The price of electricity seems to be inexorably going up and so I want to present some money saving electrical tips, because statistics from the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA.gov) indicate that the average cost of electricity has risen again in 2011 to 11.47 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), from 11.2 in 2010 with an average monthly consumption per American family of 908 kWh. That means that the average family in the United States is spending $107.14 a month, or $1285.68 a year on electricity.
This is clearly a very large amount, and so it is important to consider ways that a family (or a business) can save money by conserving energy and being more energy efficient.
By far the biggest percentage of electricity use in the average home is for air cooling, with 17.9% on average of all the electricity in the average US home being spent on air conditioning.
Money Saving Electrical Tips:
- The best way to immediately lower you energy consumption is to turn off your air conditioners more frequently, or at least set the thermostat to a steady 78 degrees, rather than quickly trying to cool the rooms down by setting the temperature much lower. This uses up disproportionately more energy.
- If you are leaving them on all night for example, then can you put the unit on a timer and turn it off after a few hours?
- You could also see about getting your air conditioners serviced, as the more efficiently it works the less energy it uses.
- You may also want to investigate purchasing new air conditioners for your home that use less energy than your current units. This may cost some money now, but it could save you substantial sums over the lifetime of the air conditioners.
The way that you would check for this is with the SEER Rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) which is now printed on virtually all air conditioners. A unit that is only rated as an 8 on this scale uses TWICE as much electricity as a 16 SEER unit, for the exact same cooling level. So potentially there are big savings to be made without even impacting on how often you use the units, simply by actually implementing these electrical tips in your home.
The second biggest consumer of electricity in the home is lighting at 15.3%, so also consider:
- Switching to more energy efficient light bulbs.
- Turning off the lights when you aren’t in a particular room, or when you are out.
- Putting a dimmer switch on your lights so that you can use less voltage.
Between air conditioning and lighting these cover about a third of all the electricity used in your home every year, and so by making changes in these areas, and implementing the changes I have described in these money saving electrical tips, it is possible to make big savings on the $419 you are currently spending (a third of the total yearly spend of $1258).