How to Reduce Energy Costs in Peak Hours

A light bulb next to a stack of coins.

It’s easy to cut down on the cost of electricity within your home when you’re not there—for instance, when you’re at work or out of the house all day. But it's trickier to cut down on energy usage when you’re actually home. The evenings and weekends are undoubtedly the times that tend to drive up your monthly utility bills. To help slash costs, here are the most effective tips and tricks to reducing consumption in peak hours.

Use Natural Light

Lighting your home can take a lot of energy, especially when you’re home over the weekend. However, taking advantage of natural light on sunny days and implementing a rule to not switch on lights unless it’s completely necessary will save you some dough. A single south facing window can illuminate between 20 to 100 times its area, allowing you to switch lights off and to enjoy a natural indoor glow.

Unplug Electronics

A phone and laptop charging.

It’s easy to forget to unplug a phone or laptop charger when it’s not in use or to unplug the toaster after your bagel is cooked to perfection. However, doing so will help you to save an abundance of energy. While the average American household has 24 consumer electronic products, 75 percent of the electricity used to power these products is generated while they are turned off. Something as simple as leaving a computer on while it’s not in use can drive up your energy bill by $100 each year, proving how important it is to unplug items and appliances when they’re just sitting around.

Turn Off Water

When you lather your hands as you wash, shave your face, or brush your teeth, you should turn your water off in order to save energy. This simple action could reduce hot water usage by about five percent, making it a worthwhile tip.

Manage Your Thermostat

A thermostat. It can be tempting to pump the heat in cold weather or blast the air conditioning when it’s hot. However, this is just about the worst thing you can do for your energy bills. Even lowering your heat by a mere two degrees can save you five percent on your bill and lowering it five degrees could save you 10 percent annually.

You can take other measures to save energy in the home temperature realm besides just lowering your thermostat. Consider opening the windows in the summer, keeping blinds closed to block out sunlight, and not using your oven when it’s hot outside. Another way to avoid the need to pump the AC is to focus on cooling your body down by drinking a cold beverage or using a cool towel rather than adjusting the thermostat. When it’s cold out, pile on layers to avoid raising your heat.

Spend More Time Outdoors

Especially with warmer weather seasons on the horizon, vow to spend more time outdoors. This allows you to turn lights off in the house and unplug appliances, while granting you time out in the fresh air. Light citronella candles and use solar powered lanterns to enjoy your patio, yard, or deck late into the evening. This is the perfect way to enjoy meals al fresco, get some exercise, or simply lounge around to avoid using electricity.

Use Smaller Appliances

Whenever you can, use smaller appliances as they take less energy to power. This includes items like toasters and microwaves rather than an oven. This is an easy way to cut costs while you’re home for long stretches of time. If you do have to use the stove, use lids on pans to speed up cooking time on the stovetop.

Even when you’re home, you can take simple measures in order to reduce energy consumption. Follow these tips to reduce your electricity bill on a monthly basis and to help the environment at the same time.