Easy ways to cut costs on your electric bill

For most people, the electric bill is a huge part of their monthly budget, but there are actually easy, budget-friendly ways to cuts costs on your electric bill right now. From the light bulbs you use in your home to the household appliances you buy, Carly Zipp, editor of TheNest.com has some savvy tips to make that monthly electric bill a lot less straining on your bank account.

Carly’s first tip: Stock up your fridge. A stocked refrigerator means it takes longer for the fridge to heat up which means it will take less time for it to cool down. Food will stay colder longer, and require less electricity. Easy breezy.

[Related: Energy Wasters In Your Home]

Next, Carly says use power strips and surge protectors for your appliances and electronics. Carly recommends a power strip and surge protector in one. "Plug in all your electronics, and when you leave your home, turn it off", says Carly. “A common misconception that we all have, is that when you have all your outlets with all your electronics plugged into it and you turn off the switch at night, that all your electronics are going to sleep. These actually also are kind of using a little bit of energy. A power strip isactually going to cut off all the power, and save you on your electric bill.”

Next up: Negotiate with your electric company. Carly suggests finding out the different rates offered by the electric companies in your area. Start a bidding war and see which company can give you the best deal. These companies compete with each other so they should be open to negotiating with you for your business. If you live in an area with only one provider, try asking for a valued customer discount.

Another great tip that many people are unaware of is to check your electric company’s off peak hours, which is typically delineated on our electric bill. Do all your power intensive activities during that time so you save money. Doing laundry and running the dishwasher tend to use up a lot of power, but can easily run at night or early in the morning when electricity rates are typically lower.

[Related: 7 Ways To Lower Your Phone Bill]

And you know those funny looking squiggly light bulbs? Those are called compact fluorescent light bulbs, which are energy efficient and will help you save on your electric bill. Carly recommends switching to CF bulbs because they use a fraction of the electricity and they last much longer. In fact, CF bulbs are now available in the shape of regular bulbs, which most people prefer.

As for purchasing new appliances, Carly says to always look for the Energy Star label. Those usually come with rebate programs and discounts. “They not only help the environment, but they’re actually going to lower your electricity bill.”

Check out a recent episode on “The Shine” about how to take some stress out of cleaning.

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