10 Energy Saving Tips to Help Lower Your Utility Bill

Improving your home’s energy efficiency may help reduce utility bills by 25%

Your utility bill arrives. If you look at it and immediately think of other places you could spend that money, you are not alone. The typical American household spends an average of $2,200 each year on utilities. But, when you follow these ten energy conservation ideas, you may be able to save as much as 25% off your annual utility bills.

Energy Conservation

Many of the 115 million residences in the U.S. have higher energy costs due to leaky windows or ducts, old appliances, and poorly performing heating and cooling systems.

If you are among them, these tips may help. Many of these ideas are easy to do. Best of all, it costs little to nothing to get started.

  1. Use a programmable thermostat to manage your home’s heating and cooling.
  2. Set your water heater’s thermostat to 120°F.
  3. Don’t use drying cycles on dishwashers or washer dryers — let everything air dry.
  4. Short showers with low-flow showerheads, rather than baths, are great energy savers.
  5. Wait until you have full loads before washing clothes.
  6. Turn off appliances, TVs, Blue-ray players, computers, etc. — devices in standby mode still use power.
  7. Caulk leaks around windows and doors, as well as around pipes, vents, and electrical conduits that go through walls.
  8. Replace or clean furnace filters regularly to keep airflow running efficiently.
  9. Keep your furniture near interior walls — away from drafts that may leave you feeling cold and heading for the thermostat.
  10. Use ENERGY STAR® light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products, as they comply with strict efficiency guidelines.

Lower your heating costs

To be sure you maximize your savings, focus on how you heat your home and water. Around 60% of your energy bill comes down to the cost of heating your home and water.

Controllable thermostats make it simple to take action on your heating bill. If your typical home temperature is between 60°F and 70°F, you may be able to lower heating costs by approximately 5% for every degree you lower your settings. You may even be able to lower those costs by another 5% to 20% by programming the thermostat to lower the temperature to 55°F degrees at night or when you are leaving the house.

If you have a traditional fireplace, keep the damper closed. If you never use the fireplace, you could also block off the chimney with a piece of rigid, tight-fitting insulation. As much as 8% of furnace-heated air can be lost up a chimney.

Save on water heating

Lowering your water temperature may also help you save. Setting a water heater to 120°F may help you save between 7% and 11% on your water heating costs. Showers typically account for two-thirds of water heating costs. So, halve the time you take in the shower. Doing that alone may help you cut your water heating costs by a third.

More Energy Saving Ideas

For more ideas on how you can improve the energy efficiency of your home, check out ENERGY STAR’s new Home Advisor tool, which will provide you with customized energy saving tips.