Most people have experienced this situation. A person opens their mail (or email) and sees an electricity bill that they feel is far too high. It’s frustrating because electricity is so important to how people live their lives. The degree to which a person uses electricity may vary, but almost everyone uses it fairly often.
However, electricity companies are a business. They are working to make money just like the next business is as well. Therefore to save money, it’s upon the responsibility of the individual. There’s plenty of ways to save money on an electricity bill. The key is finding the answer that works for the individual and then running with it.
Switching Electricity Providers
Many states work upon the concept of free market utilities. If you don’t live in one of those states, you may feel a bit jealous about the ability to choose your own company. By having multiple providers, it means that there is competition and that should drive down prices. It also will often result in better customer service.
One of the biggest reasons to switch electricity providers is they will often provide an excellent deal for a year or two upon switching. These reduced rates can be taken advantage of for a while. However, it’s possible they can raise rates during this time and suddenly be just as expensive as the company you were with. For this reason, it makes sense to research not just current rates, but the rate hikes that a company has performed in the recent past. This can give you an idea into how the company changes its rates in the long term.
"Green" Household Options
The most common way that people save money is by choosing greener options which use less electricity. It doesn’t just need to be electricity, but really anything that uses energy to run in your household. Here are some simple ways to save energy at home:
- Thermostat Changes - Depending on the season, turn the temperature up or down a few degrees. Don’t stress the air conditioning or the heating as much. Just dress up and down to handle the temperature changes.
- Unplug Devices - Even when an electrical device is turned off, it’s using some power if it is plugged in. If you don’t want to unplug many different devices, merely plug them all into the same surge protector and unplug that from the wall.
- Vent Cleaning - Vents can get a surprising amount of debris and dust inside of them over the years. Once this happens, heating and cooling becomes far less efficient. By cleaning the vents regularly, your utilities will not need to work as hard.
- Lighting - Most people have been swapping out their old fluorescent bulbs for LED light bulbs over the past decade. However many still forget to just turn off their lights. Consider moving your lighting to a smart system which can keep track of which room you are in and shut off unused lights on their own.
Installing Solar Panels and Energy Generation
Rather than paying for electricity, why not work to generate your own? Solar panels are becoming very common on houses and can save a person quite a bit of money. Solar panels take in the energy of the sun and turn it into electricity for use. Large systems will have a battery which stores the energy so it can be used at night.
The costs for installing solar panels continues to decrease, but it is still significant. If this initial cost is prohibitive, look into subsidies and tax breaks. These vary by region, but there can still be tertiary financial benefits to installing solar panels. Some electricity grids will also buy back excess electricity that is generated (rather than using a battery). This means the solar panels
can be beneficial both to the owner and to the entire electrical grid at large.
There are also some other ways to generate power for a home, farm or business, but they are not as popular or prevalent as solar. Keep an eye out for more wind and geothermal power stations being used privately in the future.