Frontwave Blog

10 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill

Have rising energy costs and record-setting temps this summer been sending your energy bills through the roof? From making your home more energy-efficient to looking into special programs with your utility provider, there are lots of ways to help get your electric bill under control. Check out our 10 tips on lowering your energy costs:

1. Check seals on windows and doors.

Missing, cracked or worn seals or weather stripping can let cool air from inside your home out and hot air from outside in. Replacing or repairing faulty seals can help keep more of that cool air inside, reducing how much you need to run your air conditioning or fans.

2. Switch to a programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat lets you preset the temperature of your home at different times of day automatically. Programming the temperature to be a few degrees higher when no one is home or when you’re asleep can help lower your energy use – and your bill.

3. Adjust your freezer and refrigerator settings.

Make sure your freezer is set to 0 degrees, and your refrigerator to 38-40 degrees. These temps will keep your food fresh, without making your fridge and freezer work harder and use more energy to maintain ultra-low temps.

4. Skip the hot water wash.

It takes a lot of energy to heat up water for a “hot” cycle in your washing machine. Most detergents today work just as well in cold or warm water. So making the switch can help cut your energy bill, while still leaving your clothes fresh and clean.

5. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.

Remember what we said about heating water? Lowering the temperature on your hot water heater to 120 degrees can help save some cash without sacrificing comfort. If you’re going on vacation, temporarily lowering it even further while no one’s home can save you even more.

6. Replace old lightbulbs and fixtures.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs and/or lighting fixtures is one of the fastest ways to lower energy use. For example, they estimate that replacing your home's 5 most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the Energy Star® rating can save you $45 every year.

7. Switch to energy-efficient appliances.

Lightbulbs aren’t the only energy hogs in your home that may be due for an energy upgrade. If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine or other appliance, check the energy ratings listed on each model. Opting for more energy-efficient options can make for significant savings on your energy bill each year.

8. Look for energy-efficient incentives.

While we’re on the topic of energy-efficient upgrades, don’t forget to scout out your utility provider’s website for rebates and special offers. Many utilities provide rebates or offer special pricing on certain energy-efficient items, like programmable thermostats and certain appliances.

9. Zap energy vampires.

Energy vampires are devices that continue to use energy even when they’re turned off. Think phone chargers, cable boxes, video game consoles and coffee makers. Unplugging these devices when they’re not in use can help keep the vampires away – and your energy bill lower.

10. Consider an energy audit.

Many utility providers offer low- or no-cost energy audits to help you identify additional ways to save energy and make your home more efficient. Contact your local provider to see what services may be available to you.

For more financial tips and tricks, check out one of our upcoming webinars.

Every month, our Frontwave Credit Union experts offer free virtual workshops on everything from auto and home buying, to retirement and estate planning – all from the comfort of your couch!