How to reduce your electric bill: 4 tips from an electrician
Andy here today. Are you wondering how to reduce your electric bill? Since I’m an electrician in my day job, I’m sharing some industry insider secrets with you today.
Winter is now fast approaching you Northern Hemisphere dwellers, and with it looms the scary prospect of very high power bills. All that extra heating, the longer showers, and more frequent use of the clothes dryer can really add up, and lead to a nasty surprise come bill time.
Our power bill always surprises us by how cheap it is. And our friends (with similar circumstances and similar types of housing) wonder how we do it. Our bill is around half of what theirs is, and it’s all down to a few nifty tricks we use. Saving on your power bill can mean you’ve got a lot more $$ to go towards those debts, or feather that savings nest, so I thought I’d share my top four tips for the easiest ways to dramatically reduce your electric bill this winter.
Switch to Night rates
“Night rates” is when you pay a cheaper rate for your electricity between the hours of 11pm and 7am. Many people who have one flat rate for their electricity bill end up spending waay more than we do, with our awesome night rates.
We run the dishwasher overnight (you should be able to program it to start at exactly the time you want it to), we dry our clothes overnight, and we let our hot water reheat overnight. These simple things save us a ton of cash each month.
This makes sense especially if you are out at work all day, and not home using the expensive day time electricity anyway.
Be Smart with your Heat Pump
A lot of people are under the illusion that you should run your heat pump all the time. It’s a myth! This is actually a very expensive way to run your heat pump.
Here’s how we save money and still feel toasty warm with our heat pump: blast it for a short time when you get home, and once it’s up to temperature turn it down to a comfortable room temperature and let it run as long as you are in the room. Don’t forget to turn it off when you go to bed though!
BONUS HEATING TIP: fan heaters and oil heaters are massive power suckers. Minimize use of these as much as possible.
Wrap up Warm with Good Insulation
The very first thing did when got into our new house was stick our heads into the ceiling and check out the insulation. It was way too thin, so that was one of the first jobs I did on the house. It was a hot, dirty weekend (not like that, get your minds out of the gutter) but it was worth all the hard work.
Insulating your ceiling will save you $ because your house will retain heat better, you will need your heat pump or heating systems less, and the house is just all round healthier. If you can do the work yourself, the cost of bumping up your insulation is a few hundred dollars (depending on how big the area you are insulating is) and worth every penny. insulate the roof.
Don’t Dry, Dehumidify
Clothes dryers are a godsend in most modern houses. They are also very expensive to run. Sometimes in the darkest, wettest winter, it seems like the only way to dry your laundry, right? Wrong!
What we do is hang our washing on a clothes horse then shut it in a room with a dehumidifyer. This is a lot cheaper to run than a dryer, and saves your clothes from being exposed to that dryer heat. There’s a bonus I hadn’t even thought of…you clothes might just last longer! Awesome.
And the triple bonus? Run your dehumidifyer during the day to suck any moisture out of your house. This will make it drier, healthier, and warmer. This really is the one appliance we rely on most during the winter in our house.
Do you have any power saving tips for our other readers?
Please share them in the comments below.
image 1 by Pedro Ribeiro Simões, CC 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/qhr1ed, image 2 by Brett and Sue Coulstock, CC 2.0, https://flic.kr/p/dUxb1E