How to reduce your electricity bill

Here are some tips to reduce your electricity bill and thus – your overall monthly expenses. We made all those steps while renovating, and I am stunned how much our electricity bill has dropped. We were able to reduce the total bill by nearly 80%!

Change the lights

Everyone thinks that changing the lights won’t change anything. That they consume too little energy for too short time. But do they?

In a normal, small, living room you have as little as 3 light bulbs and as much as 10. We will calculate for both. An average incandescent light bulb consumes 60 Watts (or 0.06 kW) and for an hour it is 0.06 kWh (0.06kW * 1h ) so that makes from 180 Watts to 600 Watts per hour. On average the lights in the living room are lit for around 3 hours a day or that makes 540 (0.5 kWh) or 1800 Watts (1.8 kWh) a day. For the month that is 16.2 kWh or 54 kWh. Every electricity bill has price per kWh and a simple calculation shows the price only for those lights. Only for the living room.

You will say ok, but I don’t use incandescent but energy efficient ones like these:

Compact fluorescent light bulbs 105W 36W 11W

That is ok, good for you, but those tend to start up at around 60% of the maximum light they produce and are not that efficient, either. The equivalent of a 60 Watts incandescent bulb is 12 Watts for the energy efficient ones, which is awesome. But, you can do better.

EGLO 11501

The LED filament bulbs are great. You can even remember the equivalents easier – 6 filaments are equal to 6 Watts, which is equivalent to a 60Watts incandescent bulb, and can light your house practically forever. They don’t heat up and there is a plethora of design choices.

To return to our calculation from before – for 3 or 10 bulbs the electricity bill will be 3 bulbs * 6 Watts * 3 hours * 30 days = 0.16 kWh (or 10bulbs * 6 Watts * 3 hours * 30 days = 5.4 kWh). Remarkable, ain’t it?

Change whatever of the old appliances you can

I know that your 30 years old fridge works perfectly. It even is with rustic design, but it consumes a ton of energy.

Neither the water heater, nor the fridge are something that can be held on standby (even then the old appliances are great energy consumers). For example – the old water heaters consume around 4 kW per hour. The new one that we use consumes only 2 kW. That is the half of the energy consumed from the old one. On average the water heater works on full power around 3 hour throughout the day. That is, again, 4 kW * 3 hours * 30 days = 360 kWh per month. Versus 2 kW * 3 hours * 30 days = 180 kWh. To add to that, a new, normal, not fancy water heater costs on average 150 pounds (took from amazon.co.uk).

To calculate the time I will need to recoup my money, I will take the difference – 360 -180 = 180 kWh, multiply it by the price per kWh. Then get the price of the water heater and divide it by the difference. The result is the time needed to recoup the money. For Bulgaria, it is only 3 months!

If the appliance is switched on standby more often than it works – as the washer and drier are. The most important metric is the standby consumption. For example, our old 28-years-old drier consumed 4 kW in standby. The new one – 1.07 Watts … There is a difference, isn’t it?

Final thoughts

I know that the price should be considered but start small – change the light bulbs. They make the most impact. If you can – buy new water heater or fridge, they make good impact too. Also, switch off the other appliances from the sockets when you don’t use them. The standby energy consumption counts as well. If you can afford to buy look for the energy labels, not so much for the features the appliance has.