How To Offset The Cost Of Electricity

electricityAs the years continue to go on by, the cost of living continues to go up. This is to be expected, especially in a country where the debt limit seems to have an infinitely high ceiling. But some things go up in price out of proportion to the rest. And when those things are complete necessities, then a problem occurs.

One of those things is electricity. It is a complete necessity in today’s society, seeing that nearly everything one does requires power. So it is something that can’t be lived without (in practical terms). With its cost being high, most people find themselves in a position where they have no choice but to pay for it no matter the charge. Unlike other services, one can’t select a cheaper “plan” for electricity, and many people don’t even have the choice of company.

So how can one work out paying less for electricity? Well, that would depend. Are you saving electricity at home? If you’re not, then you’re mission out on the only way to actually save on power costs.

Now, many people have come to think of saving electricity as something which will be taxing on one’s lifestyle. Something that will require habit changes that will leave one in a less than comfortable position. This simply isn’t true. While the “uncomfortable” solutions for saving energy will produce results (like turning off the a/c) they are far from being the only solutions available.

Instead, let’s take a look at some other solutions which will make saving electricity in the home easy and practical. While all of them may not be applicable to every home, most of them will be able to be put into action by virtually anyone, whether they live in an apartment or a large home.

saving electricityFirst, let’s look at the different areas where electricity is used in order to sort our tips into categories. The first is air condition and heating. This one makes up about 50% of your overall electricity bill. So anything that can be done in this area will produce the most marked results. The next is that of water heating. This one is about 17% of the total bill, so again, it’s quite a large portion. The rest goes to appliances and lighting. These amounts can vary a bit depending on what you have in your home and your usage habits.

So, to begin, we’ll start with tips on how to reduce your air conditioning and heating costs.

For better a/c efficiency, one should keep the filter clean regularly. A clogged filter makes for a tougher time getting air to circulate throughout the system. This means that more energy is spent to do the same job. Next, close vents going to unused rooms. This way you’re only using energy to cool down (or heat up) the rooms you are using. Be sure to close the doors going to such rooms and ensure that one of them doesn’t contain the thermostat. Next, installing an electric saver device will help to boost the efficiency of the a/c by ensuring that the electricity that it wastes (it’s quite inefficient all by itself) gets collected and put back to use. Finally, a programmable thermostat is also a good idea as many of them come with energy-saving settings.

How to calculate the cost of running electric appliances – kWh calculator

Next, let’s look at the water heater. Start off by ensuring that the temperature is not set above 115°. Higher than that is a waste of power and poses a burn risk. Changing the temperature settings can be tricky, so it’s best to consult with the owner’s manual and if you still aren’t sure, just hire someone experienced to do it. Adding insulation is also a good way to save energy here. By wrapping up the water heater with additional layers of insulation, you’ll help to keep the heat trapped inside and thus less heating cycles will be needed. Lastly, save hot water by using only cold water for doing laundry and washing dishes.

save-moneyFor general appliances, you’ll need specific tricks for each, but as a general rule, unplug it when not in use. Appliances still draw some power even when turned off just by being plugged in, so unplugging them is a good way to prevent this. A smart power strip will also do this for you automatically so you don’t have to be bothered with having to unplug and plug in appliances as the day goes on.