Home Energy Usage and Rate Reduction Tips

Use our energy-saving tips listed below to learn how to reduce your home energy usage and rates. Top home energy reduction tips include using LED lightbulbs, washing laundry in cold water, and unplugging electronics when they aren’t in use. Find out if your electric company offers time-based electric rates to save even more money on your home energy usage.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Whether we want to do our part for the environment, or we just want to a save a few dollars every month when it comes to the electric bill, reducing home energy use and rates is a step in the right direction.

Learning about why we should conserve energy is the first step, followed by getting the whole family involved in learning how to reduce usage, and working on getting a lower rate.

Why Conserve Energy?

One of the main reasons that we often choose to conserve energy is the reduction in expenses that is provided. You can save hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, of dollars annually by taking steps to reduce your household’s energy consumption.

It is also good for the environment when we use fewer resources, including energy. Creating less of a demand for power results in less pollution.

Conservation of energy also results in our non-renewable resources being consumed at a slower rate so that we can still have them on the planet if we need to utilize them in the future.

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Energy Saving Tips

There are plenty of things that you can do at home to conserve energy, from simple steps that require no additional cost and almost no effort, all the way up to major remodeling and installation of energy saving appliances. There is always something that can be done to save energy.

Here are several measures you can take that will not cost anything to implement in your home:

  • Turn off lights when you are not using them.
  • Open up curtains and use daylight instead of turning on lights.
  • Shutdown your computer rather than putting it to sleep or leaving a screensaver on.
  • Wash clothing in cold water or on a more energy-saving setting.
  • Use a more energy-efficient setting on your dishwasher.
  • Remove dust from appliances and clean out filters.
  • Use something smaller than the over to cook meals. Using a toaster oven or microwave will take less electricity.
  • Lower the temperature in your home by a few degrees in the winter and raise it by a few degrees in the summer.
  • Do not over-dry clothes. Take items out of the dryer as soon as they are dry.
  • Close all windows and doors when the heat or air conditioning is on.
  • Unplug electrical items when they are not in use. An easy way to do this is to use the on/off switch on a power strip. Many televisions, small kitchen appliances, and printers go into standby mode rather than shutting down when you hit their power button. Standby mode still continues to drain electricity, even if it is a smaller amount than when the item is fully on.

If you are ready to invest some money to conserve energy even further, consider doing some (or all) of the following:

  • Use LED lightbulbs in your home. They use seventy-five percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs and do not contain the harmful mercury found in CFL lightbulbs.
  • Seal windows and doors to draught-proof your home.
  • Install a ceiling fan to make air conditioning more efficient.
  • Plant trees. Trees that will shade the home can help with air conditioning costs in the summer.
  • Use a damper to seal your chimney.
  • Get a programmable thermostat to avoid using energy when it is not needed.
  • Buy Energy Star appliances to save approximately thirty percent on your electric bill.
  • Install a zoning system for your HVAC to control the temperature in various sections of your home.
  • Have your home properly insulated.
  • Add solar panels to your roof.

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Reducing Energy Rates

Shop around for the best rates. What your current electric company is offering may not be the only option available in your area.

In addition, many utility companies now offer time-based electric rates. This is to encourage consumers to use more electricity during non-peak times. With a time-based rate, you may be able to take advantage of the lower rates offered during off-peak hours to run your washing machine, dishwasher, and other major appliances.

Make sure to check to see if your own electric company has different types of rates available before looking elsewhere.

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Getting the Kids Involved

Kids can be major consumers of energy in the home, so it is important to get them involved and practicing conserving power. Teaching them about the impact of energy consumption on the environment is an important part of the process. From there, you can get them involved in devising a plan for reducing power usage in the house, including ways they can help.

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Additional Resources

Are you still interested in learning more about conserving energy in your home?

To learn more about how the environment is affected by energy consumption and what we can do to help it, go to Stanford University for information.

For advice on how to reduce your electricity bill in the summer months, visit the Indiana Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor. For information on winter heating in addition to summer cooling, visit Energy Choice Ohio.

For information on how solar energy can help to reduce your electricity bill as well as your dependence on the power grid, visit Boston University.

If you or someone you know is struggling to afford the electric bill each month, visit Benefits.gov to see what utility assistance programs are available.

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