Here are 5 Immediate Ways to Save on Energy, Plus the Best Long-Term Solution to High Electricity Bills
If you’re one of many Americans that’s been spending more time at home than usual, you’ve probably noticed that your monthly electric bill is going up. $150 one month then a shocking $250 or even $300 the next.
But, even with additional energy being consumed at home, rising energy bills are nothing new. The Energy Information Administration reports that residential electricity rates have increased by about 15 percent over the past 10 years.
The good news is that you’re not powerless in this unfair energy rate increase trend. In fact, there’s a lot you do can do to take control of rising energy costs right now. Even better, there’s one proven solution that can end high energy bills forever.
Here are 5 relatively quick ways to cut down those high electricity bills. Although these won’t help you get to the astonishing $0 bill seen above, they’re sure to help out a bit.
1. Unplug electronics and appliances not in use
Newer electronics, like computers and televisions, often enter a standby mode when you turn them off, but they’re still drawing a trickle of electricity. If you won’t be using them for a while, unplug them.
2. Reduce dryer use
Dryers are an electricity cost hog. Consider drying your clothes on an outdoor clothesline in the summer or get an indoor clothes drying rack to help reduce costly dryer use.
3. Replace old incandescent lightbulbs
Using high-efficiency bulbs over those older incandescent lightbulbs could save you up to $75 per year. Look for the Energy Star Logo to ensure you’re buying energy-efficient bulbs.
4. Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances
Older refrigerators are often the biggest culprit for high energy bills, but everything from microwaves to dishwashers can affect costs. Again, look for the Energy Star Logo when purchasing new appliances.
5. Avoid peak electricity hours
Believe it or not, your costs for electricity can change depending on the time of day. Peak hours are the hours when demand is highest for electricity (say 5pm to 8pm), so many utilities charge more to discourage use. Call your electric company to see if and when they’re charging you a peak hour rate.
The Long-Term Solution to Ending High Electricity Bills
If you really want to take control of rising energy costs, the long term solution is to fire your electric company, stop renting your energy, and become your own energy supplier with solar panels!
According to Energy Star, a branch of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the typical household spends “more than $2,000 a year on energy bills.” This breaks down to about $166 per month. If you consider what this energy expense would cost you over the next 25 years (the warrantied lifespan of most solar energy systems) you can understand what the cost of NOT going solar is.
$2,000 in annual energy bills X 25 years = $50,000 in energy bills
That’s right, if your average monthly bill is $166, that’ll end up being $50,000 in electricity bills over the next 25 years! And that’s with the highly optimistic assumption that you won’t experience any rate increases, which let’s be honest, you definitely will.
For context, most home solar panel systems cost a fixed price of somewhere around $15,000 to $30,000. So, you can start to see why the average “payback period” for installing solar comes in just 8-12 years on average.
Once you switch to solar, your monthly energy bills are essentially replaced with monthly payments towards your fixed system cost. Once your system is paid off, you’re poised to end those high energy bills once and for all! This is why we often tell everyone that’s in a position to either finance solar panels or pay outright, “the longer you wait to install solar, the more savings you’re missing out on.” Plus, with all the great solar incentives available in 2020, your initial system cost can end up being much lower than you probably thought possible.