In 2013, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,908 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of 909 kWh per month according to US Energy Information Administration. With the average cost of a kWh being about 10 cents, this puts the average bill around $100 per month. Some of the electricity people are using is being wasted in ways that could be avoidable. Here are four things in your home you could eliminate or reduce usage of to lower your electric bill.
1. DVR Device
This may be surprising to you, but the HD DVR box is the second largest consumer of energy in homes, second only to heating/cooling appliances. Because this device can be scheduled to record at any time of day, it must run 24/7 in most instances. A 2011 study by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found, based on the estimated number of these units in the United States, the net power bill for all the cable boxes and DVRs across the country was roughly $3 billion, $2 billion of which was wasted on the approximately 16 hours a day the devices sat idle. It may be a good idea to evaluate how much recording your favorite shows really is worth to you. You may be able to check out the episodes you miss online or on demand for free.
2. Cell Phone Chargers and other electronics
According to a study, the average household owns 25 electronic devices. With this many electronic devices comes the same amount of chargers and plugs (or more). What you may not know is that if a charger is left plugged in unused, it still uses .26w/h. And even if your device is fully charged, if it is plugged in it’s still using 2.24w/h. Check out this chart for the amount each device uses while in use and on standby when it is plugged in. Be sure to unplug these energy suckers or use a power strip you can easily turn off.
3. Heating and Cooling
This is not a surprise because heating and cooling your home is the #1 consumer of your electricity. The myth that you need to be aware of, however, is that turning your heat or air down while you’re not at home will use just as much energy to catch up as leaving it at a higher or lower temperature all day. This is not true. It takes less energy to warm up a cold room in the morning than it does to maintain a constant temperature throughout the night.
4. Hot Water
Hot water can be expensive. An average water heater runs three hours daily and costs about $438 a year. Some ways you can save money are by washing your clothes in cold water, taking shorter showers, or lowering the temperature on your water heater.
Another place hot water can be costly is boiling it on the stove. It is often less efficient than using a kettle or even boiling the water in a microwave.
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Clearpoint’s mission is to promote consumer health through financial education. We love to teach you practical ways to save your money. If you would like some help creating a budget or getting out of debt, then get started with online counseling today. It’s easy and free. Don’t worry; it’s always the perfect time to be smart with your money!