According to Energybot, Americans pay, on average, $117 for electricity each month.
That amount, however, varies greatly depending on where you live. For instance, Hawaiians have the highest average electricity bill at $162 per month, while people in Utah generally pay around $80 per month.
Whether you wake up to the endless vistas of Bryce Canyon or the tropical paradise of Kauai, you may be wondering how you can save a little money this winter. At GOBankingRates, we asked energy and financial experts to weigh in on which appliances hike up the cost of your electricity bill in the winter.
Hot Water Recirculation Pump
As a serial climate tech entrepreneur, Andrew Meyer, CEO of Arbor, has a mission to help everyone save money and live more sustainably.
Meyer said, “If you want to save money on your electricity bill this winter, unplug your hot water recirculation pump. Plug it into a timer instead and program it to switch off in the middle of the night when no one is using hot water. This can save you between $30 – $95 annually.”
Vikas Kaushik, CEO of TechAhead, recommended unplugging your space heater.
He noted, “These devices have the potential to consume a lot of energy… If you must use a space heater, use it in the rooms where you spend most of your time and only when necessary.”
Electric Water Heaters
“To minimize heat loss,” said Kaushik, “think about insulating your water heater and lowering the temperature. Additionally, think about conserving hot water by doing laundry with cold water and taking shorter showers.”
Kaushik also mentioned turning off or replacing inefficient lighting.
“Older fluorescent lights and incandescent bulbs waste energy,” he warned. “Make the switch to energy-saving LED or CFL bulbs, which generate less heat and need less electricity.”
With the growing number of electronic devices in each household, the more you can unplug, the better.
Kaushik explained, “Even when they are turned off, a lot of electronic devices still draw power while they are connected. When not in use, unplug game consoles, chargers, and other electronics. Alternatively, utilize smart power strips to simultaneously turn off the power to several devices.”
“While more energy-efficient now, older models can still use a lot of power,” cautioned Kaushik.
If you have an older model, Kaushik suggests replacing it with a more energy-efficient one.
He also recommended, “When you’re not actively viewing TV, turn it off as well. You may lower your wintertime power costs and improve the energy efficiency of your house by paying attention to these appliances and taking action to limit their energy usage.”
Brian Meiggs, an entrepreneur and the founder of My Millennial Guide, said, “Older fridge and freezer units in the garage or basement can use quite a bit of energy even when running sparingly.
Meiggs explained that unplugging the extra fridge and consolidating items into your primary refrigerator, “can shave up to $100 off your winter electricity costs.”
Electric Stoves and Ovens
Meiggs also noted, “Cooking with electric stoves and ovens, especially for extended periods, can significantly contribute to your electricity bill.”
He suggested, “Cook multiple items simultaneously to maximize oven use. Use lids on pots and pans to cook food faster. Consider investing in energy-efficient induction cooktops, which heat up faster and waste less energy. Opt for smaller kitchen appliances like microwaves or toaster ovens for reheating and smaller meals, as they use less energy than conventional ovens.”
Start Saving on Your Electricity Now
In addition to unplugging these energy-wasting appliances this winter, you can also invest in smart technology that might help you save even more over the long term. Think about smart plugs and smart thermostats that allow you to program when to turn the device on or off.
You may also want to check with your electricity company to see if they have any money-saving programs. For example, you may save more if you avoid running your main appliances, like your dishwasher and dryer, between certain hours. While it may not seem like a lot, the savings can add up substantially over time. And if you are really ready to make an energy-saving investment, you can always look into installing solar.
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