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Ten Proven Methods to Save Money on Your Electric Bill

written by: Karen Worthy•edited by: Jason C. Chavis•updated: 4/28/2011

Electricity is expensive and in today's economy, every penny counts. Use these tips to help reduce your electric bill quickly.

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    Use Less Electricity to Save Money

    If you dread seeing your electric bill every month and want to know how to reduce the amount you are using, then these ten tips will help you do just that. Reducing electricity will save you money each month and will also help the environment as well. While some of these tips might seem obvious, it is important to take the time to think "Am I actually following that tip all of the time?". Also, if there are other people living in your house, encourage them to also follow these tips to increase the savings. To cut your electric bill and slow the meter down, here are ten tips that are easy to execute immediately.

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    Top Ten Tips

    Lightbulb 

    #1: Turn Off the Lights. Simply by turning off the lights when you are no longer using a room can save you almost $10 per month in most cases. Many lights are left on for hours at a time while people are either using other rooms or might not even be home. If you want a light to be on while you are away, consider using a timer so that the lights can go on and off in a normal fashion, instead of remaining on continually.

    #2: Switch to Florescent or LED Lighting. There are many types of light bulbs that are more efficient than the traditional incandescent bulbs. By purchasing a florescent or LED bulb, you might spend a little more at the store, but it will more than pay for itself over the life of the bulb in energy savings.

    #3: Change the Temperature on Your Fridge. Just a couple of degrees warmer and your refrigerator can save you money while still keeping your food at a safe temperature. Do the same for your freezer.

    #4: Install Drapes. Covering your windows with drapes, curtains, or even a plastic film covering can help prevent air transfer between the house and the outside. In the summer, keeping the drapes closed will prevent the sunlight from heating up your rooms. In the winter, the drapes will help prevent the hot air from leaving your house.

    #5: Talk to Your Electric Provider. Depending on where you live, you may be getting charged a different rate for electricity depending on when during the day you use it. Some electric providers will charge more if electricity is used during peak hours, so you could save a bundle by scheduling your energy-intensive activities during the off-peak times.

    #6: Unplug Yourself. Even if your appliances are off, they are probably using power. Items like computers, microwaves, toasters, coffee makers, and televisions will draw electricity even while off. If you are not using them, unplug them.

    #7: Use a Programmable Thermostat. By keeping the temperature a little warmer in the summer and a little cooler in the winter, you can save money. Plus, a programmable thermostat will allow you to keep the air conditioning off while you are away, but have it start up just before you get home.

    #8: Wash Clothes in Cold Water. With the new detergents designed for cold water washing, there's no reason not to wash in cold water as you will not be using electricity to heat the water. Plus, it will reduce the chances of your clothes shrinking.

    #9: Use Alternate Heat Sources in Winter. After using the oven, leave the door open to heat up the kitchen (assuming you don't have young children). Open the dishwasher and let dishes air dry. Keep the door open after a shower.

    #10: Use Fans and Space Heaters. It is much cheaper to heat or cool a single room than the entire house. Use portable heaters or fans and keep the other doors closed as much as possible.

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    Resources

    smartmoney.com, http://www.smartmoney.com/spending/deals/13-simple-ways-to-lower-your-electric-bill-22933/

    pepco.com, http://www.pepco.com/home/education/conserving/save/

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    Image Credit

    flickr/clagnut