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How to Save Money on Holiday Electric Bills


You may consider utility bills as an expense you can’t do anything about, but you are wrong. If you pay attention to your energy use each month, you’ll notice a spike in December. In my home this is usually the result of being home from work and school for two weeks. Oh, and those holiday lights don’t help either.

One way we counteract our usage increase is by getting out of the house for some free and frugal winter fun. If that sounds doable to you, you may find the following strategies helpful in lowering your electric bill this season …

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  • Lower the Temperature 1 of 7
    Lower the Temperature
    Setting your thermostat at a slightly lower temperature can reduce heating costs, while still maintaining your family's comfort. If I can live through a heat wave without air conditioning, I can certainly handle a slightly cooler house in the winter with a few extra blankets.

    You can also set your temperature lower when you are away from the house, or asleep. You will save 1% on your electric bill for every degree lowered. There are several programmable thermostats on the market that will automate this for you.

    Honeywell programmable thermostat on Amazon

  • Use Budget Billing 2 of 7
    Use Budget Billing
    Ease your burden each month with budget billing — it will allow you to balance the payments throughout the year. You'll have slightly higher bills during the spring & fall, but it will lower your bills during the heavier usage months of winter and summer. Be sure to select a plan that balances the total at the end of the year, rather than a fixed payment plan, which could cause you to actually spend more. Our budget bill saves us 25% during high use times.

    Photo Credit: Flickr

  • Consider Solar Lights 3 of 7
    Consider Solar Lights
    If you utilize lights on the porch, sidewalks or deck, check into solar lights. They will use the sun throughout the day to charge the lights for dusk to dawn use, so you aren't using electricity at all.

    Solar path lights on Amazon

  • Seal the Leaks 4 of 7
    Seal the Leaks
    Find and seal leaks throughout your home. These can be near vents, outlets, windows, and doors. Stopping the drafts will help keep the heat inside your home, saving up to 20% on your heating costs.

    Black & Decker thermal leak detector on Amazon

  • Stop Vampire Power 5 of 7
    Stop Vampire Power
    Many electronics and appliances do not fully power down but continue sucking power in standby mode. Unplugging items when not in use, or utilizing an energy saving surge protector that cuts power completely, will reduce energy consumption in a simple way you'd never notice. Vampire power can account for up to 30% of your electric bill.

    Belkin power saving surge protector on Amazon

  • Use Energy Efficient Bulbs 6 of 7
    Use Energy Efficient Bulbs
    Using more efficient light bulbs throughout your home and for holiday decorating, will reduce electricity use and have an impact on your budget. CFL bulbs may cost more up front, but they'll save a lot of money over time. Ditto LED holiday lights. When we switched the whole house to CFL bulbs, our electric bill was $10 lower the very next month.

    LED holiday lights on Amazon

  • Set a Timer 7 of 7
    Set a Timer
    Running outdoor lights and the tree on a timer will ensure that you are not wasting electricity when your lights will not be seen. We run our tree from morning until bedtime while we are around to enjoy it. The outdoor lights are set for a few hours from dusk — giving us plenty time for enjoyment.

    Sylvania outdoor lights timer on Amazon

For money saving ideas and more tools to lower your electric bill, follow Heather over to Inexpensively.com.

Photo Credit: Flickr

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