Don't turn off your lights when you leave the house?  There's a good reason to start

Don’t turn off your lights when you leave the house? There’s a good reason to start

This story is part Tips for the houseCNET’s collection of handy tips for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

Cooling season may be over, but utility bills are expected to rise through the rest of 2022. In fact, utility companies and energy experts are warning that heating costs will rise by an average of 12% nationwide this winter – and those electric, natural gas, and oil bills can potentially be even higher depending on location.

No matter how you heat your home, staying warm this winter will cost you. Combined with increase in rents and mortgage rateshigh gas price and expensive races, you may already be feeling pressure on your wallet. Fortunately, there are ways to increase your monthly budget.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to save money and reduce your energy bill is turning off your lights when you are not using them. (We also recommend unplug those appliances, temperature setting of your thermostat and weatherstripping to save extra money.)

Keep reading to find out why it’s important to turn off the lights and how much money this simple habit can save you.

Why you should turn off your lights

You’ve probably been told many times about the importance of conserving energy, but you might wonder why it’s important.

First of all, reducing your energy consumption by turning off your lights is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Electricity generation is one of the main sources of carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. By turning off your lights when not in use, you can do your part to reduce carbon emissions and help the environment.

And reducing your home’s energy consumption doesn’t just help the environment, it also helps your wallet. Turning off lights when you don’t need them can help lower your electricity bills. You will also prolong the life of your bulbswhich will also save you money.

Read more: You can actually save money by using electricity at these specific times

Here’s how much money you can 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 bulb you use. You can calculate your potential savings using the wattage of the bulb.

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Let’s say you have a ampule it’s 40 watts, which means 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 determine 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 just not worth turning off your lights more often. After all, what difference does 0.4 cents make?

First, remember that the rating is for a 40 watt bulb. If you have more powerful bulbs, the savings will be greater. Then this estimate uses an energy price of 10 cents per kWh, but in many areas the price of electricity can be higher than that.

Finally, our estimate looked at the savings from turning off a light bulb for an hour. You probably have many light bulbs in your house and there are well over an hour per month. So when you calculate the savings of turning off all your light bulbs for several more hours per month, your savings will increase dramatically.

This small change means big savings in the long run

Turning off your lights when you’re not using them is one of the most basic steps you can take to reduce your energy consumption and save money on your electric bill. Remember that even a small change can result in big energy savings for you and also help reduce your carbon footprint.

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