9 Devices That Can Cause Your Electricity Bill To Skyrocket

How much is 68 degrees really costing you?

woman looking at energy bill
Updated July 18, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Most of us go about our days without considering how much electricity our homes use. Maybe we’ll think about turning the lights off when we leave the room.

Appliances and electronics use significant electricity, and making small adjustments to your habits can save you money around your home.

Here are nine appliances and electronics that could be unintentionally causing your electricity bill to skyrocket.

If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive discounts and financial resources

Over 50? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member you could be missing out on huge perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on things like travel, meal deliveries, eyeglasses, prescriptions that aren’t covered by insurance and more.

How to become a member today:

  • Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
  • Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
  • Start enjoying your discounts and perks!

Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (Do not skip this step!) Doing so will allow you to take up 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.

Become an AARP member now

Air conditioner

Lazy_Bear/Adobe adjusting temperature on air conditioner

Air conditioning is perhaps the biggest culprit causing your electricity bill to rise rapidly. 

Heating and cooling are responsible for just over half of your home’s energy usage, and something as simple as moving your thermostat up one degree can save roughly 3% on your monthly electricity bill.

Water heater

marketlan/Adobe gas water heater

All those hot showers add up. Your water heater could use up to 18% of your home’s energy usage. 

To reduce its consumption, consider setting the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, making sure the hot water pipes are insulated, and installing water-conserving shower heads.

Lighting

JJ Gouin/Adobe duplex light switch

LED light bulbs have changed the game in lighting energy efficiency, but turning on your lights still accounts for roughly 10% of your monthly electric bill. This goes back to the old adage to turn off the lights when you leave a room — it makes an impact.

Resolve $10,000 or more of your debt

Credit card debt is suffocating. It constantly weighs on your mind and controls every choice you make. You can end up emotionally and even physically drained from it. And even though you make regular payments, it feels like you can never make any progress because of the interest.

National Debt Relief could help you resolve your credit card debt with an affordable plan that works for you. Just tell them your situation, then find out your debt relief options.1

How to get National Debt Relief to help you resolve your debt: Sign up for a free debt assessment here. (Do not skip this step!) By signing up for a free assessment, National Debt Relief can assist you in settling your debt, but only if you schedule the assessment.

Try it

Refrigerator

Andrey Popov/Adobe open refrigerator

It shouldn’t be a surprise that your refrigerator is one of the biggest energy consumers, considering that it’s one of the appliances running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Generally, it uses about 7% of your home’s energy. To reduce that number, keep your refrigerator coils clean, don’t overfill the fridge, and keep the most-used items in a convenient spot to reduce time spent with open doors.

Washer and dryer

Iriana Shiyan/Adobe  laundry modern room

Getting your clothes clean doesn’t come cheap. Your washer and dryer use approximately 5% of your home’s energy consumption. To reduce that number, wash your clothes on cold and use a drying rack whenever possible. 

Running your washer and dryer at night, typically between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., can also cost you less than using it during peak hours.

Electric oven

brizmaker/Adobe opening built-in oven

It may be hard to reduce your energy usage when cooking, but your electric oven accounts for 3% of your monthly household electricity bill. It's not a huge amount, but you don’t want to waste more electricity than necessary. 

Plus, running the oven in the summer can cause your air conditioner to work even harder, so break out the grill or air fryer once in a while.

Dishwasher

Alexander Raths/Adobe woman unloading dishes from dishwasher

While a dishwasher only accounts for 2% of your electricity bill in a given month, that doesn’t mean it can’t be reduced. To save energy, run full loads and turn off the heat cycle. This can save you a few dollars a month, which adds up over time.

TV and media

Evelien/Adobe woman watching television

Your TV seems like it shouldn’t use much energy, right? But it might surprise you that it uses the same amount (2%) as the dishwasher. Many TVs run in standby mode when you’re not using them. Unplug it completely to save energy.

Computers

pressmaster/Adobe hands over laptop keypad

For as much time as you spend on your computer, it’s a relief to know that it only counts for roughly 1% of your home’s energy usage. 

Still, be mindful of when you leave your computer on or open, and make sure your settings put the computer to sleep after an hour or so of inactivity.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!2

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Bottom line

NINENII/Adobe calculating daily expenses

Appliances and electronics are the creature comforts that make modern living more comfortable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment with areas to cut your usage and boost your bank account.

Making an effort to use less electricity is good for your electricity bill and the environment. And if you want to go all in on reducing your electricity bill, consider solar panels. Over time, you could reduce your bill to zero.

Choice Home Warranty Benefits

  • First month free
  • Protection for unexpected expense
  • 24/7 claims hotline
  • Network of over 15,000 technicians

Author Details

Heather Bien

Heather Bien is a writer covering personal finance and budgeting and how those relate to life, travel, entertaining, and more. With bylines that include The Spruce, Apartment Therapy, and mindbodygreen, she's covered everything from tax tips for freelancers to budgeting hacks to how to get the highest ROI out of your home renovations.