Making small changes in the way you use electricity in your home will show up as small savings on your energy bill at the end of the month. Combining many of these tips will result in a significant change in your bill on a yearly basis.
The most basic and often overlooked tip is to turn off lights you are not using. If you are not in a room, shut the lights off. If you are watching television, do you need every light on in the room? Probably not. Shutting off unused lights will help to stop the wasting hundreds of watts of power every day. Teach children to shut off the lights when they leave a room and it will soon become a habit that helps the family save money.
Change the way you use lighting inside and outside of your home. Task lighting is preferable to general room lighting whenever possible. Use motion sensors on your outdoor lights so they are only on when needed. It is nice to have a well-lit room but it is not necessary to have every light in the house on at all times.
Unplug lamps that are not in frequent use. Many people have decorative lamps in their home that are not used on a regular basis. Just plug them in when you need them because they use energy even when the light is turned off. The same goes for other electronics that do not get daily use, such as a television in a guest room or a radio you rarely turn on.
Changing from standard incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs will have multiple savings benefits. Although the fluorescent bulbs cost more than standard bulbs, they last up to thirteen times longer. They also use about one quarter to one third the energy to produce the same amount of light.
Try to use your electrical appliances less. Make sure you do full loads in your washer and dryer. Air dry your clothing for even more savings. Cook or at least pre-cook in the microwave instead of with an electric oven. There is no reason to leave a coffee maker or toaster plugged in when they are not in use. Unplug them after each use.
Keep your refrigerator door closed as much as possible, clean the coils regularly and keep the temperature at the most energy-efficient level.
Your home thermostat does not need to be at the same temperature all of the time. A programmable house thermostat is a great way to lower your electric bill. You can save quite a bit per year if you use a programmable thermostat. This can help keep your home cool or warm when you are home instead of all day when you are not there.
During the winter, keep your thermostat lower and wear more layers. For every degree you lower the temperature in the winter, you can save as much as 3% of your energy costs over the course of 24 hours.