You’ve Got the Power When It Comes to Home Energy

I have to admit that I always disregarded our electric use at home. Growing up, my mom always told me to turn off the light whenever I left a room. She also taught me not to leave the water running while brushing my teeth. Recently I've realized simple steps to cut your electric bill in half! 

When I say ‘simple steps,' that is what I mean – I'm a lazy gal who isn't willing to eat dinner by candlelight (despite the romance factor), have a cold shower, or handwash my clothes. 

Do you wonder every month how the electric bill could be so high? After some experiments and some things I tried, I realized that saving tons of money on the power bill is easy. Here are 7 tips for cutting your electric bill in half that are more than just turning down your thermostat.

How To Save Money on Utilities

1. Unplug 

One thing I didn't know is that when your phone charger is plugged in, it is still using power, even if your phone is not plugged in. How crazy is that? These power sucks can increase your power bill significantly. 

I was under the impression that this would only save a few dollars per month. Just to try it out – we did a little experiment. For a month, we would unplug everything that we were not using. Well, almost everything. Any large appliances we would leave taking too much effort. We would unplug small appliances like our toaster, water boiler, electric toothbrush, and all chargers (phone, laptop, e-reader). 

Unplugging everything was super easy because everything was plugged into a surge protector. To turn them off, you turn the surge protector off. Just press one button. 

I swear, this almost cut our electric bill in half. About 40% savings when you're just paying attention to this and not leaving everything plugged in!

If you don't believe me, I encourage you to do this experiment on your own and see how much money you could save. It can vary by device and electric provider, but I'm sure you'll save a significant amount on your monthly utility bill. 

2. Use a Power Strip

If you don't want unused chargers and plugs using energy while using the device, unplug them. When that is too much for you, or you want to easier approach, use a power strip. 

One handy tip is to use a smart power strip, which automates your process. It will power off devices that are not currently in use. It's genius and will help you cut your electric bill in half. The future is now!

3. Use Energy-efficient Light Bulbs

We used to have the standard light bulbs everywhere in the house. It seemed that we were changing them very regularly. Too regularly. Especially in the bathroom, the light needed replacement at least once a month. That's not normal. We would buy the cheap light bulbs, but even that was getting expensive given we have three lights in the bathroom.

After a while, we decided to switch to these energy-efficient light bulbs, and I'm very happy we did. Since we put it in several months ago, we didn't have to change it yet. The energy-efficient light bulbs last much longer compared to the standard light bulbs. Energy-efficient light bulbs use up 75% less energy, saving your power and money. 

I didn't replace all the light bulbs at once, I just waited until they weren't working anymore, and I would replace them with an energy-efficient light bulb. I don't particularly appreciate wasting things that work. Same for a working light bulb. 

4. Wash Your Clothes in Full Loads in Cold Water

The washing machines nowadays have an option to cold wash your clothes. It means that you can wash your clothes at a temperature of 20 Celcius (68 Fahrenheit). Your clothes will come out equally clean; the only difference is you will instantly save money!

Instead of doing multiple small loads, I recommend you wait until you have enough clothes to do a full load of laundry. If you're washing in smaller loads, they tend to cost the same amount of money per washing cycle as a full load – making it more expensive since you wash more often. Wait until you have a full load of/ dirty clothes for the washing machine, and you will be right on track to cut your electricity bill in half. 

5. Stop Using Your Dryer

When you're right on track to save money on your washing, continue saving money with the dryer. Since I've been living in the student- and shared housing, I've never had a dryer. Ever. I don't think it's necessary at all. I'm fine, just line drying my clothes.

I have to agree line drying your clothes isn't as easy and convenient as just shoving them straight into the drying, but it can save you a great amount of money. When you already have a dryer, give line drying a try! It's gentler on your clothes, meaning you will save money not having to replace them. On top of that, you will save a great deal of money on your electric bill.

This portable line dryer can fold flat, so you can slide it next to your washing machine when it's not in use. I have something similar, and I have to tell you, it's very convenient!

6. Use Draft Blockers

When I was in my teenage years, my parents installed draft blockers in my room because I would want to sleep until noon without being woken up by any light. They are not for sun-blocking purposes. Who knew? I'm using them in my house as they're intended to be: draft blockers. 

They ensure the cold air is not coming into my heated room. That will save you a lot of money if it is winter and it's snowing, and you don't want your warm air to get out of the house.

7. Use a Fan Instead of Airconditioning

In the Netherlands, where I live, not many homes have air conditioning. Over the last few weeks, we've had a heatwave of 40+ degrees Celcius (104+ Fahrenheit). That's very hot for our little country. Normally our summers are rainy, and if you're lucky, the weather is good enough to wear shorts. Not this year!

During the heatwaves, all portable air conditioners and fans were sold out. Luckily I could get my hands on a fan. Fans are cheaper to run than air conditioners, and they can save you up to 20% of your electric bill. 

If you're living in a place where having airconditioning is built into the house, replacing air conditioning can be very expensive. When you're using it less, you will significantly prolong the air conditioner's life. 

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This post was produced by Radical FIRE and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash.

Marjolein is the founder of Radical FIRE. She has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. Radical FIRE is a personal finance blog that helps you live your dream life through making more money and investing. We want you to reach your financial goals and have fun while doing it!