Looking for simple ways to save electricity and reduce your energy bills? I’ve got you covered with these 5 easy and effective tips that will help you conserve energy and make a positive environmental impact while saving money.
Our last electric bill was for April, and it was $76.75. While that’s not super high, we still figured we could reduce it by cutting down on our energy usage. So, the next month, we committed to reducing energy use by identifying things in our house that were using too much energy. We figured out there were a few “energy vampires” sucking the life out of certain appliances and causing our energy costs to climb.
In this post, I’m going to share with you how we identified those pesky energy vampires and discovered more energy-saving tips to help you use less energy and save money!
What Are “Energy Vampires?”
Energy vampires might sound like something out of a spooky story, but they actually refer to those sneaky electronic devices in our homes that consume energy even when they’re not in use. These energy vampires are often the reason behind those unexpectedly high electricity bills.
Energy vampires are electrical appliances or devices that continue to draw power from electrical outlets even when they’re turned off or in standby mode. They include televisions, game consoles, computer monitors, phone chargers, coffee makers, and many other gadgets with a standby function. These devices often have transformers or power supplies that keep drawing small amounts of electricity to maintain features like clocks, timers, or instant-on capabilities.
How to Save Electricity: 5 Ways
While the power consumed by each individual device might seem insignificant, the collective energy drain from multiple energy vampires can add up over time, leading to a higher electricity bill. But fret not! Here’s how you can unplug those energy vampires and reduce your electricity usage:
#1 Identify the culprits:
Take a stroll through your home and keep an eye out for those sneaky energy vampires lurking in standby mode. Look for devices with little lights that stay on when they’re not in use, such as your trusty TV, game console, computer peripherals, and chargers. Identifying these culprits is the first step in reclaiming your energy and saving some cash!
I went around my house to identify the energy-draining culprits and noticed LOTS of things plugged in and unused. Here’s just a handful of items I found when I went through the house, room by room:
- Television (we don’t have cable, so I’m not sure why we even kept this plugged in!)
- Laptop charger (unless it’s actually charging, this is just silly)
- Coffee pot (our coffee brews into a carafe, meaning we don’t have a burner… once it’s brewed, there’s really no need to have it plugged in!)
- Lamps (can you believe we had some plugged in, in rooms where they rarely get turned on because we only use the room during the day?)
- Toothbrush charging stations
While having these items plugged in might not seem like a big deal, none were in use, draining unnecessary energy.
#2 Use power strips:
Power strips with switches are like the superheroes of energy savings. Simply plug those energy vampires into the power strip. With a flip of the switch, you can turn off multiple devices at once, putting an end to their power-draining antics. It’s an effortless way to cut off their power supply completely and stop the unnecessary drain on your electricity bill.
We use a power strip for the entertainment center. The TV, Wii, and DVD player are all plugged into it. When we want to watch something or play a game, we simply flip the red switch and turn it on. The TV and Wii turn on automatically. The DVD player is the least used electronic, but since it still requires the power button to be pressed, we’re not wasting money by having it plugged into the power strip.
#3 Unplug when not in use:
If power strips aren’t your thing, or you have a few lone energy vampires that resist the strip’s charm, don’t worry! A simple and effective solution is to unplug these energy-sucking culprits when they’re not in use. By disconnecting them from the outlet, you’re preventing any standby power consumption and taking a stand against wasted energy. Plus, it’s a quick and easy habit to develop that can lead to significant savings.
#4 Consider smart power strips:
Smart power strips are like energy-saving wizards that automatically detect when a device is in standby mode or not in use. They work their magic by cutting off power to these devices without you lifting a finger.
#5 Opt for energy-efficient alternatives:
When it’s time to upgrade your home appliances or add some new gadgets to your collection, keep an eye out for the energy-efficient superheroes of the electronic world.
Here are some home improvement examples:
- LED Light Bulbs: Replace traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs. They use significantly less energy and last much longer.
- Energy Star Appliances: When shopping for new home or kitchen appliances, look for the Energy Star label. These appliances, like a hot water heater or washing machine, are designed to be energy-efficient products, reducing both energy consumption and your electricity bill.
- Smart Thermostats: The air conditioner and heater can draw a lot of energy. Upgrade to a smart programmable thermostat that allows you to easily program and control the temperature in your home. They optimize energy usage by adjusting settings based on your schedule and can lead to substantial seasonal energy savings.
- Energy-Efficient Windows: Check for air leaks in your windows and doors. Add a weather strip to cover leaks or consider upgrading to energy-efficient windows, which are designed to minimize heat transfer. They help regulate indoor temperature, reducing the load on your heating and cooling systems.
- Solar Panels: Explore the option of installing solar panels to generate your own renewable energy. While it requires an initial investment, solar panels can significantly reduce your reliance on the grid and lower your electricity bills in the long run.
- Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems: If your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is outdated, consider upgrading to an energy-efficient model. These systems are designed to use less energy while maintaining a comfortable indoor environment.
- Power-saving Settings on Electronics: Take advantage of power-saving settings on your electronic devices, such as computers, TVs, and gaming consoles. These settings help reduce energy consumption during periods of inactivity.
Some appliances can’t be unplugged, like the dishwasher, refrigerator, washer and dryer. Using energy-efficient products will help reduce the utility bills.
Additional Ways to Save Energy
- Consider using cold water for washing dishes and doing laundry to reduce the energy put out by the hot water heater.
- Install ceiling fans using a stand-up fan in bedrooms and main living areas to cut back on A/C use.
- Keep your air ducts clean so that the air moves efficiently through the vents.
- Keep your blinds or drapes closed during the hottest parts of the day for better insulation against direct sunlight.
FAQs on Ways to Save Electricity
Is it inconvenient to unplug appliances constantly?
The biggest issue people have when I share this great way to save electricity is that they think unplugging items is inconvenient.
Honestly, I haven’t found this to be the case at all.
Fortunately, most of our plugs are not behind heavy furniture, but I know that’s an issue for some families. This surge protector with an 8-foot cord might be helpful. Or, if you have a very large entertainment center, consider this massive 3-foot-long power strip on a 15-foot cord!
Do I need to replace all my appliances to save electricity?
Not necessarily. While energy-efficient appliances are great for long-term energy savings, you can still make a significant impact by adjusting your energy habits. Unplugging devices, using natural light, and running appliances with full loads are simple changes that can save energy regardless of the appliances you have.
How much money can I save by implementing these energy-saving tips?
The amount of money you can save depends on various factors, such as your current energy consumption, the size of your home, and local electricity rates. However, implementing these tips consistently can lead to noticeable reductions in your electricity bills over time, putting more money back in your pocket.
For example, our next electric bill was just $56.44!
We saved 26 percent less on our electricity bill in a month! For simply unplugging and/or turning off items we didn’t use. That’s a big difference!
By implementing these simple and effective tips, you can reduce energy bills and have a positive impact on the environment. Lower costs, a smaller carbon footprint, and a sustainable lifestyle are within reach. If you try any of these simple tips, let me know in the comments below!