7 steps to save money on electric bills in 2023



7 steps to save money on electric bills in 2023

Does it feel like your electric bill only ever goes up? Homeowners are seeing rising electricity bills for several reasons: an ever-increasing number of gadgets, more time being spent at home, and the ever-increasing cost of electricity.

The good news is that there are many ways to slash your electric bills - and you can achieve this fairly easily!

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    What is the cost of the average electric bill?

    The average cost for residential electricity in the US is 13.7 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), according to data published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The average home uses 886 kWh of electricity per month, so that would work out to be about $120 in electricity costs a month.

    But unfortunately, electricity costs do vary state by state so some homeowners might end up paying much more than the average. The same goes for households that might use more electricity than the average home.

    Are electricity bills going up or down?

    Up! Which is not ideal news for homeowners. Every year, homeowners can expect to see a 1.8% increase in electricity every single year. This can add up to hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of homeownership.

    Your electricity bill can vary each month though based on outside temperatures and electricity usage. You can expect that utility bills will continue to rise year over year which pay for things like the workers that maintain power lines and the cost to acquire and transport fossil fuels.

    Save money on electric bills with these 7 steps

    As electricity prices continue to rise, most people are looking for ways to reduce their monthly power budget.

    Luckily there are many ways to achieve that goal in 2023.  

    Here are the six most effective ways to save money on electric bills right now.  

    #1 Make sure you’re on the lowest rate plan 

    Some utilities offer different rate plans with cheaper options that you can opt into. Are you on the cheapest electricity rate plan offered by your utility? If not, you could be spending extra money each month for no reason.

    Reach out to your utility provider to ask about possible rate plan options, and evaluate whether or not a different plan better suits your electricity usage patterns.

    #2 Focus on the biggest energy users: heating and cooling 

    Your heating and cooling systems are almost certainly the biggest consumers of energy in your home. If you can reduce the electricity used in this category, you’ll make a big dent in your overall energy spending.

    The easiest way to do so is by replacing your current heating and cooling systems with more energy-efficient models - or potentially a heat pump

    While it is expensive to replace appliances, energy-efficient appliances will save you money on your electricity bill. There are now rebates available that can cut the cost of these upgrades by 30%! You can make sure you’re getting an efficient model by making sure it is an Energy Star-certified model.

    Calculate how much solar can save you on your electricity bills

    #3 Conduct a home energy audit 

    In a home energy audit, a professional energy auditor examines your home and performs a series of tests to highlight energy reduction opportunities. We’ve also made a DIY home energy audit checklist if you are interested in performing the audit yourself.

    The home energy audit helps you find out where exactly you’re losing money. 

    Some of the biggest culprits are:

    • Missing flashing on your doors
    • An uninsulated attic
    • Air leaks or drafts
    • Poorly-insulated windows
    • Inefficient lighting
    • Old appliances

    The audit report will list all of the issues with your home, as well as possible solutions for each. If you are completing one yourself, make sure to research the best solutions, whether it is replacing appliances or insulating your home more thoroughly.

    Check if you qualify for a free energy audit. Many municipalities and utility companies offer residents free energy audits. The easiest way to check is usually through your city and utility’s website.

    #4 Reduce energy losses and leakages 

    There are several measures you can take that will have an immediate impact on lowering your electricity bill.

    If a home energy audit was conducted on your home, it’s likely that it suggested one or more of these fixes:

    • Fix insulation: Anywhere your home lacks good insulation, work with a contractor to assess and upgrade. Attics, crawl spaces, basements, and even walls can all be spots that need to be upgraded.
    • Weatherize: This is where you’ll address windows, ventilation/vents, weather stripping, and more.
    • Update appliances and electronics: Look for the Energy Star label or a sticker that tells you how much a specific appliance (TV/washer/dryer/refrigerator) costs to run per year. Look for products that have excellent efficiency; they might cost a bit more upfront, but you will save in the long run.
    • Replace lighting: Replace old incandescent bulbs with efficient LED light bulbs.

    #5 Find creative ways to use less power

    The internet is a handy place to find tips and tricks for reducing your energy usage, which in turn reduces your heating/cooling costs. Some creative ways to do so are:

    • Invest in a smart programmable thermostat, such as a Nest or ecobee. You’ll have a lot more control over your heating and cooling system, and will even be able to operate it when you’re not home.
    • Use window coverings to keep warmth in or out. Energy.gov has a guide to using energy-efficient window attachments.
    • Use large appliances at night, especially during the summer. Appliances can increase the heat in your space, so using them during hot days will just add to already high temperatures. Clothes dryers generate a lot of heat; avoid using one by air drying your clothes instead.

    #6 Make small habit changes

    One other thing you can do is introduce simple daily habits to lower your energy usage:  

    • Run ceiling fans instead of the air conditioner
    • Wash small loads of dishes by hand instead of in the dishwasher
    • Turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms
    • Wash clothes in cold water
    • Turn down your hot water heater
    • Put on more clothes and blankets and turn down the thermostat

    Every small change you make helps reduce your energy bill.

    #7 Think outside the box: Solar can eliminate your electric bills 

    If solar is suitable for your home, then this is the best way to save on your electricity bills.

    For homeowners in many states, it’s possible to install a solar panel system that can offset 100% of your electric usage, eliminating your electric bill completely. 

    Solar panels have gone up in efficiency and down in price. Incentives and rebates are readily available, and financing a solar installation is more doable than ever before.

    Using our calculator, you can find out how many panels you need, how long your payback period is, and more.

    Find out which solar incentives and rebates you qualify for

    Key takeaways

    • Evaluate your utility’s rate plans and switch to the one that best suits your usage patterns.
    • Heating and cooling are the biggest energy users for most households; focus on reducing consumption here first.
    • Appliances certified by Energy Star are more efficient, i.e. they use less electricity to perform the same job.
    • Energy audits are a great way to identify energy losses and leakages; check to see if your utility offers this service for free.
    • There are countless opportunities to reduce your power consumption. Look for creative hacks and reassess your habits.
    • Look into solar power. When done right, it can offset your entire electricity usage and offer a quick payback on your investment.
     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Andrew Sendy

    Solar Industry Expert

    Andy is arguably the most qualified rooftop solar expert in America. He is in a unique position, having founded a large solar company but now being independent of any particular company. He has appeared on CNBC, has been referenced in public hearings concerning the rooftop solar industry ( such as the recent CPUC NEM 3 decision) and has been referenced by many major publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Business Week and many others.

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