In tough economic times a high electric bill can be a real shock to the system. Families can't go without electricity as easily as they can go without cable or eating out. Fortunately, substantial energy savings can be realized by focusing on efficiency improvements and slightly adjusting behaviors. Cutting electric bill costs is easier than you may think and could lead to significant savings over the course of a year.
First and foremost, contact your local electric supply company. It is in the electric companies best interest to assist and educate consumers about energy conservation because it lowers overall strains on the electric grid at peak times. Electricity savings tips are normally included with each bill as either an insert or printed on the bill itself. Even if it isn't included call the electric company directly and ask them to mail you any pamphlets about cutting electric bills. These documents often contain many helpful tips for reducing electric usage and can be a great starting point.
Electric supply companies will also be more proactive by coming to your home and conducting an energy analysis. An in home energy analysis is normally a free service and will include examining appliances and other high electricity using components and offer advice for reducing electric consumption. Major appliances like a refrigerator, television, washer and dryer, hot water tank and electric stove will be examined for energy star compliance which can be the main reason for high energy usage. Keep in mind, not all suggestions may be able to be implemented as it may require replacing an appliance which may not be cost effective.
Many municipalities due to time or labor force constraints will use estimated, not automatic, meter readings. What this means is that instead of actually reading the electric meter, which may only be done for the first few years of a new activation, the electric company will use historical averages. While these types of estimates tend to be fairly accurate, if you are looking to reduce electricity usage an actual meter reading may result in slightly lower monthly bills. Situations like grown kids going off to college will result in lower actual usage but estimated electric bills may not accurately reflect the new reality.
The quickest but most difficult way to cut your electricity bill is to adjust your and family members behaviors. It is quick because immediate savings can be realized from turning off lights when not in the room and air drying laundry but actually making these new behaviors habitual over the long run can be very hard for individuals not used to new ways of living. Taking steps like adjusting the thermostat lower from 70 degrees to 75 degrees or not using a microwave twenty times a day make sense but most people feel like they are sacrificing quality of life at some point.
Many web sites and online communities are specifically geared towards cutting utility costs and can offer both helpful ideas and support. Sharing stories of successes and failures in web forums can sometimes lead to better and more positive long term results. Tips like only running the dishwasher when it is full or turning the TV off when it isn't actually being watched may seem obvious but maybe it only sinks in after someone else has suggested it in a forum thread.
Taking steps to cut your electricity bill may seem like a grueling uphill climb with little or no benefit but it does get better. Like any other endeavor worth doing in life, taking small steps over the long run is what leads to satisfying long lasting results. It may take a month or two to see your efforts reflected on your electric bill but if you are serious about cutting you electricity usage and saving money then it is worth the effort.