How to Reduce Home Electricity Costs

Energy Efficient Electricity Tips

By Mark J. Donovan

There are two basic solutions to reduce home electricity costs, either find a lower cost electric utility company or use less electricity. For most homeowners choosing an alternative electric utility company is not an option. As a result, the only practical way to reduce home electricity costs is to use less electricity. Reducing home electricity usage is not as difficult or onerous as one may think. Gone are the days when you might have thought you’d have to be willing to live in the dark or step back in time to conserve electricity needs.

There are many energy efficient electricity tips you can employ that can save you hundreds of dollars or more a year on electric utility bills. Listed below are ten tips on how to reduce home electricity costs.

Reduce Home Lighting Costs

Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. You can reduce lighting costs by up to 70% by making this switch. The only caveat is that only replace bulbs that are normally left on for long periods of times in the evening, e.g. in family rooms. A compact fluorescent light bulb’s lifespan is shortened if it is turned on and off very frequently, e.g. in a bathroom. Also make sure to turn off lights in rooms when leaving them. Finally, replace standard light switches with motion controlled activated switches.

Unplug Unused Consumer Electronics

Televisions, stereos, computers, and cell phone and computer charges all consume an appreciable amount of electricity when left plugged in and turned off. Unplug them or put them on a switched power strip so that with one flick of a switch you can effectively disconnect multiple items from your home’s electrical power grid.

Upgrade Appliances

Upgrade old appliances with Energy Star certified appliances to dramatically reduce home electricity costs.

New Energy Star refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers consume a fraction of the electricity required by their predecessors.

Operate Appliances During Off Peak Electrical Power Demand Times

Electric utilities charge by the Kilowatt/hour (Kw/hr) rate. Electric utilities charge significantly higher Kw/hr rates during the day time when there is peak demand by businesses. Consider running the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer in the evenings when the Kw/hr rates are much lower.

By energy efficient kitchen appliances

Install Skylights

The installation of skylights can eliminate the need for electrical lighting during the day time in dark rooms.

Maximize Use of Appliances

Make sure dishwashers, washing machines and dryers are filled to capacity when using them, so that they are required to operate less frequently. Also lower the temperature settings on heating water for the washing machine and dishwasher. In addition, turn the temperature up slightly on your refrigerator so that it is not quite as cold.

Install Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats can dramatically reduce home electricity costs, and even oil or gas costs depending upon you main type of heating fuel. Programmable thermostats can be programmed to have multiple settings throughout the day, as well as weekday and weekend settings.

Wrap Hot Water Heater

Whether you have an electrical hot water heater or an oil/gas hot water heater, wrap it in a hot water heater blanket to prevent heat loss.

Save on Home Electricity Costs associated with Summer Air Conditioning

Electrical air conditioners consume a massive amount of electricity. To reduce home electricity costs associated with air conditioners set the air conditioners to slightly warmer temperatures. Also, update your home’s windows with double pane, low-E glass, and close blinds and curtains during peak sunlight hours in the summer. Finally, consider planting shade trees to block the sunlight from entering your home during the hot summer months.

Better Insulate Your Home

Make sure your home has adequate wall and ceiling insulation per the Department of Energy’s recommendations for home insulation in your area of the country. Also make sure to caulk around doors and windows to prevent energy losses from the home.

For help on building a new custom home, see’s New Home Construction Bid Sheet. The New Home Construction Bid Sheet provides you with the knowledge on how to plan a custom home building project, and what to look for when hiring contractors for your new home construction. It also includes a detailed cost breakdown table and spreadsheet for estimating your own new home construction building costs.

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