When it comes to home budgeting, your electricity bill takes a big portion of your paycheck each month. We’ve scoured the internet for you to come up with how to save on your electric bill. And here are 89 of them. These simple tasks can lower your electricity bill while maintaining your home comfort.
How is Electricity Used in U.S. Homes?
Before we get to the tips on how to save on your electric bill, it’s important to understand how electricity is used in your home. Of course, your usage will vary. But, according to the EIA Annual Energy Outlook, here’s is how electricity is used in U.S. homes:
How Electricity is Used in U.S. Homes (March 2023 EIA)
|Percent of Total
|Cooling & Heating
|Washer & Dryer
|Television & Related Equipment
|Computers & Related Equipment
Notes: Television includes televisions, set-top boxes, home theater systems, DVD players and video game consoles. Computers includes desktop and laptop computers, monitors and networking equipment. Other includes small electric devices, heating elements, exterior lights, outdoor grills, pool and spa heaters, backup electricity generators, and motors not listed above.
This evaluation from the EIA doesn’t include electricity usage from EV Charging.
And if you live in a warmer climate like Texas, you may see your heating and cooling costs rise to nearly 50% of your electricity bill. Your best bet to cut your electricity bill in Texas? Shop for a cheap electricity plan. That can make a huge difference in your electricity bill. You can also shop for natural gas and electricity if you live in Ohio.
Here are 89 ways to lower your electricity bill, grouped by the area of your home and what uses the most electricity.
Energy Audit for Home Savings
1) Conduct an Energy Audit in your Home. The first step to save on your electric bill is the energy home audit. This lets you identify the issues and gives you a road map to home improvement. You can easily do your own DIY energy audit.
And check with your energy provider or utility company to see if they offer a free energy audit. Thomas Hawkins, Master Electrician with Electrician Apprentice HQ points out, “You’ll typically get a list of cheap or free ways to lower your electricity bill.”
Cut Costs on Heating & Cooling to Save on Your Electric Bill
Heating and cooling your home is the biggest part of your electric bill, accounting for 30-50% of your electricity usage. So of course focusing on energy efficiency in heating and cooling is the top way to save on your electric bill.
2) Get an HVAC tuneup. An annual HVAC tune-up is not a marketing gimmick. It’s a way to make sure your system is operating efficiently. It helps identify issues before they start. And it’s better to do this before the heating or cooling season, so you don’t face a breakdown when you need your system the most.
3) Change air filters. This is a simple and low cost way to maintain the efficiency of your HVAC system. If the air filter is dirty or clogged, air flow becomes unbalanced and your system has to work harder. Most air filters say to change them every three months. If you have pets, you may want to consider changing them monthly.
4) Get a smart or programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat lets you manage the cooling or heating of your home. A smart thermostat can learn your schedule automatically, plus optimize cooling your home based on the weather. Either type of thermostat makes it easier to manage your heating and cooling in your home.
5) Understand the life of an HVAC system. If your HVAC system is more than 15 years old, it’s nearing replacement time. A new HVAC system will be more energy efficient to operate, cutting your electricity bill and cooling the home faster. Most HVAC companies offer financing to make the financial burden a little easier to handle.
6) Keep the air vents open – Resist the urge to close the air vents in rooms you aren’t using. Your HVAC system was designed to produce a certain amount of air. Closing a vent just increases pressure in the system and can cause air leaks or an unbalanced flow. That makes your HVAC system work harder to cool your home, and use more energy.
7) Use the blinds. Use light blocking blinds on your home, especially on the southern side of your home, which is the side that gets the most sun exposure.
8) Use ceiling fans to cool the room. Ceiling fans don’t actually cool the room, they cool you through evaporation. Think of a cool breeze on a hot day. Ceiling fans don’t actually make the temperature drop, just the “feels like” temperature. You’ll feel cool and running a fan is cheaper than dropping the temp on your AC. That can help you save on your electric bill.
9) Clear the condenser unit. The condenser unit (the part of your central HVAC that’s outside) can get clogged with leaves and grass clippings. Check this a couple times during the cooling season.
10) Use the best thermostat settings. Use these guidelines for the best thermostat settings for your home. The best thermostat settings for winter are 68° when at home, 55-60° when away and 65°for sleeping. The best thermostat settings for summer are: 76° when at home, 80° when away from home and 72° for sleeping.
