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It’s Electric!

thermostatIt’s Summertime and that means higher electric bills.

10 Free/Cheap Ways to Save on Electric
(this list is compiled from various utility companies and conservation websites)

  1. Monitor. Many utility companies provide FREE energy and water usage monitoring so you can see what you are using each day. That can help you know when you are using more than you can afford, or if there is a leak. OUC uses MyUsage. Duke Energy has a few programs on their Save Energy & Money page.
  2. Audit. Most utility companies provide FREE home energy audits. They will come to your home and let you know information such as if your windows are leaking, if your wiring is wasting electricity, and which appliances are draining your wallet. If you are a renter, you may need permission from the landlord. You can also do an audit online.
  3. Get Paid. Some utility companies will pay YOU money if you participate in their peak energy time savings programs. Call your utility provider to see if they have a program and if you qualify.
  4. Unplug.  Did you know appliances use electricity even when they are turned off? If you are not using something, go ahead and unplug it. Along those lines, turn off lights and ceiling fans when you leave a room.
  5. Turn it Up. AC/Heater: Do you have a thermostat? In winter set it at 68 or below, in summer 78 or higher. Turn your ceiling or portable fans on while you are in the room, and you can set the thermostat even lower in the winter and higher in the summer.
  6. Grill in the summer. It doesn’t just taste good, it saves money on electricity and cooling costs.
  7. Rearrange. Is your couch in front of your vent? Move your furniture and curtains so all vents are unblocked.
  8. Fill it up. Don’t use your freezer much? Fill it up with bottles of water (leave a little room for the water to expand as it freezes so the bottle doesn’t break). The more stuff that’s in the freezer, the less energy you use. Set your freezer temperature to 0 and your refrigerator to 37 degrees.
  9. Filter. Ask your landlord if they can provide filters monthly to replace the old ones in the ac unit.
  10. Insulate. Are you living in a house or townhouse? Take a peak in the attic. If there isn’t much insulation, then you are heating up or cooling off the whole neighborhood. Insulation is inexpensive, ask your landlord if they will install sufficient insulation.


Here are a few links to more tips on ways to save on your electric bills:

  1. Together We Save (SECO)
  2. 20 Ways for Renters to Save (MNN)
  3. Videos to show energy saving tips (Ocala Utility)
  4. Teach your kids to conserve energy (Energy Star)
  5. Tips for Renters (Energy Star)
  6. Moving? Renter Tips: Things to Look for Before and What to do After Move In (MGE)
  7. Making your rental more energy efficient (Apartment Therapy)
  8. 10 Easy Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill (Get Rich Slowly)

What energy saving strategies do you use?

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