30 In LIFE

How to Lower Your Energy Bill: 12 Essential Tips

I was so happy to see you loved my previous post highlighting 10 things to stop buying to save money, and many of you have since asked for more money-saving content. My kind of women! I completely believe that little things can add up to big change (and big savings!) so I am excited to be partnering this summer with Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) to share how to lower your energy bill and save energy… and beat this Florida heat. And don’t worry, it doesn’t mean something totally crazy like not using AC. This girl would have heat stroke.

If you’re like us, I’d do anything to lower your energy bill however beyond upping our AC or turning off lights, I haven’t educated myself how to do that. I’m so grateful that FPL shared with me some best tips, and I’ve found some more great tips for energy efficiency. Remember, every few bucks you save gets to be allocated elsewhere (and I won’t tell if that’s for a kid’s college fund, or an extra glass of wine. Both are good decisions!).

Keep reading for the best tips, plus visit FPL’s helpful “Beat the Heat” web page for other useful energy-saving resources (great tips regardless of your energy provider!). I should want to mention that FPL invited me to participate in its #BeatTheHeat challenge, more on that below… we both can win big! 

Quick and easy tips to lower your energy bill:

Slightly up your thermostat. Ok, let’s not go crazy here and I’m not suggesting you to keep your place at 85 degrees. However, FPL suggests 78 degrees for energy savings, and that every degree you raise your thermostat can save you five percent on monthly cooling costs. Plus, be sure to up it a few degrees before any travel.

Get more shade. Pretty drapery is more than just a way to decorate. Close them during the day to keep your house cooler without lowering your A/C. Interestingly, two years ago we finally added pull-down shades on our sliding glass doors, which previously every afternoon made our kitchen table area painfully hot so we’d lower the A/C as a result. The shades were an amazing investment; they look nice, cool our house & also preserve furniture from sun damage and fading.

Turn off your lights. I’ll be honest, I’m the worst. Actually I’m amazing except I notoriously leave my closet light on and it drives Adam nuts. Does this make us even for all the socks he leaves around? 😉 Joking (and his doesn’t cost us money)! My grandpa would always remind us to turn the lights off when we leave a room; be sure to do the same and remind your kiddos when they leave spaces as well. It’s easy to forget, particularly during the day when the house is bright.

How to Lower Your Energy Bill: 12 Essential Tips featured by popular Florida life and style blogger The Modern Savvy

Remember to turn off your ceiling fan. Fans cool people, not rooms. (This never occurred to me!). When you leave a room, turn off the fan to save about $7 a month on your bill.

Consolidate devices using power strips. Certain items in your home, like your TV, computer, cable box or game console, use energy even when switched off. They’re often items with a remote control because the remote sensor needs power while waiting for your input.

Two ways to solve this:  1. Plug them into a power strip and turn off the entire power strip when not in use, to prevent these “energy phantoms” from increasing your bill. 2. Update your power strip to a smart power strip. This is new to me, but it cuts off the current when devices are not in use. But these newer power strips (mostly very affordable) also have USB ports, which I’m loving. This one (a great space saver!) and this, are Amazon top rated.

Monitor your energy use. I recently downloaded the FPL Mobile App and I have to nerd-ily admit I’m kind of obsessed. You can see your projected monthly bill, your daily average, monthly comparisons and more. If it’s higher than expected, it’s easy to quickly modify what you’re doing around the house to lower your daily usage. Download it at the app store, or text APP to MyFPL (69375).

How to lower your energy bill -- 12 essential tips to save you money featured by popular Florida life and style blogger The Modern Savvy

Switch to LED lights. LED (light-emitting diode) lights use 90 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer. I know they’re more money up front but consider the long-term benefit. Swap yours out as bulbs burn out, or swap out first your most used bulbs first. Replacing old incandescent bulbs with LED can save you about $70 in energy costs over the life of the bulb.

Add dimmer switches. We recently did this around our house and not only do I love it just from a personal perspective (we don’t need bright, harsh light… and who doesn’t love mood lighting?), it saves electricity, too.

Use other kitchen appliances. Consider sidelining your oven, which not only uses so much more energy but also often warms your home, and instead use a toaster oven (or microwave, depending on the dish). We LOVE ours, and often use it for smaller items instead of turning on the oven.

Do an energy audit. If you use FPL, definitely take advantage of its free Online Home Energy Survey to see how you can reduce energy consumption — you’ll get a personalized plan that can save you up to $300 per year. You can also check with your local utility provider to see if they offer a similar service (it’s often free).

