Tomorrow is the first day of fall, which means people are about to start using more energy to heat their homes. It also means that everyone in the energy business is pushing energy-saving advice, top tips, and secret tricks that will help you “save big on utility bills this winter.”
We’re going to give you some advice too. But instead of putting together a list of 10 ways to save, or telling you about all the great energy-saving products that are available these days, we’re going to give you just one huge tip that will make a bigger difference than all the other tips combined.
So, here’s the single best way to save electricity and get lower bills this winter (and forever). Are you ready? Here it comes…
Use less electricity.
If that seems like a no-brainer, that’s because it is. But the concept of just not using electricity is so simple and straight-forward that it is often overlooked as an option. Most utility companies and even the U.S. Department of Energy have lists of ways to save on energy bills, but not one of them mentions not using the power in the first place.
Don’t get us wrong, some of the energy-saving tips you’ll hear elsewhere are slightly useful. Turning off or unplugging your appliances when you aren’t using them and replacing old light-bulbs and appliances with newer, energy-efficient models will save a small amount of electricity. But unlike your utility would have you believe, just following their advice probably won’t save you money.
Take National Grid’s fall tips, for instance. According to them, the average home using 500kWh of electricity per month would save a total of $59 each month by following just 8 of their tips. But a home using 500kWh of electricity per month would have a total bill of just $63 to begin with.
So National Grid is telling you that you can have a $4 electric bill, which is impossible, unless you use no electricity whatsoever. (If you want a $4 electric bill, turn off and unplug every electric device in your home for the entire month. Then you’ll just have to pay the $4 customer charge that National Grid adds onto every bill, whether you use electricity or not.)
Almost anybody giving you energy-saving advice has some skin in the game. They are businesses and they depend on you using electricity or buying high-efficiency light bulbs and appliances. Does it really make sense to go purchase a bunch of new appliances and expensive light-bulbs in order to save money? We don’t think so.
Saving energy doesn’t have to be complicated. Just use your common sense. You know what appliances use electricity, and you know when you absolutely need them and when you don’t. If you want to try and save energy and money without changing your habits, you can follow the usual tips, just don’t expect massive savings.
If you are truly committed to actually reducing your bills, the best way to do it is to fundamentally change your attitude and habits regarding your electricity use.