11) Don’t expect too much from your HVAC. Your air conditioning system is sized to maintain the set temperature based on a typical seasonal day. If it’s hotter than normal, your system will struggle to drop the temperature in your home. Setting the thermostat lower won’t make it cool off faster, it will just make your HVAC run longer, costing you more money. Be patient and use fans to cool off while you wait.
12) Clean the condensate drain line. Your HVAC will output water as it cools. That HVAC condensate drain line needs to be cleaned periodically to avoid buildup. This won’t save on your electric bill. But it will save you on your home repairs. A backed up drain line can drain water into your walls or ceiling, creating a costly repair.
13) Check the secondary drain pan. If your coil or air handler is in your attic, make sure there’s no water in the secondary pan that lays underneath. That could signify a repair need. An efficient air conditioner can help you save on your electric bill.
14) Shade your HVAC. Your condenser unit (the part of your HVAC system that’s outside) will work more efficiently if you provide it with some shade. That could be shrubs, a fence or a shade cover. Whatever you use, make sure there’s at least 3 feet of airflow around the condenser unit.
15) Shade window units. Shade isn’t just for central AC units. If you have window units, you should also shade them to keep them operating more efficiently. An awning installed over that window can help.
16) Cover your window units. Cover (or remove) window AC units during the off-season. This will keep cold air from leaking into your home in the fall and winter.
17) Check your vents. Check each central HVAC vent to make sure it’s pointed at the interior of the room, not the wall or the window.
Cut Your Kitchen Electricity Usage
Your kitchen accounts for 9% of your electricity bill. The most energy intensive item in your kitchen? The refrigerator. (See above for one reason why.) Here are steps to cut your electricity usage in the kitchen.
18) Put your fridge in the right place. Keep a gap of 10 inches or more between the back of the refrigerator and the wall when positioning it. That’s the recommendation from Home Alliance, a home services company in California. You should also ensure that cooking and heating appliances are not close to the refrigerator.
19) Clean Your Refrigerator Coils. Refrigerator coils, also called condenser coils, are the black coils found on the back or bottom of your fridge. If there’s a lot of dirt on the coils, your fridge will require more energy to cool your food. Use a soft bristled brush to scrape grime off, then vacuum. If you have pets? Prepare for the fur you are about to see.
20) Raise your refrigerator temperature. Many people set their refrigerator at the coldest settings. According to Consumer Reports, your fridge only needs to be at 36-38 degrees Fahrenheit.
21) Consider the second refrigerator. It’s not uncommon to have a second refrigerator in the garage, especially if you have a large family. Those units are typically older and less energy efficient. And they are operating in a hot environment during the summer. If that sounds familiar, consider replacing the outside fridge with a newer model. If you do keep an older refrigerator outside, keep it fully stocked for maximum cooling efficiency.
22) Check the seal on your refrigerator door. Place a dollar bill in the door so it’s half in and half out of the fridge. If you can pull it out? You may need to replace the seal.
23) Fill the dishwasher. Most of the energy that’s used in your dishwasher comes from heating the water it uses. Make the most of every load by filling your dishwasher completely.
24) Use air dry for dishes. Use the air-dry setting on your dishwasher, or open it to dry the dishes when it’s done running.
Wondering how much electricity your appliances use? You can easily calculate how many kWh your appliance uses. Look for the wattage label on the back of the appliance then follow our simple formula to calculate the kWh.
25) Match the appliance to the task. Do you need to use the oven to cook those pizza rolls, or can you use the counter-top toaster oven? According to Energy.gov, using small electric pans, toaster ovens, or convection ovens for small meals rather than your large stove or oven. A toaster or convection oven uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a full-sized oven.
26) Change the menu. You can reduce heat in the kitchen by cooking outside or by meal prepping one day a week. Not only will you cut your cooking costs, you’ll keep the house cooler.
27) Unplug your counter-top appliances. Unplug your coffee maker, microwave and toaster oven when not in use. All of these devices can be drawing electricity even if they are not on.
28) Turn off the vent fan. Turn off the vent fan above your stove when you are done cooking. The vent fan replaces inside air with outside air and can offset the thermostat setting in your home.
29) Check under the sink. Check under the sink where plumbing pipes enter your kitchen. You will likely see a gap around the pipes. Put your hand up to the wall — to you feel a draft coming in? Use expanding foam to seal these gaps.
30) Plan ahead for replacements. According to Angie’s List, you’ll get 6 to 15 years out of your refrigerator. When you replace, always buy the most efficient Energy Star appliance you can afford. A more efficient refrigerator can help you save on your electric bill.
