11 genius life hacks to save on your electric bill
With these tips, you could save up to €400 a year!
7 min read
By calculating how to save on your electricity bill, you could make an annual savings of over €400. That can go a long way to helping you reach your savings goals. The good news? Once you know how, cutting-back that particular cost is actually pretty simple. So, if you’re serious about saving, here’s a host of smart tips and tricks to help reduce your electricity bill.
How to save money on your electric bill in apartments
It doesn’t make a huge amount of difference if you’re working out how to save money on your electric bill in an apartment or in a house. The same principles apply. From focusing on ways to cut back on water and lighting usage, to getting smart with the way you heat your home, wherever you live, you’ll be able to save on your electric bill. Here’s how.
1. Start with an electricity audit
Before you start implementing any electricity-saving habits, it’s important to get an overall picture of how much electricity you’re currently using. To do this, you could use an online auditing tool, download an auditing app, or get a professional to do it for you. Once you’ve got your finalized electricity audit, it’s much easier to identify areas where you could reduce your energy usage.
2. Switch energy providers
One of the easiest ways to make some serious savings on your electricity bill is to switch your energy supplier. By shopping around for the cheapest tariffs, you could save yourself hundreds of euros each month. To do this, use a price comparison website to help you find the best offer on the market.
To further ensure that you’re on the best plan available, opt for a digital account so you can manage your monthly bills online. This is often cheaper as many companies charge to send you paper bills. Also, make sure to send your energy provider regular meter readings so that they charge you an accurate amount.
3. Control your lighting
It’ll come as no surprise to remind you that turning a light off when you leave a room can reduce your electricity bill. However, you can do more than simply flip a switch to make some serious savings. A great tip is to replace all your lightbulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) bulbs, or better yet, light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
While a CFL lightbulb costs more than a standard lightbulb, after nine months of usage, it will have recuperated its losses in energy use, so everything it saves you after this point counts as profit. However, an LED bulb goes even further. Not only is an LED bulb 75–85% more energy-efficient than a standard lightbulb, but it also lasts 15–25 times longer!
4. Watch your water usage
Hot water is often the second-largest household electricity expense, but it doesn’t have to be. In addition to fixing any dripping taps and being careful not to let the tap run when brushing your teeth, there are several things you can do to reduce the cost of your water usage.
First, consider taking shorter showers. Heating water uses a lot of energy which ultimately makes it expensive. By cutting your shower by two minutes, you could use 23 liters less per shower. If you shower daily, that’s an annual saving of nearly 8400 liters which can shave quite a bit off your electricity bill—and it’s much better for the environment.
Next, consider replacing your showerhead with one that’s more energy-efficient. When browsing for a new showerhead, look for one that has a flowrate below 2.5gpm. Energy-saving showerheads work by restricting the flow of water, but without making it feel like you’re showering under a dripping faucet.
Lastly, consider reducing your water heater temperature. This is an easy one to overlook. Most water heaters are automatically set to 140°F (60°C), but this is often much warmer than necessary. Instead, consider setting your water heater to 120°F (50°C). Not only does this reduce the overall energy output as it costs less to heat the water to 120°F (50°C) as opposed to 140°F, but it also reduces the amount of money you lose when keeping the water heated while it’s on standby.
5. Be mindful of your electric devices
Leaving your electric devices on standby rather than turning them off incrementally increases your energy consumption over time. Instead, consider plugging your remote-controlled electronics into a smart power strip. The smart power strip will then automatically turn off all of the devices that aren’t in use.
6. Configure your thermostat
Heating your home is one of the biggest uses of electricity. However, you can reduce your electricity usage by using your thermostat wisely. By lowering your thermostat just two degrees, you could save up to five percent on your heating bill. By reducing it by five degrees, you could save up to ten percent. Investing in a smart thermostat that automatically adjusts to your desired temperature may save you both time and money here.
An additional tip is to make sure that you’ve positioned your thermostat in the right place. If it’s placed in direct sunlight, or near a draft, it can needlessly start altering the temperature and eat into your electricity budget. Instead, ensure that your thermostat is positioned on an interior wall near the center of your home, away from direct sunlight, windows, doors, hallways, and the kitchen.
7. Change how you do your laundry
To save money when doing your laundry, there are three things you can do:
Only run the machine with a full load. Using an entire spin to wash a few shirts and a couple of socks definitely won’t help reduce your electricity bill.
Wash your clothes at a cooler temperature as it costs more to use hot water.
Opt to hang your clothes out to air dry rather than using a tumble dryer.
8. Keep your fridge cool, but not too cool
The colder your fridge and freezer, the more energy they consume. Instead, set your fridge’s temperature to between 35°F (1.5°C) and 37°F (3°C) and your freezer at around -0.4°F (-18°C). In doing so, you keep your food fresh but also reduce your overall electricity consumption.
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How to save on your electric bill in summer and winter
As most annual electricity usage is used either heating or cooling down your home, it’s important to adjust your energy consumption habits to accommodate seasonal changes. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
9. Consider buying an electric heater
More relevant for those who live alone or are working from home, if you only need to keep one room in your home heated, it may be cheaper to turn your thermostat down and invest in a portable electric heater rather than turn on your central heating. By preventing you from heating the entire house or apartment unnecessarily, you can make some big savings on your electricity bill. However, don’t leave the room while the heater is still on as it can pose a fire hazard.
10. Seal any air leaks
If your windows whistle or you can feel a draft around your door frames, it might be time to consider sealing them more effectively. Air leaks can become a serious drain on your electricity bill as your heaters have to work harder to keep your rooms warm to accommodate for all the warm air being lost through the gaps around your windows and doors. However, it’s both cheap and simple to sort this out.
The simplest method is to invest in some pressure-sensitive weather strips which are available in either rubber and plastic. They’re backed with adhesive so they stick easily to the frames of your windows and doors and, when compressed, the rubber or plastic acts as a seal, preventing any air from coming in or escaping. An additional benefit is that they also provide a cushioning effect, preventing the doors or windows from slamming. Once installed, be sure to replace them every three years to make sure they’re still functioning optimally.
11. Make energy-efficient fashion choices
It may sound obvious, but making sure that you’re wearing warm clothes inside in the winter, and cool clothes in the summer can reduce how often you adjust the heating. By simply investing in a good-quality bathrobe or a warm sweater to wear around the home during the winter months, you could make some significant energy-saving reductions to your annual electricity bill.
Your money at N26
Nothing beats the feeling of being financially independent. At N26, we’re here to help you budget better. All of our accounts offer you instant push notifications on spending and earning, so you can always stay up-to-date with your balance. With any of our premium accounts you’ll have access to special features like Spaces, where you can create multiple sub-accounts and give each one a name and a specific savings goal. Check out our Plans page to choose the account that’s right for you. We make budgeting easier so you can start saving for the things that matter most.
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