(Closed) Cutting electric bill in an apartment

posted 8 years ago in Home
Post # 17
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

We unplug everything that’s not in use (even lamps, and our toaster/coffee maker) when they’re not in use.  We also use only CFL energy saving lightbulbs.  We live in a super mild climate, and I think our apartment neighbours like to walk around in bikinis in the middle of winter and keep THEIR apartment boiling, because we actually just turned the heat on for the first time on Thursday night, and only for a couple hours while we were watching tv and it seemed a little chilly.

Post # 18
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Oh man,  i just realized how cheap I am when I saw that you keep it at 69 degrees.  I wouldn’t let it go over 65 when you are home, and I would turn it down to 60 when you are gone.  My landlord has really inefficient and expensive base board heating in our place.  They told us that keeping it on one low, stable setting gives more efficiency than turning it off and on.

My sister uses bubble wrap in her windows for extra insulation.

If you have a dishwasher, pre rinse your dishes in cold, not hot water.

Use power strips for cell phone chargers, etc. that you can turn on and off with the click of a button.

Keep your fridge fuller, but not too full.

Wear a sweater, use an extra comforter, eat more fat so you don’t get cold?  LOL!



Post # 19
206 posts
Helper bee

Check the temperature that your water heater is set at. There’s a minimum safe temperature, but everything above that just uses extra electricity.

Post # 20
1443 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I just learned something a bit disturbing about this from our apartment office manager last week.  She said that most apartment buildings (at least here) don’t really have separate meters  for each apartment unit in the building.  They take the total amount of electricity used for the WHOLE building, then divide this amount evenly between the total number of units.  So if your neighbors are still using a ton of electric, it might not matter how much you try to cut corners!! I was pretty shocked! Not to say that all these ideas won’t help (it is all great advice), but you might need to speak to your apartment manager to see how the bill is split. You might need to get your neighbors on board with cutting back usage too. 🙁

Post # 21
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

There have been a lot of good suggestions from PPs but I will add:

Be sure to open your blinds on sunny days to allow the heat from the sun to warm up your apartment.

Also, if you cook something in the oven, consider leaving the door open after to allow the heat that you have already paid for to make its way into the room.

Shut vents/doors to rooms that you don’t really use (if you are in a 2 bedroom).

Check around your doors to be sure that they are sealed appropriately and not sending a draft of cold air in. Consult with maintenance to fix any problems.

Post # 22
186 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I hated electric heat in my apartments. The only good thing about it, was that I only needed to heat the room that I was in. 


So I’m not going to lie here, but my electric bill in my 1500 sq. ft. house is less than $50 (yes fifty) a month. We have all energy star appliances and light blubs. We have a gas dryer so that cuts down that cost also. When I lived in an apartment with electic heat, my roommate and I couldn’t get our bill any lower than $60ish during the spring/fall in our 1050 sq. ft apartment. 

As for cutting costs.. 

Turn down the heat! We keep our downstairs thermostat at 62 and upstairs at 60. I turn the heat up to 64-65 downstairs when I’m home and I might turn the upstairs up to 62 around bedtime. Keeping your heat up when you’re not home is a complete waste of money. 

If each room has a seperate heat control, keep one on during the day on a low setting then turn up the room you’ll be in when you get home. 

The other option is to talk to your electic company and see if you can be put on a fixed budget plan so that you’re average costs are divided out over the year. We’re doing this with our gas bill. 

Unfortunately, being in an apartment, especially in a complex, there isn’t much you can do. It sucks, I’ve been there. 


Post # 23
7836 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I didn’t read all the responses- so forgive me if someone mentioned this.  But you can buy this thin plastic sheeting that you put over the windows and heat it with your hairdryer to seal it into the frame.  It stops all the drafts.  And then in the spring it peels off easily.  We used to use that when we lived in an old drafty house- it might help.  You can get it at Home Depot.

Post # 24
14969 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

If you have electric heat, that is really the bulk of it and there really isnt much you can do except turn down the heat.  Unfortunately electric heat is the most inefficient…. literally like a giant blow dryer.  We have the same problem with our upstairs being electric heat – we keep the thermostat at 50 and just suffer for a few minutes while we warm up in bed, and spend the rest of our time downstairs where we have slightly more efficient oil heating the space.

Post # 25
2432 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Most people have recommended turning down the heat – we also do this. Just keep a nice thick pair of slippers and sweats to wear around the house and it’s perfectly comfortable.

Also, I turn the “heat dry” feature off on our dishwasher (if you have one) to save on energy costs. And never run your dishwasher half full.

I also usually wash all of our clothes in cold water unless they are excessively sweaty/smelly (gym attire). Less harsh on the fabric, too, so it’s a win-win.

Turn your computers completely off when they’re not in use, don’t just leave them hibernating. Unplug any small appliances in the kitchen when not in use.

You also might be getting drafts in from doors that lead outside. You might consider purchasing a few draft blockers to help keep the chilly air from coming in underneath.

Post # 26
6659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

Follow the motto: if you aren’t using it, keep it unplugged. There’s such thing as ‘vampire voltage’ that uses energy even if something is turned off. Also, I don’t know if this is true or not, but when I had an actual thermostat (before moving to NYC where it’s super rare) my energy company told me that turning the heat or ac totally off when you leave then back on when you come home is actually a huge energy suck since it requires more energy to start back up again every day than to run at multiple temps throughout the day.

Now we have radiator heat, so I can’t even turn the thermostat up or down but we try to conserve in other ways like always turning off the lights and using energy efficient bulbs. We also use the dishwasher conservatively and don’t have the fridge on too cold a temp.

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