How to Save Money on Your Electric Bill Every Month

Making small changes in the way you use electricity in your home will help you save money on your electric bill every month -- even in the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Of course you know to turn off lights when you're not using them. However, what you may not realize is that anything you plug in uses energy even if it's turned off. Do a thorough assessment of your electricity usage, and take advantage of several smart energy-saving ideas to reduce your electric bill.

Things You'll Need

  • Compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Programmable thermostat


    • 1

      Turn off lights you are not using. Flip the switch on your way out of the kitchen; if you are watching television, turn off extra lamps in the room. Teach children to turn off the lights or the TV when they leave a room.

    • 2

      Change the way you use lights inside and outside. Use task lighting, such as a reading lamp, rather than overhead, general room lighting whenever possible. Install motion sensors on your outdoor lights so they go on only when needed.

    • 3

      Unplug lamps and appliances you don’t use frequently. Appliances draw power even when they’re turned off, so only plug them in when you intend to use them. Look around the house for additional waste, such as a television in a guest room or a radio you rarely turn on.

    • 4

      Replace standard incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Although the fluorescent bulbs cost more than standard bulbs, they several times longer. They also use significantly less energy to produce the same amount of light.

    • 5

      Try to use your electrical appliances less. Wait until you have a full load for your washer and dryer. Air dry your clothing for even more savings. Cook or at least pre-cook in the microwave instead of the electric oven.

      Don’t hold open your refrigerator door. Organize your fridge so you can easily get to the things you use most often and close the door quickly. Clean the coils regularly, and keep the temperature settings in the refrigerator and freezer at the most energy-efficient levels.

    • 6

      Adjust your thermostat. You do not need to keep the house heated or cooled to the same temperature all of the time. Install a programmable thermostat lower your electric bill. It automatically sets the temperature to a comfortable level during times when you are home and reduces heating/cooling usage when the house is empty.

    • 7

      Learn to live a little warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. In the summer, use a temperature a couple of degrees warmer than usual so your air conditioner will not turn on as often. Close shades and blinds to keep the heat out. During the winter, lower the thermostat setting and wear more layers. Open the shades to let the sun’s warmth in.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be extremely careful with fluorescent bulbs, which contain a small amount of highly toxic mercury. If you drop one and it breaks, call a professional who specializes in mercury cleanup.
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  • Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

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