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Saving money is on the top of everyone’s minds these days. Between job losses, benefit losses, and the rising cost of just about everything it is easy to see why many people are seeking out new ways to save money. One of the first places that you should look for savings is in your own home and your electricity spending. Most people can cut their electric bill significantly by making small changes that cost nothing or very little. If you have some money to spend there are a few big changes you can make that will cut costs and earn your money back for you in short order.

  1. Unplug things you do not use – Every item that is plugged into an outlet is drawing power, even if it is switched off. Go through your home and unplug everything that is non-essential. Lamps, clocks, televisions, coffee pots, and toasters should all be unplugged when they are not actually being used. You will be shocked to see how many of those items never get plugged in or only get plugged in on rare occasions.
  2. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs – If you have not already done this now is the time to start. You are probably finding it harder and harder to find those old incandescent light bulbs any way so take the plunge and switch to compact fluorescent. Although they cost a bit more to purchase, they last a lot longer and save an average of $35 over the life of the bulb. They usually last 10 years and have the added benefit of not burning hot like the incandescent ones.
  3. Get new appliances – The adage, if it is not broke don’t fix it is not true when it comes to cutting your energy bill. Even if your old refrigerator or dishwasher run fine, if they are not energy efficient they should be replaces. The cost to run old appliances is high and you will earn your money back pretty quickly once you switch to energy star rated new ones.
  4. Control the temperature – Your home does not need to be heated or cooled at the same temperature all day and night. If you install programmable thermostats you can set it to be cool or warm when you are active in the house and adjust when you are not home or are asleep. Your family will not notice the fluctuations in temperature but you will see a big change on your bill.
  5. Install solar power panels – Yes, this is an expensive option. However, with the growing use of solar energy it is getting constantly getting less expensive. If you want to make a smaller investment you can even get solar cells to operate small items. However, generating solar power will cut down on your electric bill significantly and can even earn money by allowing you to sell back your overflow. There are also loads of government incentives available to cut down on the initial cost.
  6. Use cold water to wash clothes – Almost everything you buy can or should be washed in cold water anyway so do not waste money by laundering things in warm or hot water unless it is absolutely necessary. Most times it is not necessary, so unless your child has brought lice home from school keep that setting on cold and you will save lots of cash.

We all want to keep more of our money in our pockets. By saving money on electricity you can easily cut down your household budget and have more money to make continual energy improvements. Most of these things are so easy to do that your family will not even realize they are tightening their energy belts.

Alban is a personal finance writer at Home Loan Finder, which offer free information on home equity loans

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9 Responses
  1. Chet

    How about the following?

    1. Teach yourself and your kids to SWITCH OFF LIGHTS WHEN YOU/THEY LEAVE A room.

    2. Switch OFF the central heat in the house at night and use a space heater in the bedrooms you actually use.

    3. Remove those fancy 8 high -power bulbs above the bathroom mirror and use two or three CFLs instead.

    1. Fin Engr

      Chet:

      Definitely #1… it’s amazing how this simple task is often forgot. And that’s a good idea with #2, it cuts down on heating tremendously. You can also go around and close the vents in spare rooms so all the heat is directed to specific areas.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Turn off the home computer at night and when away at work. Even a computer in sleep mode draws some power. And shut off the computer speakers, too.

    Reconsider temperature settings. Of course let the temperate change when not at home, but even when at home, consider letting it be a few degrees warmer or colder.

    1. Fin Engr

      Thanks DM….btw when did you become Alpha Certified? Congrats! Are you posting dividend articles over there yet?

  3. Heat/cool only the space that you spend a lot of time in. America is the land of plenty and we are wasteful with our resources. In Japan, they use the Kotatsu table to heat a small space, Google it if you don’t know what it is. You can get one on the internet or build it yourself with parts from Ebay and IKEA.
    In Australia, they have switchable electrical sockets. Why don’t we have that in the hardware store?

    1. Fin Engr

      Temperature control of unused areas is a great suggestion. What are switchable sockets? Haven’t heard of those.

  4. Philly area

    Just came here from a link on another PF blog. I just wanted to comment about the new appliances suggestion. I wouldn’t get a new dishwasher unless my old one was broken. The new energy guidelines have done a real number on a dishwasher’s efficacy. Plan on prewashing your dishes before washing them in all but the most expensive dishwashers (think Miele).

    Our water bill actually went up when we bought our $800 Whirlpool Gold dishwasher because we suddenly had to wash our dishes before using the dishwasher AND we had to run the faucet to make the water hot because the dishwasher didn’t heat the water.

    Unfortunately, I’ve heard similar stories from nearly everyone I know who’s recently replaced their dishwashers.

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