This post is sponsored by Payless Power, providing cheap electricity for Houston residents
What would you say if I were to offer you two months of free electricity? If you were to save $50 per month from your electricity bill every month, by the end of the year you will have saved around $600. This might seem like a small amount, but for most of us living in Houston, this is equivalent to one, and to others even two months of electricity bills. From these figures, you can see how the little things can make a difference in the long run.
Electric bills might be one of your highest monthly expenditures but there are ways in which you can reduce it to acceptable levels without spending much. Here are some of the tips on how to minimize your electric bill
1. Choose Your Energy Provider Wisely
Electricity deregulation in Houston has led to an increase in the number of Retail Energy Providers (REPs), and with this comes a variety of suppliers to choose from.So, why don’t you call them or better still, visit their websites and compare their rates. You will be surprised to find out that there are some great companies that supply electricity at relatively fair prices. You can also request for discounted rates or incentives if they are available.
2. Monitor your electricity usage
You should also inquire from your electricity provider if you can monitor your energy usage online. Nowadays, most companies have their own website with features or applications that allows you to monitor your usage at the comfort of your home. Through their website, you can now track your electric usage per hour per day. You can also establish what period of the day you use the most energy. Knowing your electricity usage can also motivate you to find ways in which you can reduce your electricity usage and ultimately your electric bill.
3. Ask for energy Audit
There are some electricity supply companies that actually provide energy audit services for free. All you have to do is to call them and let them examine whether you’re wasting electricity. They will also inspect your doors and windows to find out whether you’ll need to repair or replace them for improved energy saving. Maybe all that you require is another weather caulking or stripping. They’ll thoroughly examine your house and then advise you on how and where you can save electricity.
4. Get Rid of Phantom Energy Usage
Remove all electrical devices, appliances or gadgets from the socket. Phantom energy is the energy used by electric devices that are plugged on the socket but they’re not in use. In most homes, Phantom energy is one of the main causes of energy wastage. Some of these electrical devices that are commonly left plugged-in include; mobile phone charger, Iron Box, dryer, TVs and Computers among others. Therefore, look around the house and find out whether there are appliances that should be unplugged from the power source.
5. Reduce energy usage during peak hours
Did you know that most electricity providers charge more kilowatt-hour during certain specific hours? During this period, which is also referred to as ‘peak hours’, you’re charged more than any other time of the day. Peak hours differ from one company to another, but mostly, it’ll be the period between 11am to around 8pm.
Therefore, try as much to minimize your energy usage during these hours and if possible avoid using electricity completely. To achieve these, you will need to rearrange your daily routine. For example, you can decide to do your laundry early in the morning instead of the afternoon or mid morning when energy billing rates are high. Oven also consumes a lot of energy, so why don’t you do your baking sometime in the evening? As for the dishwasher, you can turn it on before you go to bed. These are simple solutions that can save you quite an amount of money come the end of the month
6. Minimize the Rooms to Cool or Heat
Another way of reducing your electricity usage is by limiting the areas that you intend to warm during winter and cool during summer. If you have rooms that you are not using, switch off the vents to those rooms and shut the doors. You should also consider closing your utility rooms if not in use.
7. Use the Ceiling Fan Wisely
Make use of ceiling fans in your bedroom and main rooms. Majority of homes have ceiling fans, but very few use them correctly. Ceiling fans work by recirculating the air in the room, and have a reverse and forward settings. Adjust the forward settings during summer to have a breeze in the room. During the cold months, you can use the reverse settings You see, in the cold months, you don’t need a lot of breeze and neither would you want to circulate warm air.
Moreover, you need to ensure that the fan blades are clean and free from dust and dirt as this might make the fan work harder and hence consume more energy.
8. Use blinds or drapes
Almost all of us have blinds or some kind of curtains on our windows. Make use of them. Blinds or curtains play a critical role in regulating the temperature in the room, only if you can use them. Most people don’t use curtains yet we complain about the high electricity bills. You need to close them during the hot summer days and open them during the winter period to let the sunshine in.
9. Program the heater or air conditioner
Adjust the air conditioner to slightly higher temperatures during the hot days. Normally, adjusting it to around 2 – 4 degrees higher during the day compared to the evening helps prevent your air conditioner from over-working, especially during the hottest period of the day. You can re-adjust it to normal temperatures during the evening. There are people who switch off their air conditioner when they get out of the house. This is not recommended as your conditioner will have to work harder to cool the house when you switch it back on.
10. Clean Air Filters
Purpose to regularly replace and clean the air filters. There are some filters that can be cleaned with a water hose while others just need to be replaced. Air filters for the heating or cooling systems are usually inexpensive. Others recommend that you change it monthly.Dirty filters prevents air flow and makes your machine to work even harder, hence consuming a lot of energy
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