Bills are an unavoidable fact of life and one of the many mandatory drains on your money. Whilst you cannot truly escape your electrical bill, you have a lot more control than you might originally realize. Here are a variety of tips and tricks that you can employ in your daily life to minimize your electrical spending and have a little extra at the end of each month.
Turn Off Your Devices When Not In Use
This is a simple and yet often neglected way to save money. It is easy to forget but vital that you don’t, having your electrical devices on when you aren’t currently using them is just flushing money down the toilet. Leaving the television on if you’re only leaving the room for a couple of minutes isn’t that big of a deal. But when you leave lights on overnight or leave devices on while you’re out of the house, is extremely wasteful. Even plug switches will waste electricity if they’re left on. Simply getting into the habit of switching your devices off when you aren’t in the room will reap results over time. If you live with other people try to get them into the same habit and make them aware of your plan. Make sure they aren’t inadvertently sabotaging you.
Get A Smart Meter
Having a smart meter in your home allows you to physically see how much your spending and wasting on your energy bill. Simply contact your supplier and ask them for a smart meter and they will arrange to have someone come over and install one for you. These update in almost real-time, so they allow for extremely accurate readings, once your smart meter is installed and active it’s incredibly easy to track your electrical usage. Having easy access to your energy output allows you to identify what areas you are wasting energy in and act accordingly.
Eliminate Phantom Loads
Phantom loads (also known as vampire power or standby power) is the energy that is wasted from items that are turned off or are suspended. Phantom loads are used to enable various features such as the current time to be tracked while the appliance is off. They are also used to allow devices to turn on and set up much faster than they normally would be able to. These unseen energy expenditures can in some cases account for up to 10% of your electrical bill. In order to prevent this, you will need to:
- Identify the main sources of your phantom loads, this will include devices like televisions, computers, laptops, etc.
- Use power strips to connect multiple devices to one power source, such as your television, channel box, and DVD player, and then turn it off at the power strip when not in use. Make sure to unplug these to stop all chances of them draining power.
- Unplug and switch off devices once they have been fully recharged. Not only does this use extra energy unnecessarily but it also can damage the internal batteries of some of your devices if they are heavily overcharged.
- Don’t leave your devices on when they don’t need to be. Place your devices in sleep or off mode instead of leaving them on the screensaver.
- Many modern devices come with a wide variety of power-saving options, these range from reduced brightness to automatically switching off after a certain amount of time has elapsed. Go into your options and customize to your heart’s content until it suits you.
Lower Your Thermostat
One way that people end up ramping up their bills is with heating and hot water. Simply lowering your thermostat by one degree can lower your bill significantly. Make sure you compensate by wearing warm clothes so you aren’t too cold.
Change Your Light Sources
Artificial light is one of the most common uses of energy in daily life, it can be easy to take for granted and easy to forget. If they are forgotten about they can lead to an incredible waste of energy. Whilst switching lights off when they aren’t needed is useful there are other changes that can be made to lower their impact on your monthly bill.
Install Dimmer Switches
Dimmer switches allow for much greater control over how you illuminate your home. Instead of simply being completely on or completely off like a standard switch, dimmer switches let easily you adjust how bright you want the room to be. This is extremely useful depending on how reliant a particular room is on natural light, during the bright Spring and Summer months you can use less energy to illuminate your room and vice versa for Autumn and Winter.
Use Energy-Saving Lightbulbs
This is a much simpler and cheaper solution to lighting. These lights use around 20 watts when turned on which is a third of what a standard bulb will use. The initial investment is noticeably higher than with regular bulbs especially if you are replacing the bulbs for an entire building but they will provide excellent savings after only a single year. They are dimmer than standard bulbs but in the majority of situations, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Invest In Insulation
Heating your home is a tricky balancing act when it comes to saving money. Having to deal with the changing temperatures of the seasons can be made much harder and more costly if your home is insufficiently insulated. By insulating your home you are able to keep your heat trapped inside and will not have to spend as much money keeping it warm. You can hire a professional to install insulations for you or you can get some from a DIY store and do the job yourself.