Reducing electricity consumption does not necessarily involve big investments; below are 35 ways to reduce your electricity consumption at home.
1. Turn down the thermostat
Ideally, keep your home heated to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 at night. Use extra blankets and sweaters instead of turning up the heat. Similarly, in the summer, dress cool to save energy on air conditioning costs and energy (EPA, 2022).
2. Lower your water temperature
Turn your heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You will cut your water heating costs by 6-10 percent (EPA, 2022).
3. Insulate the house
Ensure your home has good insulation, and if heated or cooled, do not leave windows or doors open. Raise shades on winter days, lower them in the summer. Seal all leaks. Block all windows and doors with weatherstrip tape and inexpensive door sweeps and install blinds to reduce outside heat transfer. Install storm windows; they are added insulation for your home.
4. Insulate pipes and fixtures
Insulate the water heater and heating and cooling pipes. An insulation blanket for a water heater will pay for itself in a year or less and reduce heat loss by 25-40%. Seal tiny holes around water pipes and stuff insulation into big gaps around plumbing fixtures. Also, by covering waterbeds, you produce insulation and save up to ⅓ of the energy it uses.
5. Replace your showerhead
Using a low-flow showerhead reduces water consumption and energy usage to heat the water. They pay for themselves in only four months.
6. Turn unused equipment and appliances off
Turn off equipment and lights at night and on the weekend, unplug appliances when they are not in use (EPA, 2022).
7. Use ENERGY STAR certified compact fluorescent lighting (CFL)
By switching to energy-conserving compact fluorescent bulbs, you will save 75% of the energy used in incandescent bulbs.
LED lighting differs from incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting in several ways. When designed well, LED lighting can be more efficient, durable, versatile, and longer-lasting (EPA, 2022)
8. Clean or replace filters
Make it a habit to regularly check your furnace, air conditioner, and heat pump filters. By cleaning your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment, your units will last longer, avoid costly downtime and improve indoor air quality (EPA, 2022).
9. Increase natural light
Paint your exterior and interior walls in a light color to reflect more light. Paint the edges of the window in white so that more light is reflected inside. During the day, open blinds to bring in natural light instead of turning on lights (EPA, 2022).
10. Reduce paper usage
Double side on copiers, reuse single-sided paper, use electronic mail, and circulate documents with routing sips (EPA, 2022).
11. Use public transportation or carpool.
Not only does this save energy costs, but it extends the life of your vehicle (EPA, 2022).
12. Hang your clothes instead of tumble dry.
Did you know that a standard clothes dryer consumes as much energy per year as an energy-efficient refrigerator, clothes washer, and dishwasher combined? Line drying saves money and conserves energy. It also enhances freshness by removing strong odors and is gentle on clothing (UNICEF Armenia, 2020).
13. Use your laptop more than your desktop.
Laptops use an average of 20 to 50 watts of electricity to run, whereas desktop computers use 60 to 200 watts of electricity to run. This is because laptops run off of battery power, and desktops are continuously plugged into a power source that drains energy.
Be sure to unplug your laptop and docking station from the power source once it is fully charged. Not only does this help reduce your energy usage, but it also optimizes your laptop's battery life to last longer (UNICEF Armenia, 2020).
14. Consider switching to a renewable energy provider.
Look for providers that use renewable energy sources and sustainable, ethical practices (UNICEF Armenia, 2020).
15. Charge your phone to airplane mode in airplane mode and before bedtime.
While charging, switch your phone to airplane mode so that it does not slow down the charging process by continually burning energy trying to connect with cell towers and plot your location with its GPS function. Switching your phone to airplane mode causes it to charge more quickly.
Moreover, the brighter the screen setting, the more power it uses, and vibration uses more energy than a ringtone. Low Power Mode also saves battery life, therefore using less energy. Do not also forget to unplug your charger when not in use! (UNICEF Armenia, 2020).
16. Delete unwanted files from cloud storage.
Reduce your carbon footprint by organizing your files and eliminating unnecessary data from cloud storage! Companies offering cloud data storage need warehouses filled with servers running nonstop. These data centers consume huge amounts of energy since they require AC systems to avoid overheating (UNICEF Armenia, 2020).
