10 Effective Ways to Reduce Energy Usage in Your Home
Energy bills have been a sore point for millions of households since the onset of the cost-of-living crisis – and they are set to go up once again in the New Year. With household budgets being squeezed from every angle, it is more important than ever to find savings.
Reducing energy usage is not only an effective way to achieve this but also a net positive for the environment; where, though, might you start? In this article, we’ll share some effective tips to help reduce energy usage in your home.
- Average Cost of Energy Bills
- Why Your Energy Bill Is So High?
- 10 Ways to Save on Energy Usage
- 1. Assess Your Energy Bills
- 2. Optimize Your Heating Systems
- 3. Turn the Thermostat Down
- 4. Turn Appliances Off
- 5. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances
- 6. Switch to LED Bulbs
- 7. Adjust Your Air Conditioner or Heater to the Ideal Temperatures
- 8. Use Solar-Powered Outdoor Lights
- 9. Seal or Upgrade Your Windows
- 10. Use Smart Switches and Plugs
Average Cost of Energy Bills
In the United States, the typical monthly electricity bill averages around $117. However, the amount you pay can differ significantly based on your location.
In 2022, residential customers in the U.S. had an average monthly electric bill of $137. This was based on an average monthly usage of 907 kilowatt-hours per customer, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The cost has increased to $142.73 in 2023. This calculation considers the average monthly energy usage (899 kWh) and the typical electricity rate in August (15.93 cents per kWh).
Usually, the electric bill takes up the biggest chunk of your monthly expenses. Heating and cooling make up around 41% of electricity use for most people, so that tends to be the priciest part.
Throughout the United States, homeowners typically allocate roughly $400 per month for their home’s utilities. It includes the following costs:
- Electricity: $117.65
- Water: $70.39
- Natural gas: $72.10
- Cable: $85.00
- Trash/Recycling: $14.00
- Internet: $60.00Top of Form
Here are the 5 States in the US with the highest energy cost in 2023:
|Average Bill ($)
|Monthly Usage (kWh)
Why Your Energy Bill Is So High?
Wondering why your electric bill keeps climbing? It’s a common concern—energy costs surged between 2022 and 2023. Here are potential reasons for the high bills:
Increased Energy Usage
Your bill reflects the electricity you use, so cutting down on usage directly impacts the bill.
Rising Electricity rates
The price per kWh might have increased, especially during seasons when heating or cooling demand spikes.
Extreme conditions lead to sudden energy demand hikes, raising electricity prices.
Mismatched Energy Plan
In deregulated areas, choosing the right plan matters. Some suit high usage and others cater to low usage, affecting the rates you pay.
Maintaining your home helps cut costs by fixing insulation, sealing gaps, and optimizing HVAC units.
Old or Inefficient Appliances
Older appliances tend to be less energy efficient. It is best to switch to energy-saving appliances like ACs, refrigerators, dishwashers, and washers/dryers.
10 Ways to Save on Energy Usage
Here are the 10 tips you can follow to reduce energy usage in your home and save on bills:
1. Assess Your Energy Bills
Here, an important acknowledgment needs to be made. Up until the price hikes of 2021, the most effective way to bring down energy bills was simply to switch suppliers. Better tariffs were always available and easy to secure. However, when prices skyrocketed, no one tariff was better than any other. The market has cooled a little since then, but switching suppliers is no longer the powerful financial tool it once was.
Your usage, then, is the key factor to tackle. In order to take the right steps to reduce your domestic energy, you first need to have a concrete understanding of your usage as it stands. Start with your energy bills themselves in order to get a clear lay of the land regarding your monthly costs – and the rate at which your usage shifts from season to season.
2. Optimize Your Heating Systems
While there are habitual changes you can make that will make dramatic differences to your monthly energy bill, the arguably more dramatic changes will come from fundamentally altering your home’s heating system. Older conventional and combi boiler systems use natural gas, and often inefficiently; natural gas is costlier now than ever, and its inefficient use will only drive bills up further.
Even your outdated radiators can do a poor job of radiating the heat you generate, making swapping them out for energy-efficient radiators a key possibility for reducing your energy costs. Insulating the pipes that feed your radiators can similarly improve their efficacy.
