5 Ways to Conserve Energy and Cut Your Bills

7 minute read Graham Lumley Last update February 2024

The global energy crisis is putting consumers in a tough situation. Energy prices in 2023 are expected to be 75% above their average for the past five years, and families across the US are feeling the financial pressure.

To be specific, more than 160 American households spend 10% of more of their annual income on their energy bill — well above the affordable threshold of 6%.  The fallout from this financial pressure is having a deeper effect on consumers everywhere. A whopping 73% of Americans rank their finances as the number one stress in their life, with many saying the increased stress has harmed their mental health.

If you’ve been feeling the pressure from higher utility bills, you may be wondering what steps you can take to conserve electricity and lower your monthly costs. While some factors are out of your control, there are several ways to conserve energy and save on your monthly bills.

5 ways to conserve energy

There are many methods of conserving energy, but not all of them yield great results in terms of saving you money. For this reason, when researching ways to conserve energy, you want to seek out the changes you can make that’ll have the biggest financial impact.

Below are a few of the most profitable energy conservation measures:

1.   Program your thermostat

Intelligent building automation: hand pointing an interactive tablet display showing building consumptions related to temperature and heating, power and light, water usage and green energy production. With charts, data and interactive functions for remote control of building facilities and utilities.

We all know that blasting the AC during the summer eats into your utility costs, but those Texas heat waves can be brutal. Instead of denying yourself a cool refuge at home, try a thermostat program. Programming your thermostat may feel like a small change, but it can lead to long-term savings. All you have to do is set your thermostat to automatically adjust according to your schedule.

Here are some tips:

  • Check what kind of program settings your thermostat provides. Many models operate on a daily programming schedule, while others allow you to set a schedule for weekdays and another schedule for weekends.
  • Make note of when your family typically wakes up, goes to bed, or spends time at home.
  • Program your “Sleep”, “Away”, and “Home” modes, opting for the lowest possible temperatures for each without sacrificing comfort. (As a rule of thumb, your “Sleep” and “Away” modes should be 7-10 degrees lower than your “Home” setting.)

2.   Wash your clothes in cold water

For decades, we’ve been taught that certain fabrics require hot or warm water — but this isn’t actually the case. Modern laundry detergents are capable of removing the vast majority of stains regardless of what temperature your washing machine is set to. Plus, cold water washing preserves the shape and color of your clothing.

But more importantly, using cold water can save you a significant amount of money over the course of a year, making it one of the most effective methods of energy conservation.

We recommend following these guidelines when washing your clothes in cold water:

  • Choose a detergent that’s specifically formulated for cold washing
  • For extra-soiled loads, do a cold water pre-rinse to eliminate stains and odors
  • Opt for a gentle, plant-based stain remover for stubborn spots (food spills, red wine, grass stains, etc)

3.   Let things air-dry

Whether it’s clothes, dishes, or your hair after your morning shower, choosing to air-dry is one of the best ways to conserve energy. Any appliance or tool that generates heat requires a considerable amount of energy to operate. This includes hair dryers, dishwashers, and laundry machines.

Try limiting your use of these devices to lower your monthly power bill. Here’s are some tricks for getting started:

  • Invest in a large dish drying rack that’s capable of holding most of your kitchenware at once. It’ll allow you to dry more dishes in less time.
  • Be sure to use a rinse-aid when washing your dishes (whether by hand or in a dishwasher) to prevent cloudy glassware caused by harsh water.
  • When using a drying rack to hang your clothes, place it in an area of your home where there’s good air flow, like next to a vent or in a room with a ceiling fan. In the summer, hang your clothes outside in the sun for extra quick drying times.
  • No drying rack? No problem! You can create a makeshift rack using your shower curtain rod or a broom handle laid between two kitchen chairs.
  • If you have long hair and prefer to style it in the morning, try some air-drying techniques. For example, tie damp, conditioned hair into two braids (one on each side of your head) after you shower and before bed. You’ll wake up in the morning with loose waves.

4.   Cut back on shower times

No guide on how to conserve energy is complete without the mention of shower times. The average American uses 20 gallons of water every time they take one and it adds up quickly. For perspective, the energy required for a 5-minute shower could power a 60-watt light bulb for 22 hours!

We recommend aiming for a 3-minute shower if at all possible. A good trick for sticking to your time limit is to find one of your favorite 3-minute long songs and listen to it while you shower. When the song’s over, it’s time to get out.

