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Tips to Keep Your Electric Bill Within Budget

Are your electricity bills killing your monthly budget? After your mortgage or rent, electricity and car expenses are the next major expenses. Don’t let your electricity bills shoot through the roof, take immediate action before it is too late.

So the question arises what can you do to put a leash on your utility bill? Here are a few simple tips to slash your bills and keep them within budget. We’ll start with the easiest and least expensive first.

1) Work on your habits

Without even spending a penny, you can slash your electric bills largely just by changing certain habits. For instance:

  • Use only task lighting and turn off other lights around your home.
  • Properly dust all light bulbs, lamps and other light fixtures because even a thin layer of dust affects brightness of light bulbs to a good extent.
  • In summers avoid the usage of whole house air conditioners and try to move to the cooler lower levels of the house.
  • Keep the curtains open during the day to avoid electricity consumption during day hours.
  • To avoid rebooting, we mostly leave our computers and printers on for hours. Always turn them off after use.
  • Keep the appliances and equipments like hairdryers, thermostats, and refrigerators at minimum heat levels.
  • Minimize using electric clothes washers, dishwashers, sandwich makers, and food factory and try to do your work by hand whenever possible.

2) Use energy saving appliances

Whenever you purchase new appliances, look for energy saving equipments to cut down your electricity cost. According to energy saving trust, 47% of the total electric cost is the cost of domestic appliances usage including water heaters, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc. When you replace your appliances look for energy efficient appliances having AAA energy rating logo on them. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with the compact fluorescent light bulbs saves ¼ of the electric bill. Also, these fluorescent blubs have long life, almost 7 to 10 times long as compared to regular energy eating bulbs.

3) Insulate your house

Another cost effective way to reduce electricity bills is by insulating your home. Seal air leaks that will allow cooled air out in the summer and create cold drafts in the winter. After air leaks, the majority of heat loss is through the ceiling and windows. Extra insulation added to the ceiling is often the highest return for your investment and then walls and finally floors. Windows are also a major area of loss. Replacing single pane windows with double pane windows or fitted storm windows also often is a great investment. You may also consider insulating drapes, shutters or other window treatments.

4) Install solar panels

Finally a measure that will reduce electric bills significantly is by installing solar panels. This saves the majority of your electric cost especially if you are living in an area that has massive sun exposure. Solar panels generate electricity free of cost but their installation requires a good sum. Carefully calculate the cost of installation compared to the payback period. Many solar panels have a payback period of ten years or more, depending on local electricity costs and local installation costs. If the breakeven point is ten years and the life expectancy is twenty years you would have basically free electricity for the second ten years. However, if the breakeven point is 25 years your cost would exceed your savings so it is important to look at this carefully for your local situation.