Countries, such as Germany, are moving from fossil fuels and nuclear energy to renewables. While this transition is great news for the environment, it can have an undesirable impact on our electricity bills. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps we can take to reduce the amount we spend on our utility bills.
1. Power and Lights
If possible try to use natural light, switching all lights off during the day and whenever you go out. Installing dimmer switches will let you adjust the brightness of your lights to suit your activities, saving electricity. It is also a good idea to change your light bulbs to more energy-efficient ones. According to the US Department of Energy, LED bulbs use 75 less energy than regular light bulbs.
Invest in a smart power strip to cut off electricity to devices that are not currently in use, advises Andrea Nagel from the platform FitForMoney.de. “This is because some devices, such as TVs and other gadgets that use remote controls, never really power off. Instead they stay in a standby mode, consuming electricity. Smart power strips work by automatically detecting when a gadget is idle, switching them off and reducing your monthly utility bills.”
2. Heating and Cooling
While this is not something a lot of people pay attention to, resetting the temperature on your fridge and freezer can make a substantial difference to your electricity bills. Ideally, set your freezer at approximately -18 degrees and fridge at below 4 degrees. In addition, check that your fridge and freezer doors have a good seal, keeping cold air in and hot air out.
Another measure that can save you money on hefty electricity bills is turning your thermostat down by 10 to 15 degrees during the night or when you are not at home. If you live in a hot climate, be sure to turn off your air-conditioning whenever you leave the house. Better still, try to use a fan instead of an air-conditioner whenever possible. You can also reduce the temperature in your home by not using the oven on hot summer days. This will further help you save money on AC.
Reducing your hot water consumption in the laundry, shower and dishwasher can also save you a lot of money. Investing in an efficient showerhead can reduce your water usage by as much as 2,700 gallons a year. In addition, trimming four minutes off your daily showers can save you an additional 5,840 gallons of water annually. Reduce your water usage further by fixing any dripping faucets.
When first purchased, water heaters are usually present at 140 degrees. Lower this slightly to 120 degrees or, if you are happy with warm – rather than hot – showers, to the lowest possible setting. When washing your clothes, use warm or cold water settings on your washing machine.
In addition, if you are purchasing a new appliance, such as a dishwasher or a water heater, opt for an energy-efficient option. Even though energy-efficient appliances may be more expensive to begin with, they are bound to save you money in the long run.