According to a doxo report, Americans in major cities spend 17% of their annual income on utility bills. These bills include electricity, water, sewerage, garbage, and gas. You can never do away with these services, but you can lower the expenses. Beyond switching off unnecessary lights, here are other smart ways of reducing power bills.
#1 Get Competitive Rates
Hundreds of local electricity companies operate in deregulated states. Start by comparing prices for different suppliers. You only need a recent utility bill and five minutes. This simple act can save you extra bucks monthly.
#2 Know Your Consumption
Electricity suppliers offer price points based on usage levels. For instance, 500 kWh may cost 11.5 per unit, while 2,000 kWh go for 11.9 per unit. If you exceed your current plan, you might pay a significantly high amount for the extra consumption.
Calculate the average consumption based on prior 12-month usage. Additionally, consider expected power peaks in the summer and winter seasons.
#3 Unplug Appliances
Standby power accounts for about 10% of the total home energy consumption. Unplug major household devices such as heaters and TVs to push down your bills.
#4 Switch to Smart Solutions
Modern technologies are energy-efficient, saving you money in the long-run. Invest in smart lighting, where you can remotely control lights, cooling, heating, and appliances. This way, you do not have to worry that the heater is left running or bulbs are on when unnecessary.
#5 Choose a Fixed Plan During Low Seasons
Energy prices spike during summer and winter due to increased cooling and heating demands. If you enroll during these seasons, you lock in high prices. Avoid this challenge by signing up in late winter or early spring when prices are favorable. Hence, you pay low prices throughout, even when the costs soar.
#6 Use Off-Peak Incentives
Suppliers charge capacity fees to ensure enough power on the grid during peak times. They also give incentives to those who consume energy during off-peak hours, such as night and weekends. This option is excellent if you have a predictable schedule.
#7 Use Variable Charges
This option offers flexibility if you move often or are comfortable hunting for low prices every other month. You can have low introductory rates for the first 1-3 months before getting a different plan.
#8 Check Additional Costs
Other costs to your power bills are delivery, transmission, energy units, capacity, and ancillary services. These additional costs vary among suppliers and states. So, research the market and compare the local electricity companies for the best pricing structure.
#9 Play By The Rules
Every energy plan has rules that hurt if you break them. For instance, a fixed-rate option attracts early termination charges if you want to switch to another plan. Avoid this cost by changing just before the contract expires. Additionally, tiered rates dictate that you use a fixed amount of power every month. If you go over or under the target kWh, you risk paying high rates. Similarly, bill credits are viable only when you stay within a range of kWh per month.
#10 Avoid Pitfalls
A common pitfall is the hidden charges. Ensure that you understand all the fees attached to your plan before buying. Other mistakes include not reading the contracts and changing the supplier too early.
Electricity bills are a part of your 17% annual income expenses. Therefore, get competitive prices from local electricity companies. Also, ensure that your home is energy-efficient and that you stick by your contract. Further, take advantage of market trends and avoid pitfalls. This way, you will save energy and money.