It's not every day that you find a big sale you just can't pass up. What if the sale was for a bill that comes in the mail every month? A bill that keeps your house flowing is not something that can be cut out of the budget to save extra cash every month.
I am now saving over 60% on my gas & electric bill each month. By calling my biller and learning more about their programs, our monthly bill has gone from a monthly average of $138 to $58!
Here’s how to shrink your energy bill and save money each month:
Learn the Patterns
Some companies have diagrams and/or charts to help illustrate where power is being used most at various times of the year or how weather impacts a household's usage.
Items that are plugged in still use power. Think of anything that has a blinking light, beeps, or has a timer.
The sun is a natural resource; use it as much as possible. It's free! Turn out the lights when leaving a room. When cooking in the kitchen, use smaller lights (such as the light over the stove) instead of overhead lights.
Curtains and Blinds: Open and Close
By keeping blinds and/or curtains open or closed during specific times you can save big on cooling and heating. For instance, on colder days keep the blinds or curtains open to let the sunlight warm the house. Keep curtains or blinds closed on hot days to prevent the light from heating the same room.
Do Laundry Once a Week
Reduce frequent use, and keep your washer and dryer unplugged during the week. Whenever possible, wash in cold water rather than hot (to save on the cost of heating water).
Don’t Rinse or Hand Wash Dishes
Rinsing dishes before loading into the dishwasher wastes water. Since dishwashers are much more efficient than hand washing, let the dishwasher do all the work!
Turn off the Pilot Light
Depending on the age of your wall heater, you can save up to $10 a month by turning off the pilot light. This is an option in some cities, and the power company will perform this service for free. They will also come back and turn it back on when the winter months hit. If you have a wood stove, consider using it to heat the home when possible.
Avoid Peak Hours
Do larger chores (such as laundry or running the dishwasher) during off-peak hours. These can vary from state to state, but generally off-peak hours (when less energy is used) occur overnight and early in the morning.
This is how I made the most of off-peak hours:
- Laundry one day a week before 10:30 a.m. (this way I am able to limit my loads to four or five per week).
- Dishes are done before 9 a.m. I also changed my setting to a one-hour wash with no steam dry.
- During the day our lights stay off and all appliances are unplugged (including washer and dryers, phone chargers, printer, and computers). We also got rid of our microwave, and the television stays off during the day. Even our internet gets unplugged when we go on trips.
- The pilot light for our wall heater is off (we try to use our wood stove instead, and it is better for a house that molds easily). We also lowered the temperature on the water heater as low as we could while remaining comfortable and switch to “vacation mode” when we go out of town).
This is a guest post by Nicole from Eureka, CA
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