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How To Get Your Monthly Electric Bill Below $25.

OK, so this might not be possible for everyone, especially those with large families. But for the past 3 months, our electric bill has not been over $25 a month – and it took some steps to get it to that point. It was averaging about $45-$50 a month up until that point. So I figured that if we could do it, you might be able reduce your bill by just as drastic an amount too. Here are some of the things that we did around the house to cut our electric bill in half:

Unplug everything when not in use. And when I say everything, I mean everything – microwaves, toaster ovens, computers, TVs, VCRs, cell phone/iPod chargers, stereos – everything.

Remove some bulbs. In our bathroom, the main light fixture had 8 light bulbs in it…until I removed 4 of them. Neither of us needed to feel like we were onstage on Broadway while we brushed our teeth in the morning.

Hang your laundry out to dry. There really is absolutely no reason to run your dryer when the sun and wind can dry your clothes for free. And during the winter, you can hang them inside on drying racks to continue the savings.

Set the temp on the freezer and refrigerator correctly. OK, don’t do this if it is already set at the optimum temperature, but chances are that you have yours set to be too cold. The freezer should be set between +2°F and 0°F, and the refrigerator should be set between 36°F and 40°F.

Wait until you can fill the washing machine before you do laundry. Washing a half load of socks is just a waste of energy.

Use task lighting correctly. Instead of turning on every major light in the room you are in, just turn on smaller lamp that lights up the area you are working in. And be sure it is a CFL bulb!

Try using fans instead of air conditioning when possible. We don’t even have air conditioners at our house, but I know most people do. But before you turn it on, try using a small desk fan or a ceiling fan to try to cool down the house. Open some windows to get some breezes blowing through.

For small meals, use a small oven. And by that I mean use the toaster or convection oven instead of the full-sized oven, so you don’t have to heat up all that empty space.

Just by concentrating on saving energy and by being conscious of our decisions around the house, we cut our energy bill in half. And for me, not only do I love spending less money on the bill, but I also take satisfaction in the reduction of our energy use from month to month. But what about you? Have you taken any steps to lower your electric bill? I have friends who spend over $150 on electricity and insist that they cannot get it any lower. Yet when I look around their house, I see that everything is plugged in, multiple lights are on, and nothing is on power strips. Even a little bit of effort can go a long way!

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Comments (22)

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  1. Susan says:

    I’m jealous that you live in an area where you can go without A/C at this time of the year. Living in Florida, the cheap time of the year as electric/utility bills go is winter when temperatures are at a point where a fan can do enough. I succeeded for the first time last November to lowering our bill to $30. Unfortunately now that it’s summer we just received a bill for $115. I’m not anxiously looking forward to the next few months.

  2. Kimberly says:

    One question that always comes to my mind – any suggestions about my TiVO? It needs to be plugged in, and I think it needs the router to be networked as well, so those two are always on. I feel like it must be costing me a fair amount but I can’t think of a workaround (other than not having it, which isn’t an option for me). If you happen across a solution, I’d love to hear.

    Thanks!

  3. Tyler says:

    Can you provide more details, i.e. kWh usage for the month, and your $/kWh? I live in Texas, which has close to the highest electric rates in the US, so my $75 bill may be comparable to your $30 bill.

  4. I’m with Tyler. $25 per month is a stretch, and that’s coming from someone who is pretty tight with a dollar. What’s your actual usage and what rates are you paying? Without this information, there’s little basis for comparison.

    According to the Riot for Austerity website (riot4austerity.org), our house uses only 51% of the electricity the average US household does. Our bill hasn’t been below $41 in the past year. So to reach the dollar amount you suggest, we’d be looking at using half the amount we used in our best month over the last year. Over the last year our monthly average consumption has been 462 kWh.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great goal and we should all try to reduce our consumption. Still, I’d love to see your actual usage numbers.

  5. Bill says:

    My electric bill is $331/month I’m pretty sure I got $25 in fees and taxes alone.

  6. david says:

    $331 a month? That’s the highest electric bill I have ever heard of!

  7. david says:

    My DVR and my router are always on.

  8. david says:

    Yea, different areas have different bills, for sure. I guess the point is that there are ways, as you discovered to get your “non-summer” bill down to $30. Not everyone can get even that low, and that you did is fantastic!

