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Save Money on Your Electric Bill in 2023: Cut Your Bill by 30%

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Americans nationwide have been crushed this winter by huge electric, gas, and other utility bills. Price hikes this winter have left millions of Americans with the choice between heating their homes and affording their utility bills.


My home in Connecticut has been impacted. At the start of 2023, our energy supplier, Eversource, hiked our generation service charge, from $0.12050 per kWh, all the way to $0.24172 per kWh. The result was our electric bill increasing by over $200 per month, even while using slightly less energy than last month.


Luckily, I had a plan.


Here is how I've already cut my pricy electric bill by 30% and how you can too.



Ways to save money on your electric bill


There are two main ways that you can save money on your electric bills: you can either:


  • Cut your usage

  • Address the underlying rates


In general, you will be more successful with strategies that combine both of these approaches.


Depending on what appliances and homes in your home use electricity, your best bets to save money are to increase your heating/cooling, water, and power/lighting efficiency.


Here are some of the money saving tips and approaches my wife and I have used over the past months and years.



1. Change your energy supplier


In many areas, you can actually opt to change energy suppliers in an attempt to save money. Remember that $0.24172 per kWh I told you about? Instead of simply paying the new rate assessed by my energy provider, I browsed for alternate suppliers, and found one offering electricity at about $0.13 per kWh - practically half of what I was paying.


A couple words of advice here. Remember to do your homework and ask probing questions to avoid any unintended consequences. Check:


  • How long your new rate is guaranteed for

  • Whether there will be any fees to change your supplier

  • Whether you can switch again in the future, and when


Google is probably your best friend to find alternate suppliers in your area. Here in Connecticut, we have a web portal, EnergizeCT, that helps guide this entire decision-making process.


And while changing suppliers won't help you lower your delivery charges; it can make a real difference. In fact, I'm estimating I will save nearly $200 each month just for changing my electric supplier.



2. Unplug the second refrigerator


It has become more mainstream in the last twenty years to have a second fridge either in the garage or the basement. And while these can be convenient, many of us use our old units as the second unit. These old units are typically over a decade old and are much less energy efficient than models out on the market today.


My wife and I made a different type of pact. Rather than unplug our second fridge/freezer, which probably costs $25-$30 per month in electricity, we keep the freezer stocked with frozen meats that we purchase whenever there is a good sale.


For us, we store enough food that we got at a discount to make the extra expense worth it. But if you find that you're storing little other than beverages or ice cream, it may be time to rethink your approach.



3. Turn down your hot water heater


One of the most clever ways to reduce your electric bill is to turn down the hot water heater. I'm not suggesting that you take ice cold showers or wash dishes in ice, but even a modest change can add up, particularly if you have an old unit.


And while I'm waiting to see just how much money turning down my water heater will save me, my wife has not even noticed any difference.


Remember - the goal with anything energy related is not to harm your quality of line in any way, but rather to make sensible changes that will add up cumulatively.



4. Check on your home's insulation


It may be worth having an expert come to your home to evaluate your home's insulation. In the average home, over 50% of energy consumption comes from temperature control on your thermostat, so even if you can modestly improve the insulation in your home, your wallet could benefit.


Even a 5% improvement could save you $20 or more per month.



5. Stop preheating your oven


Certain baked goods may be an exception to this rule, but waiting for your oven to come up to temperature for dishes with longer baking times is a good way to waste energy for no real reason. Rather, put your dishes in the oven as they continue to come up to temperature, and then keep an eye on them towards the end of the designated cooking time.


Like I said, baked goods tend to be a little more sensitive, so maybe start with a meat or other item first.



6. Explore solar energy


Solar panels can be a great option, depending on your location of course. They will definitely help you save money each month, but the upfront costs are still pretty high. Plus, after any sort of warranty expires, you'll be on your own for maintenance and repairs, which also may prove costly.


It doesn't hurt to do some research into it though.


A friend of mine had enough of an open canopy overhead to cover the entire roof in solar panels. Not only does it pay his entire electric bill each month, but he also generates enough excess electricity to sell back to his provider.


How about collecting a check from your utility company?



7. Set the thermostat when not home


If you're going to be out of town, even just for part of a day, turning the A/C/heat up/down can really make a difference. My wife and I were in Florida when we saw our $700 electric bill come through, and the first thing we did was turn the heat down at our home.


Now, when we're not going to be home, we'll leave the house at 78-80 in the summer and 56-58 in the winter. Why pay for climate control when you won't even be home for it to make you comfortable?


Of course, this is all possible due to wifi enabled thermostats. Speaking of which...



8. Get a wifi enabled thermostat


You don't need to create a costly mistake the next time you accidently leave home without adjusting the thermostat. Just take out your smartphone and adjust accordingly.


This can save you real money. I've tracked my energy expenses closely, and even a weekend away with the heat left at 58 versus 64 can be a $25 difference come your next billing cycle.


This also works the other way. The next time you're coming home from extended time away, you can adjust your thermostat a couple of hours before you get home, assuring you'll enter to a comfortable temperature.



9. Actually use your dishwasher


Believe it or not, with the exception of antique and outdated units, running your dishwasher actually can be more energy efficient than handwashing your dishes. It is all about the amount of hot water you're using.


And the chances are, you're going to use more water washing dishes by hand. Like, a lot more water.


Dishwashers are especially important in homes like mine that run off of well water, since it takes electricity to run water even without a hot water heater.


 

Of course, there are seemingly countless other ways that you can save money on your electric bill, starting right now. Without further ado, you may also consider:


  1. Periodically replace your HVAC filter: Your HVAC system will run more efficiently as a result, and could use 10% or so less energy.

  2. Use LED light bulbs: Energy-Star certified LED bulbs use 90% less energy.

  3. Check your refrigerator/freezer temperatures: You want your food to be safely stored, of course, but refrigerators can be safe as high as 38 degrees. You don't need to waste money storing food colder than it needs to be stored.

  4. Check your window seals: Windows are notorious for allowing heat/A/C to escape through faulty or uneven seals. Replacing faulty ones can make a big difference.


Improve your home's energy efficiency


If you are serious about reducing your electric bill while improving your home's energy efficiency, you may consider having a professional out to perform an audit.


In many cases, utility companies themselves will complete free audits as a value-added service to customers.


Your auditor will likely be able to leave you with concrete steps to take to increase your home's efficiency without simply replacing your existing HVAC system and changing out your appliances, which will help, but carry extremely high upfront costs.



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studentdebtdestroyer.com is a student loan research and education website provided by Grow Your Green LLC.


studentdebtdestroyer.com is not a student loan lender.


We're passionate about teaching and guiding people to a better personal finance situation. To do this, we create an enormous amount of content, which takes time, resources, and money. ​


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About Nathan Zarcaro

Nathan Zarcaro is the founder of The Student Debt Destroyer and is passionate about personal finance related causes.  A 2018 graduate of Providence College's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Nathan studied Finance, and worked for one of the world's largest asset management firms before starting his own consulting practice.  In his free time, Nathan enjoys playing golf and traveling with his wife Brigid.

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