Personal Finance

13 Cool Ways to Save on Electricity

Utility bills are always on the rise making saving money a priority. Below you’ll find 13 ways you can save some dough on electricity.

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When you’re looking for ways to make the most of your money, cutting utility costs can be a good way to make it happen.

One place you might be able to save is on your electric bill. There are a number of tricks you can use to save money on electricity, depending on your situation.

13 Ways to Save Money on Electricity

There are different ways to save money on electricity, from small things designed to help you save a few bucks per month, to larger moves meant to help you save more money in the long run. Some of these items might even require an initial outlay of cash but could result in more money saved in the future.

1. Use a Programmable Thermostat

One of the easiest and least expensive ways to save money on electricity is to buy a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can set it to identify days and times when you can have the heat higher or lower.

For example, if you’re at work outside the home all day, you can program the thermostat so the heat is lower until you’re ready to come home, and vice versa for the summer. This is a cost-efficient way to keep your home heated and cooled.

2. Replace Air Filters in Your HVAC

If you have an HVAC system, you might be surprised to learn that it works less efficiently when the filter is dirty. When your HVAC has to work harder, your electricity bill goes up. Change your filters every three months, and you’re more likely to see an improvement in efficiency and a lower electric bill.

3. Use a Fan Instead of the Air Conditioner

Air conditioning can use a lot of energy. However, instead of turning on the air conditioner early in the day, consider using a fan. A fan uses much less energy than an air conditioner and can still make the room feel cooler. A ceiling fan can also help you feel cooler at night without keeping you awake with the noise and without the need for air conditioning in many cases.

4. Motion Detector Lights

Instead of sticking with light switches (and dealing with everyone leaving the lights on), consider getting motion detector lights. These lights turn off automatically when there’s no one around, and you won’t have to grope around in the dark for the light switch. You can also use a dimmer to reduce the amount of energy you use in certain circumstances when you are in the room.

5. Use a Smart Strip

Plug items that you can turn off at night or when not in use into a smart strip. That way, you don’t end up using as much vampire energy. You can use one switch to turn off the applicable items. It will cut off the power flow and save you more money in the long run.

6. Turn Down the Temperature on Your Water Heater

If your water heater uses electricity to keep things warm, you could save energy by turning down the temperature. Consider setting the water heater to 120 Fahrenheit. If it’s higher than that, turning it down could save you money in energy costs.

7. Consider Your Wardrobe

When at home, consider dressing comfortably in a way that allows you to be able to set the thermostat at a certain level. This way you wont need to change the temperature as much. You can also set it in a way that saves you money over time.

8. Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water

If you’ve been using hot water to wash your clothes in the washing machine, you could save money on electricity by switching to cold water. Choose high-efficiency laundry detergent and set the water temperature to cold, and your water heater won’t have to work as hard to take care of the laundry and you’ll save a little bit more in electric costs.

9. Add Thicker Curtains

Your window treatments can make a difference in how energy efficient your home is. Consider using thicker curtains to further insulate windows, especially in winter. The downside to this approach, however, is that you could end up with less natural light. This can be a strategy to help during times of the day when you arent at home.

10. Increase the Insulation in Your Walls

While adding insulation to your attic and walls can cost money upfront, it could save you money in the future. Extra insulation keeps your home from being impacted by outside changes in temperature. It can keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Over time, if you stay in the home, the savings on your electric bill can add up.

11. Add Energy-efficient Equipment to Your Home

You can also increase the energy efficiency of your property and reduce your electricity costs by installing certain equipment, such as solar panels or cells, solar water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, and even small wind turbines.

While these can cost money, they also come with a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost through 2021. This can help you defray the cost. Plus, over time, the savings from using these types of energy could add up to more than you pay. Another consideration is that if this ends up allowing you to produce excess electricity, some power companies and cities can compensate you, essentially buying your excess from you.

Bonus Tip: Use OhmConnect

OhmConnect is an app offered to those who have certain power companies in California. With this app, you can help improve the usage of clean energy. During times when dirty energy is most likely in use, OhmConnect provides you with tips to help you save energy. When you’re connected and you take the time to save energy, OhmConnect is paid by California to reduce the amount of time dirty power is used, and some of those savings are passed to you. You receive cash rewards for using less power.

12. Install Energy-efficient Windows

Your windows might be a major source of leaks. If too much airflow is getting through the windows, consider installing energy-efficient windows. These windows allow for less energy use by reducing how much outside air makes it inside. Over time, the electricity savings start to add up.

13. Plug Air Leaks

Check to see where other air leaks might be, including under doors or around power sockets on exterior walls. You can use weather stripping, caulk, and replace the seals around your windows to reduce these leaks. With the leaks plugged, your heating and air conditioning will be more efficient and can save you money in electricity.

Final Thoughts

There are a number of strategies you can use for saving money on electricity. Carefully think about what makes sense for your situation. Even if you can’t spend the money upfront to take drastic action, you might be surprised at what you can save over time with some of the smaller actions.

If you can combine several strategies, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars each year in electricity costs. Not only is that good for your wallet, but it’s also good for the planet.

Also Read: Best Socially-Responsible Investing for Earth Day

No matter how much you spend on energy bills every year, you always have the opportunity to spend less with a little hard work and clever thinking and if you’re the type of person that doesn’t just want to save money on electricity, check out our money-saving tips page, where you’ll find hundreds of other great money-saving ideas.

Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit

Miranda is a nationally-recognized financial writer and money expert. She has contributed to NPR, Marketwatch, Yahoo! Finance, U.S. News & World Report, FOX Business, The Hill and numerous other publications. Miranda is an avid podcaster and writes about money and freelancing at her website,

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