How I Saved $100 on My Electric Bill

save moneyEnergy is very different here in Georgia than it was in Ohio. In Ohio, we used Electricity for the A/C and all the other stuff, and we used gas for heat. That meant two bills every month, and they were always very, very high.

Now that we’re down here in Georgia, most houses are completely run on electricity. There are a few houses we’ve found that also offer propane for the stove and heat, but it’s not really common. You pay for the propane every time you empty your tank – usually once or twice a year. You pay electricity every month.

Our electric bill was really, really high during the summer. I have the A/C set on 81, so it didn’t run very often, but it was still really high.

I made a wager with the kids: whichever one of them did the most to help bring down the next month’s electric bill, I would give them $20. The kids were all over that. For the next 30 days, they turned into energy-saving monsters. And I loved it! They unplugged things that weren’t being used, they shut lights off when they left the room, we kept the shades closed so that the sun wouldn’t warm up the house. We switched to fluorescent light bulbs. We keep the heat set at 64* and the A/C set at 81*. All those little things add up!

Imagine my surprise when I opened my most recent electric bill and found that it had dropped by $100!

I was so proud of my kids that we decided everyone deserved something special. So, we’ll be taking a trip to Chuck E. Cheese for the younger crew and we’ll stop off at Old Navy for my teenager. They deserve to be rewarded because they worked so hard.

Because they’ve gotten in the habit, we’ve kept it going. next month, if the bill stays down, we’ll do something else special as a family. It gives us good quality time together and it save my money on me energy bill. Can’t beat that.

To recap, here are my ways to save money on your energy bill:

  • Unplug items not being used. Cell phone chargers, the toaster, hair dryers. These are sucking energy even though they’re not being used.
  • Turn off that light! Get in the habit of turning off lights when you leave a room, or using as much natural light as possible.
  • Shades up or down. On warm days, keep the shades drawn to prevent the sunlight from warming up the house. On colder days, open the shades to allow the light to warm things up.
  • Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. While they may cost a little more initially, they will save you money in the long run.
  • Don’t Set it and Forget it. Don’t leave your thermostat on a constant temperature. Turn it up {or down, depending on the weather} when you leave the house and at night. {Or, if you have a programmable thermostat, use it!}
  • Keep your fridge full. {This one is hard for me, because we go through so much food around here with 8 of us. But, food acts like an insulator, so your fridge doesn’t have to run so hard to keep things cool.} And don’t open the fridge. Opening the door to the fridge often makes it work harder and raises your bill.
  • Run the dishwasher only when it’s full, and air dry dishes when possible.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water.
  • Set your water heater to 120*. Prevent scalding and high energy costs with the turn of a dial.
  • If you can choose between the microwave and the stove, go for the microwave. It can actually use up to 90% less energy!
  • Make it a family affair. Offer rewards or incentives when kids do well to keep the energy costs down.

Got any tips you think should be added to this list? Let me know! I’d love to hear them!