I'm going to say something like : "Try and save on about your electricity usage". I guess I can rephrase it using the verb "economize", but I have no idea how shall I do that! I've made a sentence and wrote it down below. Please have a look on it and let me know if it sounds natural. If not, then please tell me what shall I say using the verb "economize" to indicate the same message:

  • We must economize on electricity usage.

For me, it sounds absolutely natural, but when I google it, I hit only 7 results.

  • 2
    "We must economize (our) use of electricity." Jan 25, 2017 at 9:46
  • 1
    What were you exact search terms on Google? If you searched for economize on you should have found this: idioms.thefreedictionary.com/economize+on
    – TimR
    Jan 25, 2017 at 10:33
  • Of course I found it. But there was anothr answer which made me doubt if with power usage such a combination works or not. You remember the "left and right" message, where "indebted" had a clash of register while "owe" worked properly. This is why I needed to check it @TRomano. Meanwhile, please have a look on Mike's answer. We have to ask to make sure if something works. English language has no constant rule. Never ever.
    – A-friend
    Jan 25, 2017 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


When referring to utilities such as electricity, gas, water and so on, the phrase cut down is often used, meaning to decrease or reduce the usage of something.

For example:

We need to cut down on our electricity usage.

Of course, it can be used in other contexts, where we aim to reduce something rather than eliminate it completely.

  • I need to cut down on smoking
  • I need to cut down on eating red meat.

Economize is fine but it means saving money by using less of something. Are you really interested in saving the money or the natural resource? If the latter, economize is not the way to go. Conserve or cut down on, as suggested in the previous answer, should be better alternatives.

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