Wash your clothes in cool water. Did you know you can cut your per-load energy usage in half by sticking to warm or cold water when you do laundry? I swapped doing our laundry — unless it’s super stinky! — in hot water, to warm or cold instead. An easy energy saving!

Keep your A/C filters clean. If you’re able to, change or clean your filter regularly, usually about once a month.

Was that helpful?! I hope you learned something useful… I know I’ve made a few modifications, and think smart power cords are genius. For even more tips to beat the heat and lower your bill, visit: FPL.com/BeatTheHeat. Now, something even more fun… 

#BEATTHEHEAT CHALLENGE — WE CAN BOTH WIN!

HERE’S THE FAST FACTS: I’m participating with bloggers throughout Florida in FPL’s Beat the Heat challenge. Through September 15, we’ll each show you via our blogs and social media how to lower your energy bill, and the influencer with the most engagement, love, shares, etc., will gift one participating The Modern Savvy reader at random an energy efficiency pack valued up to $500 (!) that includes: ecobee4 smart thermostat, LED light bulbs, smart plugs/power strips, and a Home Depot gift card. I’d win one as well, and we’d also help a deserving organization win an nonprofit energy makeover (organization!).  So basically… our Savvy Squad needs to win!

WHAT TO DO: Now, comment below how you and your family #BeattheHeat, or share with me on social media and tag me, and use the hashtag so I can see it. The more tips we can all share the better.

 

Thank you to FPL for sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100 percent my own. 

How to Lower Your Energy Bill: 12 Essential Tips featured by popular Florida life and style blogger The Modern Savvy

Photography: Erica Dunhill

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  • Reply
    Stephanie
    August 16, 2018 at 10:24 PM

    Talk about a helpful post! I’m getting ready to get married and move into a new home outside of my parents house for the first time, and I need all the tips I can find on saving money! This is something I’m saving for later to share with my fiancé so we both know what to do!

  • Reply
    Katie N
    August 16, 2018 at 6:53 PM

    I love this! We don’t realize that every little bit truly does help in the long run. Such great reminders and simple things to do!

  • Reply
    Annette Dattilo
    August 16, 2018 at 6:51 PM

    Oh my goodness what an great informative post. I feel like my husband (the penny pincher) would be all over this one too. I have been pushing my hubby to gradually add dimmers throughout our house to meet my “mood lighting” needs so that tip will definitely be a helpful incentive for sure. 🙂 Thanks for sharing Alyson.

  • Reply
    Gentry Adams
    August 16, 2018 at 1:07 PM

    I’m a fellow Florida girl and I definitely need some help in lowering my power bill- especially in summer when it is sweltering! I’m good about keeping the shades now, but definitely need to work on turning off lights when I’m not using a room. Thanks for this great post!

  • Reply
    Sara
    August 16, 2018 at 12:43 PM

    Oh my gosh this was a great reminder to turn off our bedroom ceiling fan during the day! I have to have it on at night because with three dogs and a husband, our bed gets a little toasty from all the body heat haha but during the day I need to turn that sucker off! Thanks so much for sharing!

    xo, Sara

  • Reply
    Em
    August 16, 2018 at 10:22 AM

    Such a great post & great tips! Need to implement some of these for our power bill!

    • Reply
      Alyson
      August 16, 2018 at 10:48 AM

      So glad you found this helpful!

  • Reply
    Grace
    August 15, 2018 at 11:06 PM

    These tips are absolutely amazing, I’d like to share them with my family. Thanks, Alyson.

    diyerlabs.com

    • Reply
      Alyson
      August 16, 2018 at 10:49 AM

      Absolutely and that makes me so happy to hear!

  • Reply
    Megan
    August 15, 2018 at 9:23 PM

    These are all such good tips! I know I can definitely do better at saving energy in my home.

    Megan | http://www.pipmegan.com

    • Reply
      Alyson
      August 16, 2018 at 10:50 AM

      I’ve realized the same through this process, particularly turning lights off and I plan on getting those smart power strips.

  • Reply
    Jackie B
    August 15, 2018 at 9:09 PM

    We #BeattheHeat by using power strips to consolidate energy. Thanks to you I will searching for smart power strips. Additionally, I constantly remind my daughter to make sure lights are on only if we’re in the room. Thanks for the reminder to clean my ac filters! That’s up next on the chore list!

