Do You Pay Too Much for Electricity?

by Dr. Ben on February 17, 2012

An interesting article in USA Today  reports wide variations in electric bills depending on where you live and the fifth straight year of overall increases above the inflation rate.  It is definitely wise to monitor your electricity consumption and make changes to reduce costs.  With the average household paying $1,419 a year the savings can be considerable.  You know the routine, now start doing it!

Here are some tips:

  • Check your HVAC for efficiency – have a technician evaluate it for improvement or replacement
  • Seek out energy saving devices and appliances
  • Adjust your thermostat to minimize costs, if you have a programmable device set it so that it’s not cooling or heating an empty house while you’re at work
  • Seal your house – especially windows and doors
  • Install or upgrade insulation
  • Clean filters save money
  • Change incandescent light bulbs and replace them with fluorescent or other energy savers
  • Consider using fans to assist in cooling or heating and improving comfort
  • Unplug unused appliances whenever possible
  • Familiarize yourself with utility usage plans and rebates
  • Some states offer a choice of electric suppliers check it out
  • Close blinds when it’s hot and open them to use solar energy to heat a room

Pay particular attention to the energy “hogs” like A/C, heating equipment, dishwashers, laundry washers and dryers, water heaters, refrigerators and stoves.  These appliances can break the bank on your utility bill.  Make sure you use them effectively (including full loads in washers with cold water settings, reasonable temperature settings on A/C and refrigerators, full dishwashers, reduced hot water thermostat settings or using new technologies, etc.)

There are many other ways to increase savings in this area, but it all begins with awareness, then examining options, and finally taking action.  Some changes are simple like turning out or replacing light bulbs while others like replacing appliances require a cost-benefit analysis.  Get started and good luck!

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