Home Office Electricity Savings
With more people than ever working from home, the home office takes on new meaning for ways to save on your electric bill. (Bonus savings tip: in the winter, use your home office dog to stay warm!) Here are some easy ways to save.
31) Use ambient light. Use outside lighting instead of overhead lights to save money. Bonus: outside light will make you look better on your Zoom calls.
32) Use a desk lamp. Opt for a desk lamp instead of overhead lights. You’ll cut your electricity usage and have plenty of light to focus.
33) Use smart power strips. Have an old power strip? Swap it out for a smart power strip. A current sensing power strip senses when a device switches off or goes into sleep mode. It will automatically turn off the power to your devices.
34) Set up your office away from afternoon sun. One part of your home is likely hotter than the others. Pick a room that’s on the north or east side of your home to avoid the afternoon sun.
35) Set up energy savings mode on your computer. Computer experts recommend setting your computer to go to sleep mode after 2 hours of inactivity.
For more tips on how to save on your electricity bill when working from home, check out this additional resource.
Laundry Room Electricity Savings Tips
36) Wash in cold water. Around 90% of the energy used to wash clothes is consumed through heating water. Washing in cold water can cut your energy use.
37) Don’t over-load the dryer. Trying to get things done faster? Don’t overload the dryer. You’ll just need to run it multiple times to get the laundry dry.
38) Sort your laundry by weight. When drying clothes, don’t mix heavy towels with lighter weight clothing. Your dryer will have to run longer to dry the whole load.
39) Use a low dryer setting. Even though it will take longer for clothing, towels and bedding to dry, using a low heat cycle on the dryer will still use less energy than a medium or high heat setting. That’s a tip from Cyndi Bray, founder of Wad-Free, a Shark Tank-featured product that helps keeps your sheets from tangling in the dryer and dries loads up to 75% faster.
40) Seal around the dryer vent. Check to make sure the outside of the dryer vent is fully sealed. This ensures air isn’t entering your home through holes around the vent.
41) Use wool dryer balls. Dryer balls help to reduce drying time by separating your clothes, allowing for greater air flow. (Just be sure your dogs don’t get a hold of them. They can’t tell the difference between dryer balls and tennis balls.)
42) Clean the lint screen completely. Every month or so, use the long nozzle tip on your vacuum to remove lint that collects in your dryer below the screen. Making sure the dryer vent is clean helps your dryer run more efficiently.
43) Clean the dryer duct. In addition to cleaning your lint collection areas in the dryer, make sure to clean your entire duct work. You can do this using an auger brush attachment and a drill. This not only helps your dryer run more efficiently, it reduces the risk of a fire hazard.
44) Consider converting to a gas dryer. Natural gas dryers are more energy efficient. And you may even qualify for a rebate from your natural gas utility company if you switch over.
Manage your Insulation, Ventilation & Building Envelope to Save on Electric Bill
The “building envelope” of your home includes the entire building system of your home. That includes windows, roofs, floor, foundations and doors. Keeping your building envelope sealed (but not too tightly sealed) can cut your bills.
45) Measure your attic insulation. Yup. Climb up into that creepy attic and check the insulation. Insulation should completely fill the space between the joists (beams) in your attic floor. Insulation degrades over time, so don’t be surprised if you need to add more or replace it after 10-15 years.
46) Evaluate your wall insulation. If you live in an older home, you may have limited insulation in your walls. According to one energy expert at Clearsurance, spray insulation can be added without significant damage to your walls. To check if you have insulation in your walls, remove a light or socket cover (with the electricity shut off at the breaker) and use a flashlight to peer inside the walls.
47) Install an attic tent. An attic tent insulates the attic access door, to keep hot or cold air from entering your home.
48) Check the attic temperature. Your attic should match the season, meaning hot in the summer and cold in the winter. If not? It means your central air and heating system duct work is leaking into your attic. There’s no sense heating or cooling that space. If you find leaks in the ductwork, make sure you patch them up with foil-backed tape, not duct tape.
49) Add a door sweep. If you can feel a breeze or see daylight under or around your door, you need to adjust your door threshold or install a new door sweep. Some thresholds have adjustment screws. If so, loosen the screws to raise your threshold. If not, replace the insulated door sweep at the bottom of the door. That will protect your home from the elements!
50) Insulate your pipes. If you have hot water pipes in your attic, garage or basement, you are losing heat and energy as water travels from your water heater to other areas of the house. Purchase pipe insulators at the hardware store (usually available at a low cost in the winter). Place the pipe sleeve so the seam is face down on the pipe, then use aluminum foil tape to secure the insulation every 12-18 inches.
