Lowering Your Bills

A 2013 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration tells us to expect an increase in the residential price of electricity in the coming year. Between all the other bills you have to pay, no one wants to have higher energy costs too. Taking a few steps to decrease your energy usage can save you money down the road.

And as we all well know, saving money on your bills allows you to have more money for the things you want. Check out these six surprising ways to lower your energy bill.

Paint Your Roof White

Painting your roof white may seem odd, but brightening your roof could save you money. White roofs reflect sunlight, so homes with white roofs will need less energy for cooling in warmer months. Use a white elastomeric coating to brighten up your roof and drop your cooling bills. 

Eliminate Phantom Loads with Power Strips

Phantom loads are the power that your electronics use after you turn them off. Even when you aren't watching television, your flat screen is still drawing power. Get rid of these phantom loads by plugging all of your electronics into a power strip. After using the electronics, unplug the power strip so that you can shut off power to all devices. Watch your energy bills start to drop as soon as you eliminate these phantom loads.

Spend Less Time Cooking

Cooking requires more energy than you might think. Less time spent cooking means less money spent on energy expenses. Microwaving food is faster and avoids heating your whole house. Trap more cooking heat by placing lids on pots and pans. More cooking heat allows you to cook your food faster; you can even cut your food into smaller pieces to allow them to cook quickly.

Put a Blanket on Your Hot Water Heater 

You’re not the only one trying to stay warm in colder months. Your hot water heater can lose heat easily in cooler temperatures. Wrap your hot water heater in a blanket to keep heat inside the tank. You can buy a utility blanket from a home improvement store or even recycle an old blanket. With less heat loss, you will see a decrease in your energy bills.

Redesign Your Room

A good way to keep energy costs low is to change the layout of your room to better suit your energy needs. Maximize sun exposure in cold months by positioning couches close to sunny windows and keeping the curtains open during the day. In the warmer months, move couches further away from sunny windows and keep your curtains closed during the day. Lay down area rugs to insulate the floor and prevent heat loss. Adding mirrors to a room will also reflect light and decrease the need for more lighting. These small changes will let you use less energy and save more money.

Have “No TV Night” Once a Week

A 2011 survey from Nielsen shows that Americans use their television more than five hours a day. Another way to lower your energy bills is to have “No TV Night” one day a week to cut the number of hours you spend watching the tube. Instead of watching TV, read a book or play a game with family and friends. Catch up with an old friend or spend some time on your favorite hobby. Using your TV less will decrease your energy consumption and save you money.

We are all looking for ways to ways to stretch our budgets a little further. Painting your roof white, eliminating phantom loads with power strips, spending less time cooking, putting a blanket on your water heater, redesigning your room, and having “No TV Night” once a week will decrease your energy consumption and decrease your energy bills.

Combine these tactics with the lower energy costs you can get from an affordable provider in a deregulated market, and you'll free up extra room in your budget to spend money on the things you really want. What are some other ways that you’ve found to save money on your energy costs?

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