43 Ways to Save Energy and Money in 2020

Piggy bank on a wooden table along with cash and an LED light bulb
You can save hundreds of dollars each year with simple energy-efficient lifestyle tweaks.

Have you ever wondered, “How can I reduce my electric bill?” or “How can I save more energy?” You’re not alone!

Whether you’re interested in going green to reduce your carbon footprint or gain green in your wallet, it makes sense to save energy.

Adopting these tips will save you money and help the environment.


Philips' Wiz Smart Wi-Fi LED bulb
LEDs aren’t just energy-efficient — smart LEDs offer cool features like dimming and changing colors.

Lighting

  • Turn lights off when not in use.
  • Install motion sensor or timer activated yard lights.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs.

Man wearing a mask and gloves while installing mineral wool insulation in the attic
Most homes could use some extra insulation.

Heating and Cooling

  • Turn the thermostat down during winter and up during summer.
  • Open curtains or shades on the south and west sides of your house on sunny days during cold weather.
  • Close curtains or shades on the sunny sides of the house during the day in hot weather.
  • Close curtains or shades at night during the winter.
  • Run paddle fans clockwise on low during the winter to circulate air, and counterclockwise during the summer (when in the room) to feel cooler.
  • Check ductwork on the HVAC system for leaks. Patch ducts with metallic tape or duct mastic.
  • Change your air filter every one to three months.
  • Make sure the fireplace damper is closed when not in use.
  • Install solar blocking film on windows.
  • Apply weatherstripping around doors and windows.
  • Install foam gaskets on plugs and switches on exterior walls.
  • Insulate fold-down attic stairs.
  • Caulk exterior cracks and gaps around your house.
  • Add insulation to the attic.
  • Plant deciduous trees on the house’s south and west sides.
Power strip with multiple electronic devices plugged in
Using a simple power strip, and flipping the switch to power off unused devices, is an easy way to save energy. (DepositPhotos)

Electronics

  • Turn off the TV and computers when not in use.
  • Set energy-saving options on computers so they’re in sleep or hibernate mode when not in use.
  • Unplug chargers for cell phones and tools when not needed.

Vibrant clothes drying on a clothesline outside
Who says you need a clothes dryer? Use a clothesline to save money — it’s free! (DepositPhotos)

Washing and Drying Clothes

  • Regularly clean the clothes dryer’s lint filter and vent pipe.
  • Don’t overload the dryer.
  • Dry clothes on a clothesline rather than in the dryer.
  • Wash clothes in cold water.
  • Run only full loads of clothes in the washer.

Water heater
One of the most overlooked home maintenance chores is draining your water heater.

Hot Water

  • Turn the water heater down to 120° Fahrenheit.
  • Insulate your hot-water pipes.
  • Drain your water heater once each year.
Partially open dishwasher with a view of dishes waiting inside
One of the easiest ways to save energy is to run the dishwasher only for full loads.

Kitchen

  • Use a microwave rather than an oven for cooking.
  • Use a slow cooker instead of an oven and burners for dinner.
  • Run only full loads in the dishwasher.
  • Don’t pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
  • Turn off the dishwasher drying cycle; open the door and air-dry instead.
  • Clean coils on your refrigerator.

Toilet with dual-flush button on the tank cover
Upgrading to a dual-flush toilet can save the equivalent of more than half a traditional toilet’s water consumption. (DepositPhotos)

Bathroom

  • Take showers rather than baths.
  • Install low-flow showerheads and aerators.
  • Repair running toilets, dripping faucets and leaking pipes.
  • Replace old toilets with water-efficient, dual-flush models.

Store bought rain barrel collecting rain
Rain barrels can be homemade or store-bought, like this one.

Lawn and Garden

  • Install motion detectors on your outside lights to reduce their use.
  • Water your lawn and plants sparingly, if at all.
  • Collect rainwater from gutters in rain barrels for watering plants.
  • Set your lawnmower blade higher and cut grass less often.

Further Learning