Saving money on your electricity bill can be a beneficial way to cut your expenses or save more toward your future financial goals. Learning how to save on electricity with these five free (or low-cost) tips can leave you with more money in your pocket each month.

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Use Fans in Winter and Summer

Proper use of a ceiling fan in the summer and winter months can help keep your cooling and heating costs lower, and provide welcome relief from high energy bills.

In the summertime, run your ceiling fans in a counter-clockwise direction. This pushes cool air downwards while creating a breeze, which makes you feel cooler without actually lowering the room’s temperature. Ceiling fans require less power than an air conditioner, and may help cut your air conditioning costs by up to 14% per year.

In the winter months, run your ceiling fan in a clockwise direction. This creates an updraft that pulls cold air to the ceiling, and pushes warmer air down the walls. While you may still need to run your heater, you may not have to turn the heat up as high, thus keeping costs down.

Adjust Your Water Heater

Notoriously energy-inefficient, water heaters add up to 11% to consumers’ utility bills every month. By constantly keeping water heated in the tank, you end up paying for heat even when it’s not being used.

To reduce this cost, just lower the temperature setting on your water heater by a few degrees. For example, reducing it from 140 degrees to 120 degrees could save you up to $85 per year. You won’t notice a difference in the water temperature, but you may save a few dollars on your monthly electricity bill.

Use Power Strips…and Turn Them Off

Even when turned off, many household electronics become energy vampires, using phantom power without your knowing it. Surprisingly, 75% of the electricity used by these devices occurs while they’re turned off.

To reduce this unnecessary energy use, install power strips at outlets where you plug in your electronics like your TV, stereo, coffee maker or microwave. This lets you switch off the entire power strip when you’re not using the electronics or appliances, cutting off the energy vampires at the source.

If you only want certain items completely powered off, try using a smart strip. These have some outlets that are always powered, while others aren’t, letting you customize your usage and power savings.

Use Timers and Low-Energy Bulbs for Your Porch Light and Hall Light

Installing motion sensors, timers and low-energy bulbs like CFLs in your porch and hallway light fixtures can save on electricity usage and costs. Rather than keeping these lights on all night, use motion sensors to automatically turn them on and off when you actually need the light. Combined with low-energy bulbs, this simple duo can come with a low initial cost, and a high return on savings.

Run Off Rechargeable Batteries

Another simple way to save on electricity is to unplug your devices as soon as they’re fully charged. These may include your:

  • laptop
  • tablet
  • smartphone
  • portable speakers

When it comes to the efficiency of your electricity usage, you have more options than you may know. By taking advantage of some or all of these tips on how to save on electricity, you may find yourself saving hundreds of dollars per year, letting you add to your savings or pay down debt faster.

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Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.