51) Check your ventilation. Your home needs to have a way for moisture to get out. That happens through exhaust fans, soffit vents and roof vents. If your attic has evidence of moisture, rot or humidity, you may need more roof vents or soffit vents installed.
52) Install new windows. New double or triple pane tinted windows can go a long way to cutting your energy spend. Jake Hill, CEO of DebtHammer advises that “As homes age, windows pull away from where they’re housed. This creates small gaps where air can go in and out, making your home less energy-efficient.”
53) Reglaze old windows. Can’t afford replacement windows? Older single pane windows typically hold the glass in place with glazing compound. This can become cracked or even fall out, letting wind and rain leak in. Reglazing windows is a low cost DIY project you can complete yourself.
54) Install a radiant barrier in your attic. If you live in a warmer climate, consider installing a radiant barrier in your attic. This is a highly reflective material installed on the underside of your roof will help reflect the heat that’s captured in your roof shingles. According to Energy.gov, this can reduce cooling costs by 5 to 10%.
55) Insulate your basement ceiling. If you have a home with an unfinished basement, look up. You should see insulation batting above your head, between the floor studs. If not? Add insulation to your basement ceiling. That will keep wet, cold air in the basement where it belongs, not in your house.
56) Insulate your electrical outlets. “Outlets can allow cold air to more easily travel throughout your house, thus causing you to bump up your heat,” according to Carter Seuthe, CEO of Credit Summit. You can buy a pack of electrical outlet insulators at any hardware store.
57) Add an attic fan. Within your attic, temperatures can climb to 160 degrees or more. Venting this heat can cool the inside of your home. An attic fan blows hot air outside and pulls cooler air inside through your soffit vents. This can help your HVAC system more efficiently cool your home.
58) Seal unused chimney. Have a fireplace? If you aren’t using it regularly, consider adding a fireplace plug just below the damper. This can reduce cold air drafts inside your home in the winter. (For more tips on fireplace energy efficiency, check our sister site, NaturalGasPlans.com)
59) Seal small attic holes. Check for leaks around ceiling light fixtures, electrical or plumbing lines in your attic. Plugging these holes is simple with caulking or spray foam filling the gaps.
Cut Electricity Bills with Your Water Heater
60) Set the temperature correctly. Keep your water heater set to120* or below. If you are adding a lot of cold water to the hot water in the shower or bath, you’re wasting energy heating water to too high a temperature.
61) Replace with tankless. If you are replacing your water heater, consider going to a tankless water heater. These heat water on demand rather than maintaining the temperature on a whole tank of water.
62) Flush your water heater. Your water heater can become clogged with sediment. That’s because the heating element can cause a chemical reaction with minerals that are naturally occurring in hard water. Follow our steps on how to flush your water heater.
63) Wrap up your water heater. If your water heater is in your basement, garage or attic and is exposed to the elements, wrap it up! A water heater insulation blanket will keep heat inside the unit where it belongs.
64) Look for Energy Star on replacements. Investing in a high-efficiency electric water heater has the potential to offer huge savings on your electric bill once you factor in the costs of water-intensive activities like running washing machines or dishwashers and taking showers. That’s according to CreditDonkey, a site that helps consumers manage their credit.
65) Add a water heater timer. Your water heater runs 3 to 5 times daily maintain the water temperature at its set point. Yet you probably only use hot water in the morning for bathing and at night for cooking and cleaning. A water heater timer can set your water heater to only run when you need it.
Save Electricity in the Living Room
Your televisions, set-top boxes, home theater systems, DVD players, and video game consoles can account for 4% of your electricity usage. Paying attention here can help save on your electric bill.
66) Use smart plugs for your electronics. Your electronics draw power while in standby mode. A smart power strip with energy monitoring will shut off the electric current when your devices are turned off.
67) Use power and energy saving settings. Modern smart TVs usually have power savings modes. These can help reduce energy usage when you are using it and when you aren’t.
68) Use the screen blanking feature when listening to music. Want to have the TV on for background music? Set it to blank the screen and save money.
69) Check for ambient light features. Your TV may have an ambient light sensor that adjusts the lighting on the TV based on the amount of light in the room. If so, you can reduce energy use by 30% or more when you darken the room to watch TV.
70) Use insulating paint. The next time you are giving your living space a refresh, go with insulating paint. That’s a suggestion from Kristen Bolig, CEO, SecurityNerd. This kind of paint can reduce your heating and cooling bills by creating a barrier between the outside walls and your interior walls.
