Your monthly electric bill is a necessary part of life, but there’s no reason to empty your wallet just to keep your home running comfortably. The average residential electricity rate, using a couple of examples from our area, is $.104/kWh in Bradenton and $.1142/kWh in Sarasota. Both are below the national average of $.1188/kWh, but you can cut your costs even more with savvy usage strategies.
Flip the Switch on Electrical Appliances
The most obvious way to lower your electric bill is to be more mindful of shutting off lights when you leave a room. Motion detectors outside will automatically keep outdoor lights off when you don’t need them. Plug appliances like your computer and television into a power strip and turn off the whole power strip when not in use. This will end phantom energy use that occurs when appliances sap electricity even while they’re off.
Upgrade to Energy Star
If you have the opportunity to upgrade your appliances, opt for Energy Star certified models. These offer the best energy efficiency, using up to 50 percent less energy and water than standard models. Downsize your appliances if you can so you don’t waste energy operating models that are bigger than what you need.
Take Care of Your Home’s Heating and Cooling
Schedule annual maintenance for your heating and cooling system to keep it in top condition. Upgrading to a programmable thermostat can lower your electric bill by as much as $180 a year according to Energy Star. Sealing your ducts pays off as well, lowering your heating and cooling costs by as much as 20 percent.
Reduce Hot Water Use
Check the temperature on your hot water heater and make sure it’s set to 120 degrees or lower. You should also ensure that your hot water heater has a time clock to help reduce overall usage.
Mindful energy usage can have a noticeable impact on your monthly electric bill. Making even a few small changes around your Florida home can put money back in your pocket.