How to Pay Less for Electricity

Are you spending too much for your electricity, particularly in the winter? Then check out these tips for paying less, which are brought to you by Midwest Solar Installers.

Check the lights.

If you’re still using incandescent lights, you’re wasting a lot of electricity on illumination while generating extra heat in a room that takes more energy to cool down in the summer. Switch to compact fluorescent or LED bulbs, which use a fraction of the energy and don’t generate as much heat.

Turn off lights in rooms that you’re not using. If you or someone in your family keep leaving the lights on, then install sensor switches that turn on the lights when they detect someone and turn them off when that person leaves.

Take care of the windows.

Because double-pane windows have two panes of glass separated by air or gas, they can reduce the transfer of heat and cold. Switching your single-pane windows to double-pane versions will reduce both exterior noise and energy use. Add weatherstripping to the sides, top, and bottoms of each window to cut more electricity costs.

In the winter during the day, leave the windows shut but open the drapes to allow natural sunlight to heat up your rooms. At night, shut the drapes to prevent heated air from leaking out.

In the summer, open the windows at night and in the early morning to encourage cool air to enter. Then shut the drapes during the daytime to prevent more sunlight and heat from entering the home.

Adjust the thermostats.

If your climate control system, which includes the furnace and air-conditioning, is electric, adjust the thermostat to lower electricity use.

  • The Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter while you’re away and lower when you’re asleep.
  • In the summer, set the thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home and turn off the air-conditioning when you’re away.

Better yet, install a programmable thermostat, which will allow you to set your times for sleeping, being awake, leaving home, and coming back. The temperature changes will then be automatic.

Another thermostat you can control to save on electricity is on your electric hot water tank. Drop the temperature to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which should reduce your cost by about 6 to 10 percent. But keep in mind that this energy hog runs 24 hours a day to keep your water hot.

A better alternative is to switch your tank out for a tankless or on-demand water heater. They do not have a water tank. Instead, they only use electricity to heat water when you turn on a hot water faucet. Because of they only produce a limited flow of hot water at around 2 to 5 gallons per minute, you may need to get more than one tankless water heater if you have a large family or a big home.

Manage appliances.

Appliances such as dishwashers and laundry machines use up plenty of electricity when they run. If you restrict their use only to late nights, you’ll pay less for electricity because those times are when rates are lowest.

Wash your clothes in cold weather saves on the energy needed to heat the water. On sunny days, you can avoid using your dryer at all by hanging your clothes in the sun.

Go solar.

Install solar panels to generate electricity. This does require a one-time installation cost but pays you back in reduced energy bills. To encourage this form of energy generation, the federal government offers a 26 percent tax credit for systems installed from 2020 to 2022, and 22 percent for systems installed in 2023.

A solar system offers free energy by itself but is usually tied into the standard electrical grid. On some sunny days, it may generate more energy than you need on some sunny days. That excess energy is fed back into the standard electrical grid, so you receive a credit. When your system generates less energy than you need, you can still receive power from the grid.

If you want to know more about how a solar system can save you money on electricity, please contact us at Midwest Solar Installers.

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More property owners are opting for solar energy as their preferred choice of renewable forms of energy. As more concerns surface about the impact of global warming and the increas