Your Missouri Electric Cooperatives want to help you save money on your power bill. We do that by working to keep your electricity rates low. We can also help you save by improving your home energy efficiency. Keep reading to learn how a few small changes at home can save your family a lot of money on your home heating bill this winter.
1. Wear Warm Clothes Inside
One of the easiest ways to save money during the winter might surprise you. Many of us wear light weight clothes in our homes all year long, even though we know it makes more sense to wear warmer clothes in the winter months.
Wearing sweaters or sweatshirts, pants, and socks or house slippers might not sound like much, but it can make a big difference. Those extra layers can allow you to keep your thermostat set just a little bit lower, and as you’re about to find out every degree counts.
2. Adjust your thermostat
By adjusting your thermostat 7-10 degrees for eight hours each day, you can save as much as 10% annually on your home electricity (source). Set your thermostat manually or program it digitally; the savings are the same. The average family spends around $1300 per year on power, so 10% savings means around $390 in your pocket at the end of the year (source).
Adjusting your thermostat isn’t the only way your family can cut winter heating costs, though: sealing drafty windows and doors can also create significant savings.
3. Close Off Drafts and Seal Leaks
Drafty windows and doors let cold air in and warm air out. If you take a look through your home, you might be surprised by the places where openings in doors, walls, around utility cut-outs (or in uninsulated areas of your home) are allowing cold air into your home.
Fixing your drafts and leaks by updating windows, doors, and weather stripping is always your best choice, but your Missouri Electric Cooperatives know that that isn’t always an option. If you’re renting, or if your budget doesn’t allow for repair work right now, you can cover drafty areas with heavy plastic sheeting, and rolled-up blankets can help keep drafts from coming in beneath leaky doors.
4. Buy Warmer Bedding
Speaking of blankets, sleeping under warm ones is a quick and easy way to use electricity more wisely. It’s good common sense to change out summer sheets and other bedding for warmer, winter-weight ones once the seasons change. Flannel sheets, fleece blankets, and warm comforters can go a long way to keeping your family warm during the night — without cranking up the heat.
5. Smart Curtains
Another quick and easy way to save money on your winter power bills is to invest in insulated curtains. Keep your curtains open during the day to allow the sun to help heat your home, and close them at night to hold your home’s heat inside, where it belongs.
6. Replace Your Holiday Lights
Our final tip for this post is one that only applies to the holidays. If you’re still using incandescent holiday lights, switching to LED lights are a more efficient choice. A traditional string of incandescent mini-lights costs about $2.74 to light a 6-foot tree for 40 days. By contrast, that same tree can be lit for just $0.82 when you use LED mini-lights.
If you’re thinking, “but LED lights are so expensive to buy,” you’re right. LEDs are pricier than incandescent holiday lights are. What you might not realize, though, is that LED holiday lights can last much longer than traditional lights can. Over ten years, the cost of buying and operating traditional lights is about $56, and the cost of buying and operating mini-lights is about $33 (source).
Your Missouri Electric Cooperatives are dedicated to providing reliable, affordable power to you, our Member-Owners. Keep coming back to read more about energy savings and efficiency programs that will help you save money on your electricity bill year after year.
Learn more about Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives, and how we work to provide safe, efficient energy to rural Missouri by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
Posted on Mon, October 31, 2016
by Gus Wagner