Millions of U.S. residents in Texas are cutting their energy bills by choosing a prepaid electricity plan. These plans are an ideal and efficient way to cut electricity bills in an apartment, home, or office and save energy.
Sometimes it’s the little things that help conserve the most electricity. That’s why so many people who live in apartments and houses choose to keep an eye on the small sources of energy waste. Everything adds up, so it’s just like putting a few dollars into a savings account each week; eventually, you’re surprised to see the total has grown into such a large amount.
Apartment residents can use multiple strategies for saving electricity, most of which are simple and don’t require much effort. Choose some or all of the ways listed below to cut your monthly energy costs.
1. Eliminate Outlet Draft: The average two-bedroom apartment contains between 14 and 20 electrical outlets, all of which can leak large amounts of air out of and into your living quarters. What does that mean for energy usage? It means your precious cold air is literally being drained away when you run the air-conditioner and comfortable warm air is floating away, through the outlets, during the winter.
Purchase an inexpensive set of outlet blockers so you can fill these holes up whenever you’re not using them. Studies have shown that, just by blocking the air flow in and out of electrical outlets, the average apartment dweller can cut utility bills between 2 and 4 percent.
2. Replace All Light Bulbs: When you replace incandescent lights with LEDs, it might cost a bit more up front, but consider how much you’ll save energy. For one thing, LEDs are the most efficient light bulbs on the retail market right now. They cost about two or three times what traditional bulbs cost but have the ability to last 15 times as long and use about one-fifth of the electricity. That means a typical apartment renter stands to save anywhere between $40 and $70 each year. The savings add up and more than offset the slightly higher cost of LED bulbs.
3. Unplug Devices Not in Use: Maybe you’ve heard the term “energy vampires.” It’s commonly used to describe devices and appliances that suck up electricity, in small amounts, while they are not in use. Leaving things like toasters, blenders, TVs, radios, fans, phone chargers, and other items plugged into an outlet, even when the device or appliance isn’t being used, can mean a higher electric bill.
The answer is to unplug whatever you are not using – or buy an inexpensive smart-energy strip and plug things like TVs and stereos into it. The strips will shut down the flow of any electricity as soon as you turn the device off. That way, when you leave home, there’s no need to unplug everything in your apartment. Simply make sure the appliances are plugged into it, and you won’t have to worry about wasting money.
4. Install a Programmable Thermostat: A typical two-bedroom apartment can benefit from a programmable thermostat. They’re inexpensive and easy to install. You can even ask the apartment maintenance crew to do the job for you. Most rental unit managers are happy to let renters install programmable thermostats because the devices do a good job of saving energy.
These devices are able to accurately set the high and low temperatures that you input to the device. Standard, traditional thermostats are notorious for being inaccurate and wasting energy because they cause AC and heating units to run longer than necessary. A programmable thermostat can shave about 30 percent off heating and cooling bills for apartment residents.
5. Check the Setting on the Water Heater: Always check your water heater’s temperature setting. Remember that you can change it to a temp that is comfortable but a couple degrees lower than the default temperature set by the apartment manager. If you don’t know how to change the setting, ask maintenance to put it two degrees lower and see if that’s a tolerable level for your hot water needs. You stand to save up to $100 annually on your utility bills just by putting the water heater setting two degrees lower.
6. Wash Clothes on Cold Setting: Washing clothes in hot or warm water is usually not necessary, except for a few special items. You can check all the labels of your clothing and bedding to see. For 90 percent of all your laundry, a cold setting on the washer will get items just as clean and fresh as the warm or hot water setting. Depending how often you do laundry, you can save a lot just by switching your wash day routine to “all cold.” Look to cut between $40 and $80 annually from your utility bill just by setting every wash load to “cold.”
7. Install Low-Flow Shower Heads: Warm showers feel great. Everyone enjoys the relaxing feeling of warm water on sore, tired muscles. You can still get the same wonderful experience with a warm shower by using less water and less electricity. Choose a “water miser” shower head, and you’ll instantly be cutting monthly utility bills by about $15 or more.
There’s no need to use every tip on the list. Even a few can save you a significant amount of money on an annual basis. The more you pay attention to the amount of energy you use every day, the more you’ll save.