8 ways to lower the electricity bills in your first apartment

Direct Energy, October 13, 2023

3 minute read

8 ways to lower the electricity bills in your first apartment

Direct Energy, October 13, 2023

3 minute read

So, you've moved most of your stuff out of your parents' place, and after all the hassle, drama, and unexpected expenses, you're finally settling into your first apartment. That means you'll be paying your own electricity bills.

While there's no need to panic, your energy habits do affect your monthly bill. While nobody's habits are exactly the same, let's look at the most common ways you can start saving energy. Individually, these examples don't offer huge savings, BUT the combination of them can really help you save on your electricity bill.

Image of a beautiful, well-furnished and decorated apartment
Image of a beautiful, well-furnished and decorated apartment
Image of a beautiful, well-furnished and decorated apartment

How to lower electric bills in your apartment

1) Use energy-efficient light bulbs

Lighting has come a long way since the days of incandescent bulbs. There are better options available to us that use less electricity, have longer lifespans, and are affordable as well. In the past,  incandescent bulbs were a popular choice. However, as part of a greater initiative to meet climate goals, the current administration is effectively phasing out CFLs by 2025. Luckily, there are far more efficient options available. LED bulbs are a better option than CFLs and are at least 75% more efficient than old incandescent bulbs. LEDs also have a longer lifespan than CFLs and are incredibly affordable. Best of all, they come in all different shapes and styles. Looking to add some extra flair to your bedroom? LED strips are easy to install and can be quickly removed should you ever have to move. 

2) Replace the air filter every three months

Dirty air filters make your heat and air conditioning system work harder to circulate air. If you are paying for your own heat and air conditioning, a dirty air filter will add to the expense. Air filters are made from different materials in different thicknesses and sizes. These factors affect their MERV, which is rated 1-13. You can use inexpensive cardboard and spun fiberglass filters (MERV 1-4) to clean large particulates. Better ones (MERV 5-7) will cost a little more, but they also filter the air better and may help reduce the chances of illness or allergies.

3) Adjust your water heater

Most water heaters are merely large tanks designed to keep water at a set temperature whether you are using it or not. Not all apartments have their own water heater, but if you do, consider that your water heater might be heating up water when no one is at home. A good tip is to turn your water heater temperature down during the day when you are out and then turn it back up to 120°F to heat water overnight. Depending on where your water is situated, an inexpensive water heater jacket can also help reduce your heating costs.

4) Use smart power strips

Smart power strips turn completely off after a set period of time. That means anything connected to them, like TVs, game consoles, routers, cable boxes, and other things that use stand-by power when they are switched off, will be completely turned off.

5) Turn off the ceiling fan and lights when you leave the house

Many people believe that ceiling fans help heat or cool. The truth is that they do neither. They just help circulate heated or cooled air and make the room feel more comfortable. So, if you're not there, why keep it running? Similarly, remembering to switch off the lights when you leave a room reduces you usage as well.

6) Be energy efficient in the kitchen

Cooking creates lots of heat, and in the summer, that can pile on to your apartment's heat load and raise your air conditioning costs.

  • Use the microwave to heat liquids rather than the stove. It's faster and uses less electricity.
  • A 350°F oven is even more expensive to run when your air conditioner is running. Bake at night when it's cooler outside. Then, you can open some windows and use a fan to blow out the heat until you're finished.
  • Dishwashers mainly use electricity to heat water and for drying. By running your dishwasher only at night, it reduces your AC's heat load. Plus, you can also reduce the energy use by turning off the heated dry and leaving the door propped open right after it's done washing. The hot dishes will quickly air dry.
7) Wash clothes in large loads

Since most detergents now dissolve in cold water, you can reduce the amount of hot water you use.

8) Replace the mechanical thermostat

Smart thermostats can help you reduce your heating and cooling bills by setting back temperatures while you sleep and are away at work. Smart thermostats give you even more flexibility and a means of seeing what temperatures work best for your apartment. Some lease agreements will let you install your own thermostat as long as you remember to swap-back in the old one when you move out.

There's really no need to fear your electricity bills when you get your first apartment. This should be a new and exciting time in your life! Use these 8 great tips to reduce your energy usage now, and the savings and habits will carry forth into the future! 

Save even more with an electricity plan from Direct Energy!

Save more on your summer electricity bill with an electricity plan from Direct Energy! We give you the tips and tools you need to track your usage and save energy. 

Explore the learning center

Explore our other categories by selecting one from the dropdown menu. 

1982472_DE Category Page Large Promos_FinalImagesforDev

Download the app

Get the Direct Energy app to easily manage your account, keep an eye on your usage, refer friends and more. 

Signing up for Direct Energy is easy!

We offer a wide range of plans and even help you customize them to fit your needs! Shop our plans to find your best fit today.  

Need help placing an order?
Texas customers: call us at 1-855-461-1926
Northeast and Midwest customers: Contact us

Questions about your current service?
Texas customers: call us at 1-888-305-3828
Northeast and Midwest customers: Contact us