Five ways to lower your electricity bill

January 17, 2023 | Ways to Save

Worried about paying your electricity bill?

You aren’t alone. Electricity costs have been rising dramatically in recent years, and many Strafford County residents have said they don’t know how they’ll be able to afford it.

Here are five things you can do to reduce your bill and overall energy consumption.

  1. Install Energy Star-rated LED lightbulbs.

    It’s easy to find high-efficiency appliances even when shopping on a budget, but some households can overlook the money they can save by selecting a different type of lightbulb.LED (light emitting diode) bulbs usually cost slightly more than traditional incandescent light bulbs but last 30 times longer because they produce their light far more efficiently, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. In the long run, this means you’re spending less money to light the bulb as well as less money on the bulbs themselves.

  2. Clean your fridge’s coils every six months.

    Refrigerators use coils to keep your food and drinks cold. They’re designed to do this as efficiently as possible, but their shape also makes them really good at catching the dirt, dust, and pet hair circulating around your house. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends cleaning your coils regularly because dirty coils can increase the energy cost of your fridge by as much as 35 percent.

  3. Unplug phone and device chargers when not in use.

    Small things can add up to big savings when it comes to adjusting personal habits to reduce electricity use. Unplugging all chargers and appliances when they’re not in use, or turning off the power strip they’re plugged into, can save the average household as much as $100 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s because these products still draw what’s called phantom power or standby power, which the government estimates accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all residential energy use.

  4. Regularly clean your dryer’s lint screen.

    In addition to increasing the risk of fire, a clogged or dirty lint screen will make it harder for your dryer to circulate the air needed to dry your clothes. Dryers can be some of the most expensive appliances when it comes to energy consumption — don’t add extra strain on it and your bank account.

  5. Apply for assistance through Community Action programs.

    While there are many other ways you can lower your electricity bill by making changes around your house, even more dramatic savings are available through Community Action Partnership of Strafford County’s Electric Assistance Program (EAP).Households that qualify for the program receive up to a 76 percent discount on their electric bill. CAPSC’s intake specialists and website make it easy to apply, schedule an appointment, and determine if you qualify for other programs like our Fuel Assistance Program (FAP) and Weatherization Program.

    Strafford County households received over $2.2 million in utility assistance in 2022 alone, with the average family receiving about $1,146.We strongly encourage all families to apply for these assistance programs, even if you don’t think you qualify. To get started, click here to visit our website or call 603-435-2500 and select option 2.

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Electric Assistance Program (EAP)

The New Hampshire Electric Assistance Program (EAP) gives eligible customers a discount on their monthly electric bills—anywhere from 8% to 76% depending on your gross household income and household size. This discount can make your electric bills more affordable, help waive late fees and deposits, and prevent service disconnects. Benefits and participation are subject to availability of funds.
Applications are accepted year-round for the Electric Assistance Program.

Learn more here.

Fuel Assistance Program (FAP)

The federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Program (LIHEAP), also known as the Fuel Assistance Program (FAP), provides qualified households with assistance in paying their heating bills during the winter heating season. Your benefits are calculated based on number of household members, household income, energy costs and housing type among other things. This allows those households with the lowest incomes and highest energy costs to receive the highest benefits.

The Fuel Assistance Program runs from November 1 – April 30, and applications are accepted starting July 1.

Learn more here.