Winter often brings an extra bit of stress on pocketbooks during the cold winter months, due to the fact that our electricity costs can rise substantially during this time of the year. Between heat usage, and generally being indoors more, electricity costs can jump quite a bit if you’re not careful, especially if you live in a colder climate. Here are some timely tips for keeping those electricity costs down and saving some money in the process:
1. Analyze your electricity usage. Are you leaving lights on all over the place that don’t need to be on? Are you forgetting to unplug appliances that aren’t currently in use? Those little things really do add up. I remember being a kid and thinking my dad was a secret member of The Light Police, as he was always hollering at us to stop leaving the lights on. Now, as a parent myself, I don’t even have to holler because I’ve got the kids so well trained from my own years of being the Light Police Officer.
With careful scrutiny, you’re sure to find ways that you are wasting electricity, and therefore wasting money. Be a Negative Nellie as you go through your home, objectively searching for electricity waste.
2. Make a plan of action.
Now that you’ve found the places in your home where you might be wasting electricity, it’s time to trim the fat off of your electricity bill by changing those areas that you found during your analysis that are wasteful. Always make sure you change your furnace filters every few months. Unplug those appliances that aren’t in use. Stop washing your clothes in warm or hot water when cold will do just fine. Search your area power companies for the best electricity deal. Switch out regular light bulbs for the highly efficient LED bulbs. Use nightlights in areas where you usually leave a regular light on at night. If you have electric heat, turn your thermostat down at night and when you’re away. Hand mix your baked goods and other recipes instead of using the electric mixer – not only will you save money, you’ll build up some arm muscles as well.
3. Rethink what you’re powering. Is there an area in your home where you can use window light instead of traditional lighting? Can you swap out items that are electricity hogs for more efficient ones? Can you read some at night instead of watching so much television? Is cooking in your crockpot more efficient than using your oven? Take a look at the electricity-run items in your home and look for ways they can be used more efficiently, or not used at all. All sorts of options are available for those willing to put in the time to search them out.
Even in the winter months, you can cut down on electricity usages and costs if you work at it. With careful analysis of your current electricity usage, and the willingness to be creative and find more cost effective solutions, the money savings will come!