Power Bill Bullies: What’s Keeping Your Energy Bill High?
Every electric company will lay claim to cheap electricity. Then the bill comes at the end of the month, and while your electricity provider snickers behind your back, you’re left wondering, “How does this keep happening?”
Get this, Americans spend 2.7% of their income on energy costs. Now, there’s a massive list of energy solutions that’ll help slash your bill, but we’re looking for the main culprits. The worst power perpetrators in your home, bumping that bill up month to month. We’re here to evict them and alleviate those exorbitant electricity rates.
The Most Common Home Electricity Leeches
These are the appliances that are still using electricity while they’re either turned off, on stand-by, or not operating according to their purpose (like a microwave telling the time). Your computer, TV, microwave, and landline phones are just a few. These are the hidden power ninjas. Quiet, almost invisible, until the bill comes at the end of the month.
Stopping these takes some extra vigilance. Most people leave the leeches plugged in because the power button turns a device off, right? Nope. Most of these keeping sucking power in the background as you go about your day. Little thieves in your house while you’re away at work. Unplugging them after use is the best way to prevent leech bills.
Here’s a surprising fact: 75% of energy used by modern electronics is used while they’re powered off! If you have a bunch of appliances in one area, like an entertainment center, plugging everything into a power strip and turning off the power stripafter use will show ’em you’ve got your eyes open. Some things aren’t as easy to unplug or can’t be (like your furnace), so keep your eyes open for Energy Star appliances that use minimal power when on standby.
You know the ones. They’re the highest every month. They get the most use. Air conditioning uses 5% of the electricity produced in the entire United States, and heating is no better! After them, your water heater, interior/exterior lights, fridge, and washer/dryer are the biggest sources of energy waste at home. You’re thinking, “These are essential, how can I cut down on using them?” They may be essential for everyday use, but they’re not essential for all day, every day use.
Close your doors and windows and make sure they’re closed. Small changes in house temperature will kick your furnace/AC into high gear. When you aren’t home, lower the temperature during the winter and stop heating an empty house. During the summer, draw your curtains and keep the sun out. It’ll keep your house cooler and you won’t need to run your AC constantly. Water use is tough to cut, but excessive running of hot water (and heating it) isn’t helping you. Use the dishwasher only when you need to, cut that shower from 20 minutes to 15, try those to start. Oh, and for your sake, turn off your lights!You don’t need lights on in every room in the house. Nor do outdoor lights need always be on at night, try timers and motion sensors. Cut your light time unless it’s needed.
The majority of people don’t pay attention to how they use energy in their homes, it takes discipline and self-control. Cheap electricity isn’t magic, it’s taking tons of small, deliberate steps toward heightening your awareness of energy use. Pay attention to your power use and you’ll go from “EEP!” electricity to cheap electricity quicker than you think.