Make your home more energy efficient for free
When you’re at home more, it’s natural for your electricity bill to increase. But there are small changes you can make to your daily routine that will help you avoid energy waste and save on your electricity bill. Best of all, these tips require little effort to implement. Let’s get started on the free and easy things you can do today to lower your household energy usage and gain better control of your budget.
- AC and heating make up about 42% of your electricity bill. Setting your thermostat to “auto” instead of “on” will prevent it from running all day and help curb overall usage.1
- Don’t fidget with the thermostat. Constantly adjusting the temperature makes your AC work harder.
- Use ceiling fans in occupied rooms and set them to rotate counterclockwise during spring and summer. The windchill effect will help you feel about 4° cooler.2
- Turn fans off when you leave a room. Remember, fans cool people but they don’t lower the overall temperature.
- Be sure your air filter is clean. A clean filter can help reduce energy consumption between 5% and 15% and keep your AC running at peak condition.3
- Close the curtains, especially on east- and west-facing windows. They’ll help absorb heat and UV rays before they enter your home.
- Avoid using heat-emitting appliances like the oven, dishwasher and dryer during the hottest part of the day. They can heat up your home, causing your AC to work harder to cool.
- Only run the dishwasher and washing machine when they’re full. This helps save water and energy.
- Use the cool-dry cycle on your dishwasher or open the door after the final rinse to let dishes air dry.
- Wash clothes in cold water. Around 90% of the energy washing machines use comes from heating the water.4
- Hang your clothes in the sunlight to dry.
- If you do use the dryer, clean the lint trap with every load. This improves circulation and can help you save around $30 a year.5
- Use smaller appliances to cook with, like the microwave or crock pot, or grill outdoors.
- Only use the oven to meal prep food for the week to avoid heating it up multiple times.
- Set your fridge between 35° and 38°. And set your freezer to 0°.
- Adjust your water heater from 140° to 120°. This can help you save up to $60 a year.6
- Many appliances and electronics drain energy just by being plugged in. Unplug devices that you aren’t using or that are sufficiently charged.
- Make sure you’re using LED lights. They use up to 80% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.7
- Turn off lights before leaving a room.
- Cut back plants that are within 3 feet of your AC unit, so they don’t compromise airflow or efficiency.
Get your kids in on it
Saving energy can be fun! Here are a few creative ways to get your kids involved.
- Craft time: Make “Turn it off” signs to place on every light switch.
- I spy: Identify opportunities to save energy.
- Chore board: Reward behaviors like remembering to turn off lights and electronics that aren’t in use.
- Have a picnic: Prepare a “no cook” meal, and then enjoy the outdoors together.
- Campout: Build a sheet fort, turn out the lights and read stories by flashlight before bed.
Reliant energy usage tools
Stay efficient and keep tabs on your energy budget with these handy tools.
Weekly Summary Email
Save energy, track your usage and manage billing costs with the Weekly Summary Email.
Sign up for Average Billing to smooth out the highs and lows of your electricity bill. With Average Billing, your bill is determined based on the last 12 months of energy usage at your address.
Sign up for enhanced AccountAlerts, a service that automatically alerts you via text message when your costs exceed a set amount and/or your daily usage jumps by 25%.
Download the Reliant app to check your balance anytime and manage your account from your mobile device.