The summer heat is no laughing matter and the heat can lead to a serious spike in your electricity bill this time of year and require you to come up with creative ways to save electricity. During the summer, it’s often impossible to make it without an air conditioner, so your bills can soar as the AC runs constantly. In order to keep costs down, you’ll need to take proactive steps to save money on electricity. Fortunately, there are a number of different ways that you can reduce your energy consumption, lower your electricity cost, and save money month after month. The key elements are to ask yourself how to save money on electricity, figure out where to look for savings, and to take the steps necessary to implement energy-saving changes. Fortunately, none of the cost-saving steps are extremely complicated to implement.
We’ve put together 7 ways to save a combined $1000 or more on your electricity bills every year.
Switch electric providers
$480.00 potential savings in one year.
If your contract with your electricity provider is scheduled to end soon, you can save a lot of money by switching to a new provider. Electricity companies often offer deep discounts in the beginning in order to draw in new customers. If you find a low rate, consider signing a contract that allows you to lock in that lower-than-average rate for a set amount of time such as 6 months, 12 months, 24 months, 36 months, or more. Locking in a lower Kilowatt per hour price can save you some real money over the course of the year. For example, if you go from a 10¢ per kWh price to an 8¢ per kWh price, with an average usage of 2000 kWh per month, you will save around $480.00 in one year. As you search for a new electric provider, have your current bill close by so you can compare kWh pricing and your usage. You can find free online calculators to help you calculate your potential savings. It is important to note that switching your electric provider before your current contract expires can cost you. Many electricity contracts have an early termination fee so be sure and check the fine print on yours.
Explore credit-based usage plans
$1,140.00 potential savings in one year!
If your electricity usage each month is fairly predictable then a plan that offers a credit based off of usage amount can help you save money. For example, one Texas plan offers a $95 bill credit each month you use at least 1000 kWh but less than 2000 kWh. This translates into big savings if you keep your usage in that range. It can be more expensive if your usage falls outside the range so make sure you are confident about the level of electricity you use before you switch to this type of plan. If you’re not in Texas, search for a similar plans in your community.
Program your thermostat to adjust automatically
$240.00 potential savings in one year.
Saving money on air conditioning can be a simple task, especially if you have a programmable thermostat. You can set your thermostat to automatically adjust during the times that you are away from home. There is no need to cool or heat your home while you’re out to the same degree as you do when you are home. Setting the thermostat to automatically adjust can save you up to 10% per year on your energy cost.
Pay for electricity with a cash back credit card
$120.00 potential savings in one year.
If you have a cash back credit card you can use that benefit to save on your electricity costs. The exact percentage you will get back will depend completely on your card. If you do not currently have a cash back card, there are a number of different options you can explore. Some even offer a one time bonus when you get approved which can further increase your savings.
Switch to energy efficient appliances
$100.00 potential savings in one year.
Switching one of your major appliances, such as your fridge, for a more energy efficient option can save you up to $100 per year. This cost savings will occur year over year which means that the savings from this switch will continue to add up.
Change your air conditioning filter
$120.00 potential savings in one year.
Regularly cleaning or changing your air conditioning filter will help reduce the amount of energy you consume to cool your house. This simple task can save you 5% per year on your energy costs.
Make home improvements
$500.00 potential savings in one year.
There are a number of home improvement projects that can help you utilize less electricity and save money. Options like replacing single pane windows, adding insulation in your attic, and replacing damaged weather stripping can all work together to reduce energy waste and increase cost savings.
Buy your electricity wholesale
$50.00 plus potential savings in one year.
You can purchase electricity wholesale in Texas by going through a site like Griddy.com. (Also available in many other states!) For a small monthly membership fee, Griddy sells you electricity at the wholesale price. This can translate into savings throughout the year. The savings amount will fluctuate from month to month and may not cut your electric bill by 75 percent, but the potential savings are still worth the effort it takes to learn about wholesale electricity. You can use the calculator provided on the Griddy website to estimate your overall savings based on your usage amount and your current kWh price.
High electricity costs are a big struggle for many families in East Texas and around the country. The jump in cost that is associated with the spike in the temperature can be a significant financial burden.
The seven cost saving tips outlined above can help you save $1000 a year by reducing energy usage, lowering the cost of electricity, making your home more efficient, and getting creative with the way you pay your bill.
Consider getting solar panels
Potential annual savings $1,200
Solar panels have the potential to save you money on your energy costs for years to come. Solar panels are complicated pieces of technology but here is a basic overview of how they work: the solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it to electricity. If you want to dig into the details and science of how solar panels work, you can read more about them here. Solar panels can be set up in a couple of different ways. In Texas, solar panels are typically set up to be connected to the power grid. As your panels collect and convert electricity the amount you need for your home is used and the excess is fed back into the grid. If you put more electricity into the grid than you use the Transmission and Delivery Utility (TDU) in your area – in East Texas the TDU is usually Oncor – will credit you for that excess so you have access to electricity when your panels are not actively converting electricity – this process is called net metering. In areas where there is plenty of sunlight you can drastically reduce or eliminate your electric bill with solar panels. The panels do cost money to purchase and install. There are a number of programs, rebates, and tax breaks designed to make getting solar panels an affordable process. In the beginning, the money you save on electricity can be used to offset the cost of the panels. Once the panels are paid off, the savings will be money in your pocket.
Potential annual savings $650
Energy Ogre is a membership based program that is designed to take care of all aspects of your electricity service. The program finds the most competitive electricity rates – based on the way that you use electricity – and matches you with the plan that will be the most cost effective. In addition, Energy Ogre monitors your usage and will help you switch to a different plan if there is one that is a better fit. Energy Ogre will help you with account-related procedures and provides a centralized place for you to take care of all electricity-related tasks. This service can help you save both time and money. Energy Ogre estimates that the average customer saves 40% on electricity costs. The membership fee of $10 per month/$120 per year is usually far less than the savings customers get from joining Energy Ogre.
Unplug the ‘energy vampires’ in your house
Potential annual savings $100.00
There are appliances and devices in your home that use electricity even when you think they are off. These appliances and devices are called ‘energy vampires’ because they are constantly sucking energy. TVs, modems, routers, computers, printers, and appliances with digital clocks are all potential energy vampires in your home. Unplugging these items when they are not in use can help reduce your energy costs. You can also use a powerstrip to plug in several energy vampires in one place and flip the switch to turn off several items at once.
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