By contributing writer Laura
Electricity bills constitute a large part of your utility bills. If you’re like our household, electricity costs can go higher than water, gas, and other utilities combined. After all, we need electricity for our air conditioning, lighting, appliances, and electronic devices. And besides our extreme reliance on electricity, the prices are going up.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, residential electricity prices are on the rise. In fact, compared to last year there has been a 3.2% increase on average. As many people across the country are facing higher electric bills, there are some simple ways to save on electricity costs and be more energy-conscious.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Lights.
Patrick Harders, owner of Enlightened Lighting, is a lighting contractor who has noticed the increase in residential electric rates and shares that putting some simple energy-savings steps into place can help you save a lot of money. He suggests a switch from incandescent and halogen to LED’s.
Technological advancements in light sources have made lighting options more energy efficient than ever before, plus more affordable. LED’s are extremely energy-efficient, even more than CFL’s. By switching out your interior and exterior light bulbs for more energy-efficient LED’s, you can lower your electric bill.
Manage Your Fridge/Freezer.
Did you know that of all the appliances in your kitchen, your refrigerator/freezer uses the most electricity? Make sure you are taking steps to conserve energy by not keeping the refrigerator door open for long. You do not want cold air to escape, which will mean increased energy costs to maintain. You will also want to make sure that the door seal is working properly and preventing cold air from leaking out. If not, you may need to replace or adjust the seal. You will definitely want to find out how much energy your freezer uses so you can determine if your fridge or freezer should be replaced with a more energy-efficient one.
Check Your Insulation.
As we approach the winter months, you will likely notice an increase in your electric bill thanks to heating costs. You want to make sure that your home is well insulated so that heat doesn’t escape through poorly insulated walls, floors, or attics. You should also look to seal cracks and stop significant air leaks in your home.
Get Energy-Efficient Appliances.
When shopping for new appliances, you should check the EnergyGuide labels, which share the annual operating cost and efficiency ratings of the appliance. Buy the most energy-efficient model you can to lower your energy costs.
In Virginia, EnergyStar and Water Sense qualified products can be purchased tax-free during the state’s October sales tax holiday during early October. Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, and Texas offer similar tax-free holidays during other times of the year, so be sure to check your state’s department of taxation website for more information.
Use these tips to cut bring down your electric bill, conserve energy, and use more energy-efficient products. Save money and save energy by being an informed consumer and making smart, energy-conscious decisions that will cut your utilities bill despite the increasing electricity rates.
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