  9. david says:

    Sure, will track that over the next month, as I shred my bills after I pay them. But really, the point is that even though someone might be way more or way less, there are always ways to reduce the bill. :) It just takes effort that not many people want to go to. For example, I do not turn on a single light until night time, whereas many people have lights on all day throughout the house. That alone saves me a ton of money.

  10. Gypsie says:

    In the last week, my town was the hottest place in the US as the average temp was 107F. So unfortunately, we run our AC quite a bit. Also, our house doesnt have an attic so adding more insulation is not an option, but it would be nice. But winter, we can get our utilities quite low!

    During the month of April, we had an “Energy Smackdown” at work (small office). We compared utility bills (electric and gas since some people had both). My family was third lowest. The two people that did better than us were both single men and one didnt even have any appliances in his house! It was a fun little contest!

  11. Tyler says:

    David, the reason I ask for specific energy usage is to understand how much of a reduction you had – if you are going from 1000 kWh to 500 kWh, or 100 down to 50. Makes a tremendous difference.

    Like Susan in FL, I can’t live in TX without A/C, which effectively doubles my use. Last July and August, I used 488 kWh and 528 kWh, respectively. Come November and December, where A/C is off, I used 250 kWh and 260 kWh. No other major differences beyond having the A/C running.

    For reference, this is having the A/C set at 72 when sleeping, 76 when awake, 80+ when not home (with ceiling fan running).

  12. David says:

    I hear you Tyler, it makes a difference. I can tell you that the most I have ever used was 295kWh, but now it is under or around 100 kWh. Will wait for the bill to come to get the actual numbers.

  13. PK says:

    The major problem with a $25 bill is that $10-$12 is fixed fees. That leaves $13-$15 for power. At $.12/kWh that’s only 125 kWh a month ($15) or about 4kWh a day. That’s a tough one.

  14. Annie G says:

    I agree with many comments that it depends where you are and other factors (like if your house is full electric as ours is, square footage, etc).

    Here in TX, I found the best rate I could (11.2 cents/kwh). We leave our AC on 81 degrees but use ceiling fans most of the time in the rooms we are currently in. In the winter we heat to 65 degrees. Our lowest bills are about $90. Highest last year got close to $300. Starting this year, we are full CFLs, so maybe we will have a lower max bill.

  15. Renee says:

    My bill is 365, grant it I have 2 outside area lights on that bill that run 40. I am determined to cut my bill down- and stop putting money in the pockets of the Power Company. They have no heart. Thanks for the tips!

  16. David says:

    Just got my latest bill – under $11!

  17. SSLPro says:

    Very good -As an energy loss analyst/auditor my bills have averaged $37/mo for 3 or 4 -Since 2006
    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK-

    The rest of you, time to tighten up
    Thats a recommendation – not a mandate
    But really why keep sending utilities
    money you should be keeping?

  18. Ashley says:

    Wow. I am trying this for sure. We pay $240 a month for our utilities. Everyone around us are paying around $100 a month.

  19. Javier says:

    The lowest bill I have recieved this year was fot 420.00 other then that they have all been 482.00 do you think my light bill will drop that much by unpluging everything. Texas.

  20. brian says:

    Invest in solar panels and the utility company will be paying you for the electricity that you sell to them, you can even have solar in areas where there is not much in the way of hot sunshine. Research, you may even get help with the costs. Great work and thanks for the tips, remember ceiling fans need to be a certain length to work properly and to set them to opposite directions in summer and winter.

  21. Taylor says:

    I live in Houston Texas which has the worst heat during the summer time so I have to have the ac. I leave the ac on 81 day and night and my bill is around 120 a month. During the winter I don’t use my ac which brings my bill down to around 40 a month. During the day I have my blinds open so I don’t need to turn any lights on. I also make sure stuff is unplugged that doesn’t need to be plugged in like cell phone chargers. I have never heard of a bill being 25 though. It all depends on what your rate is and where you live. 120 isn’t that bad for living in Texas.

  22. douglas says:

    My electric bill is around $240 to$ 300 a month.and gas bill is $100 to $195 a month combined the two together.and tjat mt uti bill…

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