The Easiest Way To Save On Your Electric Bill That You Might Have Missed

When we take a close look at energy consumption in our homes, the biggest offenders come as no surprise. Let's first look at the largest contributors to high electricity bills and then review some harder to spot causes. A whopping 47% of home energy use, as noted by Connect4Climate, is caused by the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system that's responsible for keeping the indoor climate comfortable. So, one common way to reduce an electricity bill is to control the temperature of the house, which is made easier with a programmable thermostat.

The next biggest electricity gobbler (14 to 18% of total usage) is the hot water heater. An efficient, energy-saving water tank can be one of the best purchases a homeowner can make. Making sure it is insulated properly is key to shaving dollars off the utility bills. Edmonton Hot Water Tanks also recommends using less hot water, lowering the temperature, and installing low-flow faucets to see a savings in overall energy consumption.

Lighting accounts for about 12% of the total energy usage. We can save money by embracing new habits such as turning off lights when we leave a room and by using as much natural daylight as possible. According to Lightscoop, using motion sensors where possible is another great way to decrease energy usage. Swapping traditional incandescent bulbs for any of the alternatives like LED, CFL, or energy-saving incandescent bulbs will help as well.

Our homes are full of energy vampires

Plugged into nearly every electrical outlet in our homes are appliances that are barely or intermittently used. They're turned off and out of our minds, but they're still leaching energy. These are commonly called vampire appliances and we unwittingly increase our electric bills and carbon footprints when we leave their energy consumption unchecked. As technology advances, this type of energy drain becomes even more of a problem.

Identifying the phantom energy drainers is pretty easy, states Perch Energy. Appliances that have a standby mode (microwaves, phone charges, game consoles, coffee machines. etc.) are always on to some degree and siphon energy even when not in active use. These items create the fabric of comfort in our homes and we tend to forget they're there until we want to use them. Things like laptops, TVs, automatic garage doors, cable modems, and any remote-ready appliances or devices are consuming energy throughout the day, which inevitably results in higher electric bills.

Easy steps to reduce energy waste and electric bills

The quickest way to lower an electric bill, as stated above, is to use a programmable thermostat to better control the temperature of the home. And don't forget to flip that light switch to the off position as you leave the room. Make sure appliances — especially energy hogs like water tanks, laundry units, and refrigerators — are ENERGY STAR certified. For additional savings, Perch Energy recommends using smart power strips and plugs that allow power usage to be controlled through timers or by remote management. We can also get into the habit of unplugging items when not in use.

To further assess our home energy use, ENERGY STAR offers a free Home Advisor tool that is designed to help recognize energy waste and usage patterns while offering solutions to increase energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR also provides information on energy efficient products and rebates as well as tutorials on home improvement projects that can result in savings.