As Temperatures Soar Alongside the Cost of Living, These Tips Will Help!

Written By: Ryan Bowman

As we quickly head into the dog days of summer, temperatures are soaring – and so is the cost of living. If you are seeing your monthly budget getting more and more stretched, you could probably use some tips about how to cut your energy consumption and utility bills. After all, being frugal with your thermostat and your energy usage will not only be friendlier on your wallet; it is a greener way to go. These are just some tips from our electrical experts about how to turn down the heat without sacrifice.

5 Innovative Ways to Lower Your Electric Bills

1. Learn to Use Time-of-Use to Your Advantage

Some utility companies vary the amount that they charge their customers according to the time of the day and/or time of year. It is called a “TOU” or Time-of-Use rate. During times when energy uses are at their height, the cost of using energy goes up because there is more demand put on the electrical grid. Every electric company varies on whether the rate differs and how much it does at the peak times, which is when it can be anywhere from five cents to twenty cents per kWh. Although that might seem small, it can really start to add up. So, being aware of when energy costs are the highest will help you be more conscious about those peak times and overusing or unnecessarily using your home electricity. Rates for energy bills and how they are calculated can usually be found on your bill or the utility company’s website. When you know what they are, you can adjust your usage to save money.

2. Utilize Smart Technology

If you use smart technology effectively, you can reduce your energy costs by as much as 5 to 30%. Smart plugs are a small investment, costing around $20-40. These are plugs that you use between an appliance and the outlet, acting as a “smart switch.” Once you have them in place, you can automate them to turn on and off at a specific time. By programming them, you ensure that you will only use energy during the times that you actually need it, which means you will only pay when you are in fact using it. A little-known secret is that appliances continue to draw power even if they are not being used. By using these smart plugs, estimates are that you can reduce your costs by as much as 10%. And you can perfectly time them to use around the TOU talked about above.

3. Lower Your Water Heater Temperature 

Your water heater has a set temperature that heats the reserve water to the right temperature and ready for use when you need it. Most water heaters can be set to 120 versus 140 and still not grow bacteria or cause issues. When you set your heater to the higher 140 degrees, you can potentially waste as much as $60 yearly just due to the standby heat. It is a quick change that can make a significant difference. 

4. Switch Out Your Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are a big investment upfront, but the advantages that they provide might make sense to your overall budget in the long term. The average water heater in a home is the second-largest energy drain and can be costing you anywhere from $400-600 a month. Traditional water heaters have to use energy around the clock to make sure the reservoir is heated to a specific temperature. By replacing your water heater with a tankless version, you can save significantly on your energy consumption and it will end up paying for itself. And you will have hot water when you need it, and never have to worry about it running out.

5. Monitor Your Energy Usage

Many people pay very little attention to why their electric bill is high. By monitoring your energy usage, you can determine where and when it is costing you the most. By investing in a device like the Wiser Energy smart home monitor, which usually costs about $300, you can break down your household usage to see what devices or appliances are using the most energy and then you can reasonably find a way to cut those costs by being vigilant. 

If you are like most of us, as the heat rages on and the cost of living continues to soar, you might be searching for a way to cut your monthly budget now and in the future. At Morrison Electric, we understand that savings is important to you and your family, and we’re always here to help you cut costs, consume less energy, and provide you with the latest tools, tricks, and cutting-edge technology to help. Contact us today and help us to help you achieve your cost-cutting goals.