating system. The process of replacing your air filters also helps to ensure your system is working optimally, which utilizes less energy than a system with dirty filters. Clean filters reduce the work your HVAC system has to do, in turn saving energy and lowering the amount you’ll have to pay on your electric bill. Air filters are typically inexpensive, and putting a calendar reminder to replace them regularly is wise. It’s recommended to change filters in average homes every three months and more often (20 days to 2 months) for homes with pets or allergies.

5. Lower the temperature on the water heater.

Your water heater is the second-most costly electricity-sucker in your home, second after heat and A/C. This appliance distributes hot water to sinks and showers, laundry machines and dishwashers. A portion of the expense comes from the heater maintaining a store of warm water in a tank. Some homeowners invest in tankless water heaters that can save 8% to 34% of energy use (or $100 a year), though it may limit the flow of hot water availability for high-use homes. With traditional water heaters, you can save money by setting the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 20 degrees below the default setting) for 6% to 10% in cost savings. If you can’t give up your steaming hot shower, consider taking shorter showers. Also, if you go on vacation or are spending an extended period of time away from home, turning off the water heater while you’re gone is another way you can save money.

6. Balance electricity use by using appliances strategically.

Using appliances strategically and efficiently can help lower your bills as well. Don’t run heavy-use appliances during peak times, like the clothes dryer in the heat of the day. Also, take advantage of a warm dryer by drying loads of clothes consecutively, rather than waiting between loads, to minimize energy consumption. Run a full load of dishes in the dishwasher, not just partial loads. (Hand wash your toddler’s favorite cup so it’s not MIA!) Lights and fans? Don’t leave them running in unoccupied rooms. Pull the plug on devices not in use, such as printers, gaming devices, toaster ovens, microwaves and more. These “vampire appliances” are sucking energy that you’re unaware of.

7. Save electricity by washing clothes in cold water.

Ah, laundry! One of the most-dreaded household chores that seems unending! But making it more energy-efficient will at least save you some money. Making the simple switch to washing clothes in cold water means your water heater gets a break. Today’s washing machines, detergents, and stain sprays help ensure your clothes will be clean and fresh without hot water. Save the sanitizing wash cycle for the rare heavy-duty loads. 

8. Reduce heat waste by checking doors and windows for leaks.

One essential energy-saving chore is checking your doors and windows for leaks, openings, and broken seals. As your home settles and weather changes, these cracks appear over time and can go undetected or ignored, causing your electricity bill to creep up. Caulking, weatherstripping, or replacing seals on your windows and doors will keep cold air from coming in or hot air from escaping in the winter. In the summer, the heat stays out and the air conditioning stays in. You’ll achieve comfort and savings with this intentional fix.

9. Check that your appliances work properly.

Appliances that don’t work properly are an energy drain on your home. Part of keeping them in top condition involves checking them regularly as well as using them. Check that all appliances are cleaned, repaired, and working properly on a regular schedule. For example, check and clean the vents on your dryer and clear refrigerator coils of dust and debris. Defrost refrigerators and freezers, as well. For many larger appliances, a single annual check-up is all that is needed; it may require an upfront expense, but you’ll save in energy costs and potential breakdowns if a problem goes undetected. If it’s time to replace your appliances, consider ENERGY STAR models that focus on efficiency and can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

10. Consider a prepaid electric bill plan.

Prepaid electricity plans help consumers save money by putting the power back in their hands. You pay in advance for electricity and add funds any time your account is running low, convenient to your household budget and other bills. You won’t be surprised by a large bill at the end of the month. Additionally, customers have access to their power consumption and can adjust their usage immediately, providing significant savings. Some energy plans leave you stuck with a high rate for a long contract, up to 36 or 60 months. But many prepaid (or pay-as-you-go) plans are for short month-to-month needs or six- and 12-month contracts. The rate stays the same for the contract, with costs impacted by actual usage. Some prepaid electricity plans, like Payless Power’s, require no deposit or lengthy approval process.


Lower Your Electric Bill with Payless Power

If you want to know how to lower your energy bill by using prepaid electricity in Texas, check out Payless Power. Offering low-cost energy plans to suit both personal and business needs, Payless Power is committed to providing Texans with some of the best electricity rates in the state, as well as helpful customer service.

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