How To Cut Your Electricity Bill

With utility costs going up, here are some ways you may be able to cut your monthly electric bill and save money.

Do you cringe when that familiar monthly electric bill appears in your mailbox? With today's increasing home energy costs, it is becoming increasingly difficult for some families to meet household expenses.

If you need to lower your electric bill, here are some easy things you can do that might be able to bring down those figures.

1. Contact your electric supply company to ask for a booklet of suggestions for reducing your monthly energy bill. The booklet, which can be picked up at the office or mailed to your home, outlines several ways in which small adjustments in the usage of home appliances can help to cut back on electric bills. Go over the main points with adult or teen family members, and ask each person to take action in managing the family's energy usage.



2. Ask for an electric company inspector to come to your home for an energy analysis. This service, which usually is free, will bring someone to your residence who will inspect all your major appliances, including their voltage, location, and frequency of use, before offering ideas for cutting back on the amount of time family members use each appliance. Typical inspection items include the refrigerator, microwave, television, computer, hot water tank, furnace, dishwasher, and other electrical units.

3. Request an actual electric meter reading rather than accept an estimated one. Some families receive an estimated use analysis that dictates their monthly bill instead of getting an actual meter reading each month. The analysis can be faulty if your home or family situation changes, such as adding more residents or losing people who share the residence, installation of up-to-date, energy-saving appliances like the dishwasher, refrigerator, and washing machine, and changes in your home itself, such as increased insulation or a new roof. An actual reading can tell you if these changes are impacting your electric usage and may save you money.

4. Cut back on wasted electric use. Remind the kids to turn off lights in empty rooms. Turn off the computer when it is not in use. Do laundry and wash dishes in the evenings instead of midday, when usage typically is greatest. Reduce the amount of time spent watching television. Raise the air conditioner's thermostat to 75 in the summer and lower the furnace thermostat to 68 in the winter; this will lower the level of energy used to power both appliances. Wash clothes and dishes in hot water, but rinse them in warm rather than hot to save heating costs.

5. Save energy usage. Combine dirty clothes once instead of twice weekly to do fewer but larger loads of laundry. Don't run the dishwasher until it's full, or consider washing dishes by hand occasionally. Don't use too many appliances at the same time. Use ceiling fans only when someone is in the room to enjoy them. Survey all major electric appliances, and eliminate those you no longer truly need.

A few thoughtful steps can move your electric bill in the right direction. Get started now so you can see a difference in next month's statement.

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