Of course, when it gets hot outside, you want to stay inside and blow up the air conditioner. But cooling the temperature can be expensive and contribute Total cost of housing. According to the US Energy Information Administration, The average electricity bill usually rises during the summer months. In 2019, $ 411 or $ 137 a month was estimated. That is compared to $ 117 a month during the rest of the year.
And if you're not ready to spend the afternoon in the local grocer's freezer – having been there for about 15 minutes is fun – you should expect to spend a bit more on your electricity bill. If you're as frugal as I am and try to cut costs as much as possible, how can you go about it? We asked some money nerds for their favorite tips:
Draw the shadows
It may seem like a trifle, but closing the curtains and drapes when the sun has peaked can cool down the inside temperatures. You can also hang thermal curtains, Vicki Cook suggests. These curtains keep out the draft in winter and block sunlight in summer. In fact, they can prevent 90% or more light from entering. You can reduce the heat by a third. "It can work from anywhere," says Cook, who lives in Finger Lakes in central New York and is a co-founder of Women who have money.
Suck out vampire energy
Do you want to easily reduce your energy costs? Just pull the plug out of the socket in your home when you're not using it, suggests Ben Huber. "It is estimated that vampire energy could account for up to 5% of residential energy use," said Huber, a personal finance specialist for Dollar Sprout. "If you're tech-savvy and use more devices than the average person, that number could be higher." "
In addition, some devices use more electricity than others. Aren't you using your computer? Instead of putting it into "sleep mode", you should shut it down, Huber recommends. And don't forget devices that are not used much. "If you have an old PS3, Xbox, or an old sound system that's not in use, pull the cable," he says. This usually takes a few minutes, but can reduce your electricity bill significantly over time. To make this a breeze, you can connect a number of different devices to a single surge protector and simply turn the off switch off.
Take cold showers
This is definitely not for the gentle. If you're not completely switched off by cold water, consider a 5-minute cold shower when it gets hot outside. While for some, such as B. Ryan Scribner is a personal challenge, it indirectly lowers your electricity bill. "Not only do they use less hot water, they also spend less time in the shower," said Scribner, co-founder of Just invest. He estimates that he saves $ 5 to $ 10 a month in electricity – plus about 10 minutes of "time found" a day.
Throw a dry towel in the dryer
Austin W. von recommends throwing a dry towel with your wet clothes in the dryer, which is immediately ready for use to save electricity costs The logic of money. "This will help pull some moisture out of your wet clothes and speed up your drying time," he says.
Would you like to save even more money? Consider washing and drying your clothes at night. "Most utilities charge you more for energy consumption during peak hours, which usually occur during the day when everyone is awake and active," says Austin. "If you just wash your clothes at night when fewer people use energy, you will likely be charged a lower price."
Using these strategies won't save you an awful lot of money, but you can very easily save between $ 5 and $ 20 a month, depending on how much laundry you normally do.
Adjust the temperature in your fridge
You can also save about 10% electricity by adjusting the temperatures in your fridge and freezer, says Austin W. What should the temperatures be? Austin recommends keeping the refrigerator between 36 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Or to reach the sweet spot, push it up or down a few notches.
Hold a money-saving competition
Why not put together a competition with an economical buddy? Amanda L. Grossman did that with a buddy at work. Every month they brought in their electricity bills and talked about the new techniques they had discovered to save dollars on their bills. "It was extremely motivating, not to mention that we both learned from each other," said Grossman, certified financial education instructor and founder of Frugal Confessions.
For example, they discovered kill-a-watt meter. You can connect them to any of your devices to see which ones use the most energy. Not only can you measure energy efficiency, but also how much these devices cost you each time you use them. They also installed retractable clotheslines in their garages, unplugged their DVR players when not in use, and created plug-in centers where they unplugged a cable before going to bed at night.
Get paid to cut your electricity bill
Yes, that's actually one thing. Companies like OhmConnect are willing to pay you for not using electricity at peak times, explains Tom Blake. In short, it is combined with most intelligent thermostats to determine the energy consumption in your home.
If energy consumption increases sharply, OhmConnect advises homeowners not to use electricity for these short periods of time. "This prevents the energy grid from being overloaded and forces energy suppliers to rely on more expensive forms of energy," says Blake, owner of This online world. If you have an account with PG&E, SCE or SDG&E for the electrical service, you can register for this service.
Saving your electricity bill doesn't necessarily take drastic steps. If you think outside the box and make minor adjustments, you can make some savings over time. And that's more money in your pocket save up or bet on something else.
Jackie Lam (81 posts)
Jackie Lam is a personal finance writer. Her work has been published in Investopedia, Magnify Money and The Bold Italic and has been featured in Money, Kiplinger, Forbes and Woman & # 39; s Day. She runs heyfreelancer.com, a blog that helps freelancers and artists make their money and reconcile their passion projects and careers.