This article summarizes the mains steps I have personally taken in order to minimize the electricity bill.

Phantom energy

Electronic devices in standby mode or those actively plugged in the power cord are using constantly energy, which is called phantom factor. Therefore it is highly recommended that you turn off your devices when not in use and unplug them from the power cord as well. For devices that you frequently use, you can plug them into the power strip that can be turn off easily when appliances do not need to run. I know, I know this can be very annoying and we are all humans and can forget to always power off or unplug devices from the power strip or power cord.

However, the easiest trick to save money is to have an automatic way to shutdown devices especially during night hours when we sleep. How to do this? I bet that there are multiple ways going around it, starting with making a habit and doing this naturally manually or by simply buying a programmable device that will shut down the devices at specific times during the day when we are at work or during the night when we are asleep.

The way how I decided to go around this is that I invested money in a smart way and bought a smart power plug named “Elgato Eve Energy”. This smart device allows you to switch appliances on and off remotely over the smartphone and from anywhere you are. What is great about this device is that it offers software application which allows you to track how much energy you are using and what is estimated cost of the energy per month or yearly basis, it also shows how much kW of energy you are consuming at a certain point of the time in a day. Within the application, you can monitor how much energy is being used in numeric but also in a visual way by monitoring the graphs.

By leveraging this application, it allows me to remotely turn on and off devices without the need to manually press power strip on/off button in order to power on/off devices. For example when I forgot to turn off the power strip manually before laying down to bed and I am lazy to go there again and do it, I have my phone nearby me which I can use and power off the devices plugged into the smart power plug directly from my bed. Additionally what’s great about the tool is that it allows you to configure the schedule by which the power cord and everything that is plugged in behind it will go down and up at specified days and times. This allows you to have automatic power consumption saving during the time you sleep, which can help you to cut the cost of electricity bills significantly. You can have behind this smart power cord plugged one device or multiple other devices using a power strip which makes it even more useful and allows you to shut down all of the appliances at once.

You can check it out at Amazon:

US standard – power smart plug and power meter

EU standard – power smart plug and power meter

I know that it is a little bit expensive however look at it from the long term perspective on how much energy it saves, which does not leak your money from the wallet unnecessary, so it will eventually pay off on its own. 

Here are some screenshots from the Eve Elgato Smart Power Plug software application:

  1. Schedule of turning off the appliances that are providing the Internet in my flat while I sleep, which is saving energy, money and is also more healthier. At around the time I wake up, the internet devices go again up, so that when I wake up I can listen to my favorite music, listen to audio-book or news.

2. The application includes a toggle to turn on / off a device plugged to the power cord, shows the power consumption in Watts and projected cost in the local currency value, which can be changed based on the country you live at.

3. Overview of all other devices that I like to control and save power consumption in a smart way.

Light bulbs

  • Generally speaking, LEDs are more efficient
  • Switch of the lights every-time you leave the room. If you are forgetting to turn off the lights, then install a motion sensor that enables the lights when you are in the room and turns off automatically when you leave.
  • Personally I use smart LIFX LED bulbs that can be controlled over Wifi, which is great, however, the best functions it offers is that it can save you more money as the LEDs are more cost-efficient, last longer and save you even more money when you dim the light, as there is no need to have them on 100%. You can set a mood with them while watching a TV, use different colors or sensitivity of the light.

In case you are curious about the products I personally use, check them out at the Amazon website in order to learn more detail about price and further technical specifications and feel free to ask questions in the comments below!

LIFX LED bulb – white

LIFX LED bulb – day & dusk

LIFX LED bulb – vivid colors and whites

You can buy a 4-pack of the LIFX LED light bulbs such as:

The LIFX LED light bulbs you can control via Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and also Google Assistant. Per manufacturer here are some highlights about estimated costs and bulb lifetime:

Brightness: 800 lumens

Estimated Yearly Energy Cost: 1.08$ / 4.21 PLN (based on 3 hours per day 11c kWh. Cost depends on rates and use.)

Life: 22.8 years (again based on 3 hours per day usage)

Energy used: 9 Watts

Cheaper coffee or tea?

  • Fill the kettle with the cup of the water
  • Turn it on to boil the water
  • This way you are not heating the unnecessary amount of water that first of all takes much longer time to boil and will be unused, so it will cool off again. Always boil the right amount of the water that you need for your tea or coffee drink, this saves you time, energy and of course some money.
  • Do not forget to make the coffee and tea home instead of going on a daily basis to the coffee shop.
  • Invest in good steel coffee/tea thermos bottle which will keep your drink warm throughout the day. It can be really any thermos bottle such as

Washing machine

  • Use eco mode – 15/30 minutes with 30 or 40 degrees
  • Wash clothes only when the load is full
  • Wash in cold water  to save on energy that is used to heat the water
  • Dry the clothes on the line outside on the balcony or in the garden instead of using a dry machine that consumes more energy. I would recommend using a dry machine only during wintertime.
  • Turn off your washing machine when you are done washing your clothes, close the water tap and unplug the cable from power socket during the times when you are not utilizing the device this avoids the device to use “phantom” energy.

Water heating

  • Wash your hands with soap and cold water for around 20 seconds, there is no need to use hot water.
  • When you are brushing your teeth do not leave the water tap open.
  • Have always the tap on the cold water.
  • Use dishwasher, it saves the amount of water being used and by using the eco mode you are friendly to the environment and most importantly also saving you a ton of time that you can dedicate to more enjoyable things.

By applying a small change in your life will save you immediately some money that you can use for things you enjoy the most.

Do not waste electricity, make small changes that save you money and the environment today!