In the United States, the average residential electricity bill increased by 13% in 2022, after adjusting for inflation. This was more than double the overall inflation rate of 6.5%. So clearly, like many of us have suspected, real inflation is indeed much, much higher since you’re seeing the reality in the actual prices you pay for everything.
The increase in electricity prices has been driven by a number of factors, including higher fuel costs, increased demand for energy, and failed government policies.
How to Save on Your Electric Bill
Your electric bill can be a significant expense, especially in the summer when you’re using air conditioning more often. But there are a number of things you can do to reduce your electric bill and save money.
Tips on Saving Money on Your Home Energy Costs
- Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Even when they’re turned off, appliances can still draw power, which is known as “phantom load.” This can add up to a significant amount of electricity over time.
- Turn down the thermostat. Every degree you turn down your thermostat can save you about 3% on your heating bill. In the summer, you can save money by turning up the thermostat a few degrees.
- Use energy-efficient appliances. Energy-efficient appliances use less electricity than standard appliances, which can save you money on your electric bill. When you’re shopping for new appliances, look for the Energy Star label, which indicates that the appliance meets certain energy efficiency standards.
- Seal up air leaks. Air leaks around windows and doors can let in hot or cold air, which can make your HVAC system work harder and use more electricity. To seal up air leaks, caulk around windows and doors, and weatherstrip any gaps.
- Plant trees and incorporate plants. Trees can help to shade your home in the summer, which can help to keep your home cooler and reduce your reliance on air conditioning. Adding plants to your home can result in a total improvement of your quality of life, as well.
- Wash clothes in cold water. Most of the energy used to wash clothes goes to heating the water. By washing clothes in cold water, you can save a significant amount of energy.
- Take shorter showers. Showers account for about 17% of household water use, and about 10% of household energy use. By taking shorter showers, you can save water and energy.
- Dry your clothes on a clothesline. Drying clothes on a clothesline uses no electricity, and it’s also good for the environment.
- Get a programmable thermostat. A programmable or smart thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature in your home when you’re asleep or away, which can save you money on your heating and cooling bills.
- Consider solar panels to supplement your power. Solar panels can generate electricity from the sun, which can help you reduce your reliance on the electric grid. Most, however, will not power your house in a significant way, especially when it gets cloudy.
By following these tips, you can reduce your electric bill and save money.
Additional Tips for Lowering Your Electric Bill
- Get an energy audit. An energy audit is a professional assessment of your home’s energy use. An energy auditor can identify areas where you can save energy and money.
- Make changes gradually. Don’t try to make too many changes at once. Start with a few simple changes, and then gradually add more changes as you get used to them.
- Be patient. It takes time to see significant savings on your electric bill. But if you’re patient and make consistent changes, you’ll eventually see a difference.
Globally, the average price of electricity has also been rising in recent years. In 2022, the average price of electricity in the world was 12.4 cents per kilowatt-hour, up from 11.7 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2021.
This increase has mainly been driven by central banks (most of them, private) around the world printing money to temporarily paper over system monetary crises instead of making the economy more accessible to all for profit and wealth building.
Who wants to share the wealth or the opportunity, anyway?
At any rate, smart folks out there know the prices are not likely to come down any time soon, confirmed by recent news about continued increases in electric bills for consumers this summer.
Rising Costs of Power and Negative Consequences for Consumers
- Increased energy bills: Higher energy prices can lead to higher energy bills for consumers, which can put a strain on household budgets.
- Reduced energy consumption: In some cases, higher energy prices can lead to reduced energy consumption, as consumers may conserve energy in order to save money. However, this can have negative consequences for the environment, as it can lead to increased emissions of greenhouse gases.
- Increased financial hardship: For low-income households, higher energy prices can make it difficult to afford basic necessities such as food and housing. This can lead to financial hardship and even poverty.
The rising cost of energy is a complex issue with no easy solutions. However, there are a number of things that consumers can do to reduce their energy bills and mitigate the negative effects of inflation on their energy costs.