Another idea? Invest in a shower faucet aerator (if your shower head doesn’t already have one). These small screen fixtures maintain water pressure while reducing the amount of water that gets through, lessening the amount of consumption per shower.

5.   Reduce phantom energy

Phantom energy refers to any electricity that’s unnoticeably consumed by appliances in your home (also referred to as standby power). Many energy-conscious homeowners consider addressing phantom electricity use to be one of the most important examples of conservation of energy due to how significantly it reduces utility costs.

Common sources of phantom power consumption include:

  • Devices with electronic displays or clocks, including microwaves, ovens, and smart refrigerators
  • Programmable coffee makers that remain on “standby” all night
  • Charging cords for cell phones, laptops, and other devices (even when they aren’t plugged into a device)
  • Gaming consoles, stereo systems, and other entertainment systems (even if they’ve been turned off)
  • Hairdryers, curling irons, and other electronic hair styling tools that are left plugged into an outlet (even if they’ve been turned off)

Fortunately, there are several ways to address the issue of phantom energy, including:

  • Plugging devices into a smart electrical outlet that can be switched off from your mobile device after you’ve left home
  • Using a power bar extension cord with an on/off switch for stereo systems and other major electronics so they can easily be powered down after use
  • Disabling computer screen savers, appliance display screens, and other unnecessary visual features that consume electricity
  • Completely shutting down computers and other devices when they aren’t in use
  • Buying appliances, dimming lights, and other devices that are Energy Star certified

Now that you’re familiar with ways to conserve energy, the true challenge is incorporating these methods into your daily life in a way that’s sustainable and effective. From phantom energy conservation to electricity-free daily routines — only you know which practices are practical and best suited to your lifestyle. But just remember, when you embrace these energy efficient examples you don’t just lower your utility costs — you also contribute to a more energy-conscious society — and that’s a pretty incredible difference to make.

Tap into simple energy from a provider who cares

BKV Energy’s low-emission, natural gas power plant is setting a new standard for energy production in Texas. We know many families here in the Lone Star State are struggling to pay their bills. Inflation, the energy crisis, and the aftermath of COVID-19 have all contributed to the financial stress Americans are facing and Texans are no exception to the rule.

That’s why we’ve decided to do our part as an energy provider. We offer affordably-priced straightforward, no-nonsense plans without gimmicks or loopholes in the fine print. While other electricity companies have teaser rates that sound great on paper, we’ve heard from many customers who’ve been burned by higher rates than they would have had on their previous plan! We’re committed to standing against these gimmicks and offering real value. We back up our rates with outstanding customer support that you can count on and reach through any method you’re most comfortable with – email, text, chat, or phone. For customer on other providers looking to switch, give us a call: we’ll review your current bill and give you an honest assessment on whether we can save you money or not. When you are a BKV customer, we will even review your usage and current market conditions. If we can save you further money by switching to a lower rate and extending your contract, we’ll reach out and offer that option. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. That’s the BKV Promise.

For customers who are still struggling with high utility bills, you may qualify for a payment plan to help get through a tough time. Our payment plans allow Texans to:

  • Apply for financial assistance during difficult times
  • Avoid disconnection of services
  • Defer up to 50% of their outstanding bills
  • Receive a one-time payment extension in the event of a short-term cash flow issue

These solutions are part of our commitment to better understanding the needs and concerns of our customers. Plus, no other utility company is more committed to environmental stewardship. We uphold strict environmental standards in several key categories, including:

  • Carbon footprint reduction
  • Wildlife protection
  • Water conservation

In short? When you choose us as your Texas energy provider, you’re choosing to support a company that’s taking action on an even grander scale.

Upgrade your electricity provider today

Ready to make the switch to clean, affordable energy? Here’s how it works:

Step 1 – Enter your zip code

We’ll provide you with personalized plan recommendations based on your location.

Step 2 – Choose a plan

We offer multiple service options, each with clear, easy-to-understand benefits. Whether you’re looking to lock in a price for the next 36 months or you’d prefer to pay a slightly higher rate for a shorter term — there’s a plan to meet your needs.

Step 3 – Provide your info

We’ll need to collect some basic information and run a soft credit check to complete your enrollment. Once you’ve provided your contact details, payment method, and billing information, we’ll get your account set up and be in touch soon.

Still have questions? Reach out to us today! Our customer service team can explain your options, help you find the right energy plan, and get you started with a reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity plan.