This time of year, saving money is difficult. There are Christmas presents to buy and lavish meals to cook. However, it is always good to try to put a little bit back into your pocket. One of the ways you can do this is by finding energy savings around the house. You may think your energy bill is already as low as it could possibly be, but you will be surprised to learn the different ways you can make savings. Here are some of the best ways to cut your energy costs:
1. Track your usage – One of the best ways to reduce the amount of money you spend on your energy bills is to reduce your usage. And, to reduce your usage, you are going to need to track it. By determining how much energy you use per day and what gadgets and appliances use the most energy, you will be able to effectively reduce your bills. You can purchase a home monitoring system, install smart plugs, or try some handy mobile apps that can track your use.
2. Get an energy audit – A home energy audit (or home energy assessment), assesses how much energy you use in your home and figures out what you can do to make your home energy-efficient. These assessments can show homeowners the problems in their home where energy is wasted and can help you address these problems to correct them. A home audit can possibly save you significant amounts of money for the long term. Before you hire someone to do your audit, check with your energy carrier. Many energy companies provide assessments for free or reduced costs.
3. Consider renewable technology – Do your part to help the planet by using renewable technology sources to power your house. More and more homeowners have turned to solar panels in recent years. However, this is not always an easy task for homeowners. For an easier solution, simply switch to a provider that only uses renewable resources, like wind and sun, to do your part to reduce pollution AND save money.
4. Switch energy suppliers – Switching suppliers seems an obvious choice when it comes to lowering your energy costs. There are many energy comparison tools out there that can help you see whether you would save money by switching companies. Make sure you enter accurate information about your usage so that you can really get a handle on how much you can save. Moreover, make sure you account for any extra fees. It may be better to wait until your contract is coming to an end so that you don’t suffer any cancellation fees.
5. Purchase energy-efficient appliances – Whenever you’re in the market for a new appliance, be sure it is an Energy Star certified model. Products with these labels must meet strict energy efficiency requirements. You can also see if the appliance has an EnergyGuide label. You can learn how to read those here.
6. Install LED bulbs – LED light bulbs are a must. Yes, they are a little bit pricier in terms of purchasing cost. However, you quickly make your money back because they last a lot longer, use less energy than traditional bulbs, and provide better light.
7. Install a programmable thermostat – Popular products like the Nest, are programmable thermostats that turn the heat (or a/c) on or off whenever you are around. It senses when no one is in the house and stays dormant until it senses activity. You can also set a preferable day and night temperature, lowering the evening temperature more to reduce energy consumption at night while you sleep.
8. Try a new standard temperature – Instead of the usual 70 degrees, why not try turning your thermostat down to 68? Put a sweater on or light jacket and see the savings add up! The same can be said for the summers, when you can leave the air conditioning set at 72 or 74, saving some energy (and money!), but staying comfortable.
9. Only do full loads – When using the dishwasher or washer/dryer, be sure to only run it when you have enough to do a full load. Using the machines when they aren’t full is wasteful. Also, try to launder items on cold or warm whenever possible to save on hot water. You can even line-dry items instead of running the dryer.
10. Encourage everyone in your house to do their part – You are never going to be able to reduce your energy usage if other people in your home are still using energy casually. Let your family know that changes are being made to save money and have them help you find energy savings around the home.
Other ways to reduce energy consumption:
- Unplug power guzzling items like computers, when not in use
- Turn down the temperature of your hot water heater
- Check your windows and doors for leaks and fill with caulk and spray insulation
Other savings around the house:
There are other ways you can find savings around the home without just looking at your energy usage. Take a look at the other suppliers you use, for example, your mobile phone provider, home phone provider, Internet provider, and TV provider. You may find better deals elsewhere or on your existing account. Tracfone phones have no cancellation fees, so changes like these are important to consider and could add up to significant savings. You can also reduce money on your grocery bills by using coupons and making your own cleaning products out of standard household goods. Save money by staying home and cooking rather than dining out. For more tips on living frugally, check out a previous post of mine here.
As you can see, there are a number of different ways you can reduce your energy bill. Try the suggestions above for a couple of months and you should see a difference in your energy consumption. Every little bit counts, and in addition to saving money, you’ll do your part reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and by preventing additional air pollution. We all have to do our part to save our precious planet!
How are you energy-efficient? Let me know in the comments!
sources: energy.gov, energystar.gov, trulia.com
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