Around the House – Exterior Energy Savings
Often, energy savings tips lists focus on what’s inside the home. But there are a lot of ways you can cut your household energy budget with small changes outside your home.
71) Use timers for exterior lighting. “Timers can be a great tool to help regulate your electricity use” says Martin Orefice, CEO of Rent To Own Labs. Use them to set your exterior lighting. That way you don’t have to remember to turn it off or on.
72) Use motion sensors for exterior lighting. Many times, there’s no value in lighting up your outside unless there’s something to see. Use motion sensors on your backyard lighting.
73) Check your wiring. Depending on how old your home is, you may want to replace your wiring. “It’s not much of a problem if everything has been updated, but outdated wiring can be energy-inefficient and even a serious fire hazard, says Glenn Wiseman, Sales Manager at Top Hat Home Comfort Services.
74) Consider reflective roofing or cool roofing. If you’re replacing your roof shingles, look into reflective roofing products. A traditional roof can reach temperatures of 150* on a hot day. A cool roof cuts that temperature by 50*, according to Energy.gov. A cooler roof can decrease your air conditioning costs.
75) Use insulating exterior paint. Go high tech, and paint your home with insulated paint. You can now purchase a ceramic additive that turns ordinary paint into insulated paint. Remember, keeping the elements out and your conditioned air inside is the key to energy efficiency at home.
76) Landscape for shade. Shade trees in your yard can help block sunlight from your roof and windows and reduce cooling costs. Just remember, the trees will cast their shadow as the sun travels from east to west. Plant accordingly.
77) Insulate your garage door. Insulating your garage door can keep your garage 12 degrees warmer in the winter and 25 degrees cooler in the summer, according to Family Handyman. Since the garage is usually adjacent to your kitchen that can keep your cooling bills lower.
78) Install awnings. An awning over your windows, sliding glass or french doors can keep direct heat off of the house and provide shade in hot months. The key is to block sunlight in the hot months, but let sunlight in during the colder months. That’s a tip from The Turett Collaborative, a design and architecture firm focuses on energy efficient low energy buildings.
79) Check your foundation. Issues surrounding your foundation can really increase your electricity bills over time. Do you have foundation cracks that air can escape through? These gaps and issues in your foundation let your cool or hot air leak out. That’s according to Alex Berezowski, General Manager of The Foundation Experts Inc. Their recommendation? Add foundation insulation and seal up gaps and cracks
Save Electricity in the Bathroom
The smallest room in your house can also help you save on your electricity bill.
80) Get A New Showerhead. By getting an energy-efficient shower head, you can help save not only 2700 gallons each year but also lower your usage of hot water (and the electricity to heat it up.) TheCostGuys suggest buying a product with a WaterSense label given by the Environmental Protection Agency.
81) Take showers instead of baths. Along the same idea, you can cut your water heating costs by taking showers instead of filling up the tub.
82) Turn off the vent fan. Don‘t leave bathroom ventilation fans running longer than necessary; they replace inside air with outside air.
Save on Your Electric Bill With Better Lighting
Save on your electric bill with these bright idea on lighting.
83) Replace the bulbs. Do you have any older CFL or incandescent bulbs around? Replace them with LED lights, which use significantly less power.
84) Turn it off. Leaving the room? Always turn lights off in rooms you are not using.
85) Switch to Smart Lighting. Andrei Vasilescu, CEO of Don’t Pay Full, recommends smart lighting, either via smart light bulbs or smart plugs. “You’ll have the ability to control your lights remotely. Went on vacation and left the light on in the living room? You can turn it off. You’ve already gotten cozy in bed and you can’t be bothered to go downstairs to turn the porchlight off? You can do it on your phone. It can make a difference in your electricity bill over the course of the year.”
86) Check the wattage. Want light? One larger wattage bulb is more efficient than two smaller wattage bulbs. Just make sure your light bulbs don’t exceed the recommended wattage indicated on the light socket.
87) Clean light bulbs regularly. A dirty light bulb or light fixture can cut the light output by 10% according to Energy.gov
88) Consider task lighting. Use lamps for reading rather than lighting up the entire room.
89) Use natural light. One of the best ways to cut down on light use is to maximize the windows and natural light in your home. Ari Shpanya, CEO of Loan Base recommends arranging furniture to get as much of the morning sun as possible into your home.
And that’s a wrap! You can get tips like this in our monthly newsletter. We’ll keep you up to date on energy saving information, plus info on how to shop for the best electricity rates.