Even though it’s summertime, which means much of the northern hemisphere is still experiencing longer and sunnier days, you’re still probably switching your lights on for a good portion of the day. But with electricity and energy bill prices still elevated, no matter how you cool and light your home this summer, it’s likely been costing you more than expected.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to save some money and reduce your energy bill is turning off your lights when you aren’t using them. Keep reading to learn why it’s important to turn off the lights and how much money this simple habit can save you. (For more, we also recommend investing in a smart plug or a smart thermostat, adjusting the temperature of your thermostat and weatherstripping to save extra cash.)
How much money can you save by turning off the lights?
The amount you can save on your electricity bill by turning off your lights depends on the type of light bulb you use. You can figure your potential savings using the light bulb’s wattage.
Let’s say you have a light bulb that’s 40 watts, meaning that in one hour, the bulb will use 0.04 kWh. Then, you can use your electricity price — which you can find on your most recent utility bill — to figure out how much you’ll save for that hour. In the case of the 40-watt bulb, if you pay an electricity rate of 10 cents per kWh, your savings by turning that bulb off for one hour would be 0.4 cents.
Now, it’s easy to see that number and think it’s simply not worth it to turn off your lights more often. After all, what difference does 0.4 cents make?
First, remember that estimate is for a 40-watt bulb. If you have higher-wattage light bulbs, then the savings will be greater. Next, that estimate uses an energy price of 10 cents per kWh, but in many areas, the price of electricity may be higher than that.
Finally, our estimate looked at the savings of turning off one bulb for one hour. You likely have many light bulbs in your house, and there are far more than just one hour in a month. So when you calculate the savings of turning off all of your light bulbs for many more hours per month, your savings will increase significantly.
A small change can yield big savings in the long run
Turning off your lights when you aren’t using them is one of the most basic steps you can take to reduce your energy usage and save money on your electricity bill. Just remember that even a small change can add up to big energy savings for you and also help reduce your carbon footprint.