COVID-19 has led to many changes in our day-to-day lives, one of which is Texans staying inside to watch TV, play video games, and chat with friends online rather than hang out with friends in person.
All of this can lead to higher electricity bills, especially when it isn’t the two weeks of winter. However, there are some things Texans can do to lower their electricity bills, even if they are staying at home.
Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances
Appliances are usually the bulk of energy costs in any home. Even if your television is always on, it tends to not use as much electricity as your air conditioner, heater, and refrigerator. Purchasing energy-efficient appliances will help you to live in comfort while using less energy overall.
Using your appliances in an energy-efficient way is also essential. Setting your refrigerator to 38 F and your freezer between 0–5 F can help keep your food fresh, but your appliances won’t have to work as hard. You can also set your air conditioner to a few degrees higher or lower (depending on the season) than you usually would while you are asleep or out of the house to help reduce costs.
Your stove can also be used more efficiently. Make sure you are not opening the oven door multiple times while cooking. Instead, utilize the oven light to check on your food. Just make sure to turn the light off when you aren’t looking. You can even try making single skillet meals so that you only have to depend on one burner if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
Use an Advanced Power Strip
Items like computers, tablets, lamps, printers, games consoles, and more can still suck electricity when they are not used if they are plugged in. Using an advanced power strip can reduce the “vampire loads” you don’t even realize you have.
Advanced power strips are designed to save as much energy as possible. There are different designs for different needs. Some APS’s can monitor activity and turn everything off for you if you, for instance, fall asleep while watching television. Others are designed to cut residual power flow from electronics turned off but may still be pulling electricity.
Spend Less Time in the Shower
One of the appliances that should be as energy-efficient as possible is a water heater. Using that hot water efficiently is also extremely important. A traditional water heater with a tank has to heat the water that comes into the tank. The more times you empty the hot water tank, the more the water heater has to run to refill the tank and heat that new batch of water.
Spending a little less time in the shower uses less hot water, thereby allowing the water heater to run less. You can also adjust the temperature of your showers. While hot showers can be relaxing, there are many benefits to colder showers besides lower electricity usage. Even just ending a shower with a cooler water temperature can help.
Change Your Lightbulbs
Lightbulbs have come a long way since Edison. Now, instead of just the incandescent lightbulb, we have LED and compact fluorescent lightbulbs, which use less energy than their more-traditional counterparts. They tend to be a bit more expensive, but many of them last much longer than incandescent lightbulbs and the energy savings can make up for the extra cost easily.
Take a look at the most used light fixtures in your home and change those bulbs first. Ensure that you are changing them to LED or compact fluorescent lightbulbs to save the most energy and, therefore, the most money.
Get Energy From a Renewable Provider
A lot of energy companies in Texas are switching to more renewable sources of energy. Many cities in Texas have multiple energy companies for residents from which to choose. Choosing a company with residential energy plans for Texas homes that utilize renewable sources can be cheaper than companies using non-renewable sources.
Do plenty of research before switching energy companies. But if you can find a company for your area, check what their best plans are and if those plans will work for you.
Turn Off the Lights to Save the Money
Making small changes in your home to save energy can have a significant impact on your energy bill. Modifications as slight as turning off the lights when you leave a room or unplugging small appliances when they aren’t in use can result in massive savings. While stuck at home in Texas, take some small steps to keep costs down.