April 27, 2013

Trying to save money on electricity

Our whole house is electric, nothing uses gas.  So the electric bill ends up being one of our largest monthly expenses after our mortgage.  Here's an idea of some of the things that we have tried to save money on electricity:
  • Bought smart power strips - the main electronic device such as the television or computer is plugged into a control outlet.  The peripheral devices are controled by the main device.  So when the tv is turned off, the power is cut to the wii, dvd player, vcr, etc.  Same with the computer.  When we shut it down, the power is cut off to the speakers and printer.  We did see some savings after using these and they have definitely been worth the $25 - $30 we spent on each one.
  • Intsalling child locks on our refrigerator and freezer.  These hold the doors shut better and they don't bounce back open. 
  • Moton Sensing Light Sockets - We installed these in the playroom in the basement.  The lights are no longer being left on by the kids.  Now if I can just get them to turn the lots off when they leave other rooms of the house.
  • We keep the heat in the house set at 64 degrees.  I like it on the cold side and get hot very quickly.  Its been starting to warm up in Ohio lately and we've resisted turning on the Air Conditioner and have just tried to use a fan or open windows.
  • Installed a water saving showerhead - uses less water therefore less water needs to be heated.
  • Use Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs
  • Purchased Energy Efficient Appliances when anything has needed replaced.
  • Wash laundry on the cold setting
  • Only wash and dry full loads of laundry and full loads of dishes in the dishwasher.
  • Combine cooking when using the oven.  Instead of just cooking the chicken we need for dinner that night, we'll cook lots of extra chicken to eat for lunches or use for recipes later in the week. Plus I might bake some cookies, potatos or brownies while the oven is already heated up.
Ways that we could save more on our electric bill:
  • TURN OFF LIGHTS when not in use.  I'm the only one that does this.  It's so frustrating that I spend so much time trying to save us money and come home to a house with all the lights on and everyone in the living room watching tv.
  • Don't keep refrigerator door open for long periods of time while getting food out or putting food away.
  • Turn the tv's and computer off when not in use.
  • Use natural light more.  We have thick curtains on most of our windows so the natural light doesn't shine through.  We need to be better about opening all the curtains during the day and not using lamps.
One thing I'm not willing to do is suffer through the heat of summer without using the AC.   Do you have any other ideas on ways to save money on electricity costs?


  1. Can you try to line dry clothing? That's something I can do only in the summer months and because I have a fence. Also, is your stove gas or electric? I have an electric stove stop, and I find that I can often turn off the heat before the food is fully cooked and let the remaining heat in the coils finish the cooking. This works great for pasta, eggs, fish, and some veggies, but I wouldn't try it with something like chicken.

    1. Our stove is electric. I'll have to try turning it off and letting food continue to cook on the burner. I do that when I am boiling eggs but never thought about doing it for anything else. I do usually put food in the oven before its preheated. I tend to not follow ccoking times anyways and just go by sight to tell if my food is done cooking.

      Another tip I just remembered was in the winter, after done baking. Leave the oven door open to let the heat from the oven help heat the house. Of course if you have pets or young children this might not be a good idea.

      We live in a condo so we don't really have much of a backyard to line dry. I could hang a few things up in the basement but we don't have room to hang much.