Focus on High Electricity Use Items First
Perform Home Energy Audit: To identify ways you can reduce energy cost in your home use the US EPA Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick.
Use a Programmable Thermostat: Cool your home to 78 degrees or warmer in the Summer. For additional savings, set the thermostat to 82 degrees or warmer when you're away. Heat your home to 68 degrees or cooler in the Winter. To save even more, lower your thermostat to 65 degrees or cooler at night or when you're away from home. Tip: Look for a programmable thermostat with Energy Star Mode, it does the above for you!
Limit Running Pool Pump: A pool pump can be the second highest energy user in your home. Install a timer and run the pump no more than 8 hours in the Summer and 6 hours in the Winter.
Use CFL Light Bulbs: To save money on lighting your home switch to CFL bulbs. CFL or Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs use 2/3 less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs. CFLs work best when left on for more than 15 minutes and turning a CFL on and off frequently will dramatically shorten it's life. CFLs also generate much less heat than halogen or incandescent bulbs.
Use Technology to Reduce Electricity Use Automatically
Lower Thermostat on Water Heater: Lower the thermostat setting on your water heater from 140 degrees to 120 degrees, which is the recommended temperature setting according to the U.S. Department of Energy, to save $7 a month. Install a timer on your water heater for additional savings.
Use Energy Saving Mode on Dishwasher: To conserve energy, use energy saving mode on your dishwasher or air dry dishes. Avoid pre-rinsing dishes to save up to $70 a year. Be sure to run a full dishwasher at night when electricity rates are cheaper.
Home Maintenance Can Reduce Electricity Use
Replace A/C Filters Regularly: To help your A/C unit run more efficiently, replace the air filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will also reduce the operating life of your A/C unit.
Turn Off Ceiling Fans: To save up to $7 per month, turn off your ceiling fan when you leave the room. Ceiling fans allow you to feel cooler with thermostat set to a higher temperature so install them in bedrooms and family rooms for savings. If your ceiling fan serves as more of a decoration than air cooling tool, then you should consider upgrading. Not only do these lights add a high level of sophistication to any room, but they also do not use as much electricity as a ceiling fan. There are many options to choose from, such as chandeliers and more conventional flush mount lights. Of course, the amount of power saved varies per product, but they are an efficient alternative to a ceiling fan. As always, it is still important to turn these lights off whenever you are leaving the room.
Weather Strip Door and Windows: This is probably the most cost effective way to reduce your cooling and heating bills. Frugal Toad Tip: When it is dark outside have someone shine a flashlight around windows and doors to check for leaks. If you see light mark that spot with a dry erase marker and inspect or replace weather stripping!
By following the above money saving tips you can substantially reduce the amount of electricity you use in your home.