According to the U.S. government's Energy Star website, about half a home's energy bill goes to heating and cooling, so one way to cut down on electric bills is to ensure heating and cooling equipment work efficiently and to seal the house to avoid temperature leakage. Other ways to cut down on electricity include using hot water sparingly, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and turning off lights when not in use.
Sealing a home for efficient energy use involves caulking and weather stripping doors and windows, sealing ducts, and properly insulating the attic, siding, basement and other areas. Filters need to be changed regularly on heaters and air conditioning units. A programmable thermostat regulates temperature so that heating and cooling energy is not wasted. Replacing old heating and cooling appliances with newer Energy Star equipment saves a significant amount of electricity.
Water heaters should be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Wrapping a water heater with an insulating jacket helps to conserve the heat. Hot water heating accounts for 90 percent of clothes washing machine electricity usage, so use of cold water to wash clothes offers significant savings. To avoid over-drying clothes, similar fabric types should be dried together. Dishwashers should be set at the no heat drying cycle to save power. Using energy-efficient light bulbs yields significant savings in electricity. For outside lighting, motion sensors ensure the lights are only on when needed. Turning lights on and off does not use much power, so turning lights off when a room is not in use always saves electricity.