The thrill of getting a new apartment usually wears off as soon as the first electric bill comes. Who used all that electricity!? Don’t panic, you don’t have to live with sky-high power bills every month. Your energy habits impact your apartment electric bill. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to develop new habits and carve a chunk out of those bills. Learn about the best ways to reduce your apartment’s electric bill.
Get a Fixed Rate Electricity Plan
When you move into your apartment, you will need to set up electricity service in your name. Make sure to shop for a fixed rate electricity plan, in a term that closely matches your lease.
There are a lot of tricks and hidden fees in electricity plans. ElectricityPlans.com makes it easy to compare rates and shop for a cheap fixed rate plan with no gimmicks for your apartment electricity.
Live in Texas? Shop Apartment Electricity Plans >>
During the enrollment process, your new electricity company will run a soft credit check. If you are just starting out on your own and don’t have much credit history, you may have a low credit score. And if your credit score is below a certain level, you’ll have to pay a deposit for your electricity.
After paying a deposit for your apartment, like first and last month’s rent, an electricity deposit is the last thing you want to pay! Luckily, if you live in Texas, there are pay-as-you-go electricity plans that don’t require a deposit. Plus, pay-as-you-go companies usually have a cool app you can download to track your power, and that sends alerts so that you can add money as needed to your prepaid electricity account.
Want to learn more about how to shop for electricity in Texas? We’ve got the answers with our article on the basics of electricity shopping.
Change Your Habits, Change Your Electric Bill
Be sure to follow these simple rules to cut a huge percentage out of your next electric bill:
1. Kill the Energy Vampires
Did you know that well over half the electricity used by home electronics is used up while they’re actually turned off? Any appliance or device that’s got a timer, a clock, or is set for “instant on” will draw power 24/7, as long as it’s plugged in.
That means you’re paying for your coffee maker, your smart TV, and your phone charger just to sit there doing nothing. The solution is to unplug these appliances when you’re not using them. To make it even more convenient, plug them into a power strip and switch off the strip when you’re done binge watching your favorite shows.
2. Keep it Cool, Naturally
Air conditioning is a big expense, especially if you live in hot southern states. Set up your A/C for success by helping it along with a cooler environment.
Close the shades during the day to block out hot sunlight. Why heat up your rooms when you want them cooled down? The less amount of time your air conditioner has to run, the lower your energy bills will be.
3. Change Your Light Bulbs
LED bulbs only use about 10 percent of the power that incandescent bulbs do. Since lighting uses more power than almost anything else in your home, the potential for savings is huge here. Replace your most commonly used incandescent bulbs right now with LEDs, then switch out all the rest one by one, as they burn out.
4. Use Fans
See if your apartment complex can install ceiling fans, if you don’t have them already. Ceiling fans work through evaporation. They make you feel cool, because they evaporate microscopic amounts of sweat on your body. Just remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
5. Replace the Dirty Filter
Your HVAC system has to work much harder when the air filter is clogged with dust and debris. Replace your air filter every three months to make sure the air is flowing freely in your system. It’s a quick job that only takes a minute or two, and it can save you a lot of money. Your apartment complex may even do this for free!
6. Turn Down That Water Heater
If you’ve got an individual water heater in your apartment, take advantage of the savings you can earn by turning down the temperature of the water. Think about it: when you take a shower, you have to add cold water to the hot coming out of the faucet.
If you lower the temperature to something closer to shower temperature, you’ll save money while still having comfortable showers. In addition, look for water heater insulated jackets to wrap around your tank. They reduce heat loss to save even more energy.
7. Get a New Smart Thermostat
Do you remember to change your thermostat setting before you leave for work every day, then again when you get home in the evening? Don’t worry, most people don’t! Not every time, anyway. While changing the temperature daily can earn you a 10 percent power savings or more, it’s tough to remember it while rushing out the door.
Smart thermostats like the Nest Learning Thermostat and Ecobee are the answer to this problem. Once you’ve got one installed, you can program it to raise and lower the temperature in your apartment according to your daily schedule. Turn the temperature up while you’re away at work in the summer, then set the A/C to kick on 15 minutes before you come home.
You’ll arrive at a comfortable home, but you won’t be wasting money by cooling an empty house.
Enjoy Your Apartment!
Now that you have your apartment all set up, go enjoy the pool and meet your neighbors!
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