17. Delete old emails.
78% of all incoming emails are spam, requiring 33 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and causing 20 million tons of CO2e per year. If every person in France deleted 50 emails, the energy savings would be equivalent to turning off the Eiffel Tower's lights for 42 years. You can save electricity and reduce carbon emissions by cleaning out your inbox without even leaving your desk (UNICEF Armenia, 2020).
18. Purchase energy-efficient appliances.
On average, appliances use 31% of the total energy use in a household. Although energy-efficient appliances may have higher upfront purchase prices, their operating costs are often 9-25% lower than conventional models.
When purchasing an energy-efficient appliance, look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label. It is a federal guarantee that the device will consume less energy during use and when on standby than standard models. Energy savings differ based on the specific appliance. For example, ENERGY STAR clothes washers consume 25% less energy and 45% less water than conventional ones, whereas ENERGY STAR refrigerators consume only 9% less energy (Energy Sage, 2022).
19. Purchase the correct size of water heater.
Consider your family's hot water needs. If you have a water heater that is too large, it uses more energy than needed. If it is too small, you may run out of hot water (Conserve Energy Future, 2022).
20. Install a heat loop or in-line trap.
When adding a new water heater to your home, consider installing a heat loop or in-line trap. These mechanisms can be inexpensive to install and keep hot water from moving into the piping system when you are not using hot water. Ask your plumbing contractor for details (Conserve Energy Future, 2022).
21. Vacuum the coils of your refrigerator at least every three months.
Dirt and dust buildup make the refrigerator work harder and use more energy (Conserve Energy Future, 2022).
22. Regularly defrost your freezer.
Frost buildup increases the energy required to keep the refrigerator at its proper temperature. Never allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch (Conserve Energy Future, 2022).
23. Make sure your refrigerator door seals airtight.
You can do a test by closing one piece of paper or dollar bill such that it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can easily pull the paper or dollar out, the hinge may need adjusting or the seal may need replacing (Conserve Energy Future, 2022).
24. Scrape dishes and rinse with cold water before loading them into the dishwasher.
Avoid using the dishwasher's pre-rinse cycle (Conserve Energy Future, 2022).
25. Use smart automated devices.
Smart automated devices can lower your electricity bill even when you forget to. Smart automation systems will detect when you are no longer using a device and turn off the power supply (Vishnubhotla, 2022).
26. Use smart metering.
A smart meter is a great way to monitor your power consumption and identify areas where you can reduce it (Vishnubhotla, 2022).
27. Fill your dishwasher.
Wait for your dishwasher to be full to run it to reduce the amount of water you use. Reducing your dishwasher use by one run per week for a year could save you £14 (Energy Saving Trust, 2022).
28. Plant hedges and shrubs to insulate your home.
Just like trees shade your house during the summer, shrubs near your home help insulate your exterior walls from heat and cold. Hedges and shrubs work as windbreaks by forming an air envelope that help insulate exterior walls and spigots. Plant hedges that grow well for your region around 30 cm from your exterior walls (Enercare, 2022).
29. Place your fridge in a cool place away from heat sources to save on cooling costs.
Keep the fridge away from heat sources and don't set the temperature lower than necessary to save energy (Stollenwerk, 2021).
30. Get your boiler services once a year.
Having your boiler serviced once a year will make it more reliable, safer, and run more efficiently (Stollenwerk, 2021).
31. Try using the kettle instead of the electric stove.
It is not necessary to use the stove for everything. Kettles, coffee machines, and egg boilers consume around 40% less energy than using an electric stove (Stollenwerk, 2021).
32. For landscaping, install solar-powered devices (Belardo, 2020).
Solar energy is free with zero carbon emissions.
33. Use a power strip to reduce your plug load.
To avoid paying for this "vampire power," use a power strip to turn all devices off at once. Flipping the switch on your power strip has the same effect as unplugging each socket from the wall, preventing phantom energy loss (Harvard University, 2020).
34. Seal your chimney with a damper.
This will prevent heat from escaping in winter, assuming the fireplace is not used. It will also stop hot air from coming in during the warmer months (Kollmorgen et al., 2021).
35. Install a solar panel system on your roof.
This is a great way to ensure you are using green power.
Each of the actions mentioned above can significantly impact the amount of electricity you consume at home. No matter where you start, whether you switch off your appliances when not in use, or you do laundry on full load, every action counts to save electricity. Also, keep in mind that the impacts of those actions will be felt in your wallet as well.