Modern life simply isn’t possible without electricity, but power for your apartment doesn’t come for free. Monthly electric bills are an inescapable part of apartment living, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cut some simple corners to lower the amount you pay. With the five tips in this hassle-free electricity budgeting checklist, you can easily lower your monthly electricity costs.
1. Switch your light bulbs
LED light bulbs have become abundant over the last few decades. There’s a simple reason for their proliferation: They use far less electricity than the incandescent light bulbs that have long provided lighting to apartments across the world. Some studies have shown that LED bulbs use a full 75 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs, so your electric bill might drop significantly if you make the switch. And since LED bulbs don’t use nearly as much electricity as incandescent bulbs, they can last 25 times longer, meaning you’ll replace your bulbs much less frequently.
2. Couple bulbs with motion detectors
Have you ever woken up and realized you accidentally or unnecessarily left a light bulb on overnight? You can couple your light bulbs with motion detectors to ensure that all your lights turn off when nobody is up and moving in your room, saving you money on your electric bill. These detectors have been shown to reduce electricity usage by as much as 30 percent. These motion detectors are easy to install, too: Just screw them into the light socket as though they’re actual light bulbs, and then screw the light bulbs into the detectors.
3. Install smart home devices
Smart home devices give you additional control over various aspects of your apartment, including lighting, thermostat, and virtually any device plugged into an AC outlet. You can control most smart light bulbs from your phone, giving you full customizability when it comes to when your lights are turned on and off and, therefore, the amount of electricity you use. With a smart thermostat, you can set your heat or central air conditioning to fluctuate temperature over the course of the day to save electricity. Smart plugs allow you to remotely turn plugged-in devices on or off, and some even track how much electricity your devices use, potentially allowing you to readjust your electricity consumption to save hundreds of dollars per year.
4. Switch to power strips
If you use a power strip’s on/off switch right, you can save plenty of money. When your strip is plugged in but turned off, any devices plugged into it won’t passively use energy. In the summer, for example, your air conditioner uses electricity not just when it’s running, but when it’s merely plugged in, so if you simply turn off a power strip into which it’s plugged, it won’t passively consume energy. In turn, you’ll save money on your electric bill (whereas simply unplugging devices directly from outlets doesn’t save nearly as much money as many people have claimed).
5. Be smart with large appliances
Perhaps the easiest thing you can do right this moment to save on your electricity bill is to think about how you use bigger electric appliances such as your dishwasher, air conditioner, and dryer. Being smart with large appliances means only running the washer and dryer when you can fill the machine, running your air conditioner only on its energy-saver cycle, and only running the dishwasher when it’s completely full. Since these large devices use more electricity than your phone charger or even your TV, being conscious of how you use them can save you ample sums on your electric bill.
How do you save money on your electric bill? Sound off in the comments!