Energy bills are at an all-time high and likely take up a massive chunk of your monthly expenses. And you could do everything right: install LEDs, turn off lights when not in use, configure your thermostat—and still get very high electricity bills.
Homeowners are facing the brunt of high electricity bills for several reasons: an increase in the number of appliances, work-from-home, and self-employed opportunities so more people are spending more time at home, and the increasing cost of electricity. Additionally, the cost and efforts needed to find fuel and other sources to produce energy are becoming more and more difficult with each passing day.
According to a study, worldwide electric consumption has grown significantly over the past 50 years, with approximately 25,500 terawatt-hours accounted for in 2022. This number is triple the amount consumed in 1980. The U.S. generates about 16% of the world’s total energy consumption despite having less than 5% of the world’s population.
These numbers clearly indicate that overconsumption is a cause of concern. Aside from excessive energy bills, environmental conservation has also become a priority for many. As a result, many have started to adopt simple lifestyle changes to reduce expenses and be kinder to nature.
Here are some ways you can save electricity bills in the US in 2024:
1. Switch to Energy Star Appliances and Devices
Energy Star is a widely recognized and trusted label that indicates an appliance or device meets strict energy-efficiency requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All Energy Star-certified products are verified for efficacy through a third party.
Choosing Energy Star appliances and devices ensures you consume less power without compromising performance. Consider upgrading to better, energy-efficient options so you can save a substantial amount of money each month.
Having efficient refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, and air conditioners can significantly reduce your overall energy consumption.
2. Use a Programmable Thermostat
Thermostats control temperatures indoors. Programmable ones are easier to use and more efficient because they perform automatically through pre-programmed settings.
Programmable thermostats have various heating and cooling controls and robust sensors for better customization and energy efficiency. These features track the temperature outside and automatically adjust the settings so you always have your ideal heat level indoors.
3. Unplug Appliances and Devices When Not in Use
Unplugging electronics when not in use is one of the most simple and effective ways to slash your electricity bill. Standby, asleep, or vampire power silently drains energy even when devices are turned off.
A senior scientist at the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab, Alan Meier, pointed out that nearly 50 devices and appliances in the typical American household always draw power, even when they appear to be turned off. According to a study, these “asleep” devices draw about a quarter of all residential energy consumption when in idle power mode.
When you disconnect the power source, you can prevent this wasteful consumption. After you form this habit, you’ll realize that you’re not only seeing a drop in your electricity bills but also conserving a ton of energy. Unplugging non-essential devices like your laptop, phone charger, and even your toaster oven guarantees long-term savings.
4. Carefully Inspect Your Home’s HVAC and Insulation
Your home may lack proper insulation, causing you to use more heat than needed to regulate a room’s temperature. If your energy bills aren’t going down despite following best practices, you might want to work with a contractor to understand what’s wrong.
A contractor will assess your home and repair and upgrade whatever is needed. Small attics, crawl spaces, basements, and even walls can all be spots that need to be repaired. Upgrading windows, adding curtains, sealing air leaks, and caulking or weatherstripping can also help reduce heating and cooling costs.
While at it, schedule your home’s HVAC system for a thorough professional inspection to ensure everything is in order.
5. Consider Renewable Energy Sources
This is an obvious one. One of the best ways to reduce your electricity bills is by switching to a more sustainable energy source.
Thanks to solar panels, you can generate and use clean and renewable electricity, reducing your dependence on traditional power sources. Although the initial investment is hefty, you’ll save a ton on energy bills in the long run.
Furthermore, solar power systems are becoming more affordable and efficient, so you can recover your investment soon enough.
What Should You Choose?
Growatt has many different options if you’re looking at the sustainable route. You can choose between portable power stations or solar generators combined with their solar panels for a highly efficient system for your home.
Whether you’re looking for full-time energy solutions for your home or as a backup, these options are top-notch. Additionally, they work well for on-the-grid and off-the-grid homes.
Aside from saving money on bills, you’ll feel fulfilled knowing you're taking steps to reduce your household’s carbon footprint. And that’s not all. The government recognizes the importance of sustainability and offers the Federal Solar Tax Credit program to encourage such changes.
How Does Federal Solar Tax Credit Work?
When you purchase a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, you are automatically eligible for a Federal Solar Tax Credit within that tax year. You can claim this on your federal income taxes for a percentage of the cost of your new solar system.
In 2021, the ITC provided a 26% tax credit for systems installed between 2020 and 2022. Those who installed systems in 2022 and 2023 saw 30%. It should be noted that this claim can only be made once. Also, the credit amount is a deduction, not a refund.
6. Use Natural Lighting and Ventilation
Use natural lighting and ventilation as much as possible to reduce the usage of air conditioners and light fixtures. When it’s warm out, open windows to invite the breeze. Opening your blinds and curtains brings in natural lighting and reduces the heat produced by light fixtures. Use mirrors to reflect daylight into the darker corners of your home.
Similarly, in winter, close the windows and draw the curtains to keep the cold out.
7. Replace Your Shower Head
Conserving or reducing water usage can also help reduce your electricity bills. Heating water can be expensive; installing low-flow shower heads and faucets can decrease the amount of hot water consumed. You can still maintain good water pressure without increasing expenses.
Additionally, maintaining your home’s plumbing system can also reduce the chances of leaks and water waste.
Following these energy-saving tips will help you stay comfortable throughout the year. Small changes like adjusting your thermostat, unplugging unused appliances, inspecting your home’s insulation and HVAC system, using natural ventilation and lighting, and replacing your shower head can make a big difference.
Combine these tips with Energy Star appliances and solar panels, and your savings will be unprecedented. As you reduce your bills, you also minimize your carbon footprint, which is commendable for a whole household. Don’t let expensive electricity bills dampen your plans; adopt these smart changes for a better future.