    • Reply
      Alyson
      August 16, 2018 at 10:58 AM

      Aren’t those smart power strips smart? I have never heard of them before. And, here’s to checking that off the chores list!

  • Reply
    Tanvi Rastogi
    August 15, 2018 at 6:28 PM

    I needed this post Alyson. I have been trying to be as energy efficient as possible and I couldn’t definitely apply a lot of these tips. Love the pictures, btw!

    ❥ tanvii.com

    • Reply
      Alyson
      August 16, 2018 at 10:58 AM

      I’m so happy you found this helpful, Tanvi!!

  • Reply
    Ashlee
    August 15, 2018 at 3:52 PM

    We #beattheheat by using our Nest thermostat to automatically raise the temperature in the house for times we’re not home.

  • Reply
    Kim
    August 15, 2018 at 3:30 PM

    These are all such great tips! It is always so hot here in Texas also, so any tips to keep the house cool are always appreciated.

    xoxo,
    Kim

    • Reply
      Alyson
      August 16, 2018 at 10:59 AM

      Absolutely… these states sure don’t mess around in the heat department. Anything we can do to stay cool without raising our bill is a win!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    August 15, 2018 at 2:45 PM

    Loving all of these tips! I always turn off lights, unplug things, etc. to help conserve energy but there are a few other tips you mentioned that I need to start doing!

    Rachel
    http://www.hello-her.com

    • Reply
      Alyson
      August 16, 2018 at 11:17 AM

      So happy you found this helpful, Rachel!

  • Reply
    Liz
    August 15, 2018 at 12:13 PM

    Other things to consider: checking out the insulation in the attic to see if they are blocking any soffits or fans in the attic, or if you need more. A friend of mine added more insulation in her attic. While the cost was heavy upfront, they saved so much money on their bill! Having a metal roof helps too. Check to see what your insurance company’s rules are. While they are a little bit more than a shingle roof, they can last 50-70 years (which is longer than a traditional shingle) and help save energy costs. We plan on getting one (also live in the humid South) and there are different style to choose from, including metal shingles.

    • Reply
      Alyson
      August 16, 2018 at 11:26 AM

      These are such amazing tips, Liz!! I know our HOA has really particular rules regarding roofing materials but it definitely sounds like it’s worth investigating and I’m glad you mentioned for readers as well. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Rach
    August 15, 2018 at 11:37 AM

    Even though I don’t live in Florida, you definitely shared some helpful tips that I can utilize in my own home! I also have to be mindful to remember to turn off my closet lights. Ugh I always forget! And I like the dimmer lights. Totally going to ask my husband to switch out light switches haha!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

    • Reply
      Alyson
      August 16, 2018 at 11:27 AM

      LOL, literally laughed out loud Rach because I am THE WORST about my closet light. It’s like a mental block — I tell Adam I’m about to go back in there, but not sure he believes me. 😉 The dimmer switch is definitely a great affordable swap!

  • Reply
    Barbara Thompson
    August 15, 2018 at 11:10 AM

    We just added solar panels to our roof which will cut or electric bill to almost nothing.
    There is a huge tax credit as well as an increase on home value. Think it will be a good choice for us!!

    • Reply
      Alyson
      August 16, 2018 at 11:27 AM

      Absolutely!! Think that’s an excellent idea — thank you for mentioning!

  • Reply
    Robyn
    August 15, 2018 at 10:30 AM

    We #beattheheat here in Dallas TX by using lots of the tips you shared above. My favorite is keeping the shutters closed most of the day where the sun is beating down the most! I am a light ogre and turn off lots of lights. And I wash most of my clothes in cold except sheets and towels. The best way of course to beat the heat is to jump in the backyard pool! I am going to look into the smart power strips. Thanks for sharing your tips!

    • Reply
      Alyson
      August 16, 2018 at 11:28 AM

      I LOVE that you called yourself a light ogre, lol, that’s amazing. And I totally agree with you — jumping in the pool is the best solution of all. Thanks Robyn!

  • Reply
    Kripa
    August 15, 2018 at 7:15 AM

    We #beaththehearlt by recently installing nest thermostats and have them programmed for 78 during the day, also the away mode is great for when we’re out of the house! Also keeping the shades drawn when the afternoon sun is blinding us.

    • Reply
      Alyson
      August 16, 2018 at 11:30 AM

      That’s so smart, Kripa about the nest. We are the same way with the shades drawn… the sun beating on you can really cause so much heat inside the home.

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