3. Turn the Thermostat Down
With regard to habitual changes, one of the most impactful ways to reduce your heating bill is to turn down your thermostat. On paper, this sounds somewhat tautological, even patronizing, but there is more to it than ‘use less energy to use less energy.’
Many houses rely on their thermostat’s automatic settings in order to avail of a warm home to wake up to or return from work. As such, the set temperatures are not often changed. How much would you notice a one-degree drop in your programmed temperatures? Your bank account is likely to notice much more than you are.
4. Turn Appliances Off
Finally, an old but sound piece of advice that endures to this day: ensure all your appliances and devices are turned off at the wall when not in use. Many older appliances are notorious energy leeches, with less-efficient flat-screen TVs on standby capable of wicking away tens of pounds annually. These little extra costs extrapolated across your house can add up to a lot, so turn off your appliances and be rewarded.
5. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances
One of the best ways to save on energy bills is by installing energy-efficient appliances. Back in the day, there were only standard appliances available for home. But now you will find many different electronics with a five-star rating. It shows that the device consumes less energy compared to your standard ones.
Also, when your appliances become old, they need more power to work. This is another reason why your energy bills are high. So, if you have old appliances, it is best to upgrade to energy-efficient ones. For instance, using a 5-star inverter AC will lower your electricity bills by 25%.
6. Switch to LED Bulbs
LED bulbs are energy-efficient and consume less power compared to ordinary lights. If you are using traditional incandescent bulbs, your energy bills will be high. LED bulbs help you to save 75% of power and don’t produce heat.
Plus, they have the added benefit of lasting up to 25 times longer, meaning you’ll save money on replacements in the long run. The best thing about LED bulbs is that they are available in different shades and sizes. From all the options available, you can easily pick the one suitable for your home.
7. Adjust Your Air Conditioner or Heater to the Ideal Temperatures
If you tend to blast the AC when the weather warms up, brace yourself for a hefty electric bill. Air conditioning eats up a lot of energy at home. To cut back on power usage, delay turning on the AC for as long as possible.
There are plenty of energy-smart ways to stay cool, such as using window shades or turning on ceiling fans. When the heat becomes unbearable, aim to set the AC at 78 degrees Fahrenheit for a balance of comfort and lower energy use.
Similarly, cranking up the heat in colder months means more energy consumption. Aim for 68 degrees Fahrenheit during chilly spells, and lower it a few degrees when you’re away or asleep. Following these temperature guidelines can slash your annual electricity bills by up to 10%.
8. Use Solar-Powered Outdoor Lights
Outdoor lights serve multiple purposes—they guide along paths, improve safety, and create ambiance in gardens and patios. But why opt for lights that need plugging in when you can use those powered by free energy?
Solar-powered lights eliminate the hassle of hiding cords or weatherproofing bulbs and plugs. They effortlessly soak up sunlight during the day and utilize that energy to illuminate your surroundings at night. This way, you can save money on energy bills by using free solar power. While the initial investment will be high, it will pay off in the long run.
9. Seal or Upgrade Your Windows
Windows works as an energy outlet and inlet in your home. If you are living in cold or warm regions, it is best to upgrade your windows. If your windows have gaps, you will lose precious coolness or warmth through them.
For older windows, think about switching to energy-efficient versions. Double- or triple-glazed windows offer added protection against energy loss and also improve soundproofing. If a complete window upgrade isn’t possible, make sure your existing windows are well-sealed to keep your home comfortable.
10. Use Smart Switches and Plugs
Although you might long for simpler times, it’s tough to deny the convenience modern technology offers. To cut down on power usage, consider integrating smart plugs into your home. These devices fit into outlets, enabling you to plug various appliances into them.
With these smart plugs, you gain control over nearly everything in your home through a dedicated app. This means you can power off devices when they’re not in use, minimizing any vampire power consumption.
It is important to save energy because it helps to reduce monthly power bills and protects the environment as well.
You can use a power-saver, smart home devices, or energy-efficient appliances to lower your energy bill.
It works by storing electricity and then using a system capacitor to release it in a smooth way to help conserve power.
By making conscious efforts to reduce energy usage in your home, you can simultaneously lower your expenses and minimize your environmental impact. By following these ten tips, you’ll make substantial strides toward energy efficiency and play a part in building a more sustainable future. Every little action matters, and collectively, we can shape a greener and more energy-conscious world, saving a good amount of money at the same time.
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