4 Surprising Ways To Lower Your Electric Bill

If you're anything like me, the electric bill is one of your least favorite bills to pay. At least when you pay your mortgage, you know you're eventually going to own your home outright. But when you pay the electric bill, it's just painful because you're paying for benefits you've already enjoyed. Party over. Boo.

That's why I recently went on a mission to find out how to take a bite out of electric bills. I learned all kinds of surprising strategies! Here are 7 of my favorites:

1. Don’t turn it off, unplug!

I always thought by turning my electronics off, I was reducing my electric bill. WRONG! I nearly fell off my chair when I learned my electric bill was creeping up more every minute when my computer, television, printer and so forth were off, but still plugged in. That’s right, turning devices off is not enough. You must unplug them. To minimize the hassle, load your home up with power strips and do a quick power strip toggle every night before you turn in. Alternatively, you can set some electronics to turn themselves off automatically every night. This article will tell you more about that.

2. Cook with this, not that!

Ovens and stoves are energy suckers. Whenever you have the opportunity, opt to cook with your slow cooker, toaster oven, microwave or electric skillet. In addition to keeping your home cooler during the hotter months, it will lower your electric bill. Also keep in mind, cookware matters. Whenever possible, use glass. It cooks better than the alternatives.

3. Avoid the peak & go cold turkey!

SDG&E will charge you more during the summer when you use electricity between the hours of 11am and 6pm. And in the winter, 5-8pm is your danger zone. Whenever possible, wash your clothes and dishes late at night, very early in the morning, on weekends or on holidays. And remember to wash on cold whenever possible. 90% of the energy used by your machine comes from heating the water.

4. Stock the fridge!

If you have kids in your house, chances are, you’re already doing this. But if you don’t, you might want to borrow some. When you keep your refrigerator and freezer full, it’s easier to keep them cool and therefore, to conservative energy. Be sure to also keep a watchful eye on the temperature of your fridge and freezer. Your refrigerator should be between 37-40 degrees. Your freezer should be 5 degrees.

Give these suggestions a whirl and come back and tell us your results. Meanwhile, if you’ve got some fabulous energy-saving tips to share, please post them in the comments. We’d love to hear what’s making a difference for you!