Cutting Your Energy Costs
National Cut Your Energy Costs Day happens this week and I decided to take this opportunity to provide you with suggestions and ideas on options that you may wish to explore to reduce your energy costs. Homes account for over 20% of the energy used in the United States. Our lights, computers, appliances, televisions, and chargers are always plugged in. Simple tasks like lowering your thermostat, taking shorter showers, and unplugged unused appliances can make a difference -- in your energy consumption and for the environment. The following are a few ways that you can ‘celebrate’ National Cut Your Energy Costs Day:
Purchase A Programmable Thermostat | One of the biggest sources of wasted energy is having your air conditioning or heating on when you don’t need it. Installing a programmable thermostat increases your energy efficiency and optimizes your HVAC system.
Check That Your Appliances Are Energy Efficient | You may balk at purchasing a new washer, dryer, refrigerator, or dishwater BUT the truth is that many older models are so inefficient that they could be costing you more in energy bills that it would cost to replace them. A little research on your appliances should quickly uncover whether they are energy offenders that should be replaced.
Check Your Water Usage | Wasting water not only increases your water bill, it also increases your energy use to pump it, and heat it. Quick fixes include purchasing energy efficient shower heads, checking for leaky faucets and toilet cisterns that fail to shut off. Get your family on board to take shorter showers, and turn the water off when brushing their teeth.
Shop Around | Most regions have a dominant energy provider that acts like they have a monopoly on the business. Try a Google search of their name and ‘other providers’. Most states mandate that lead providers list alternative energy suppliers on their websites. When you do the research, you may find great alternatives that will save you money. Solar panels offer an alternative energy source, and can come with incentives like rebates and tax credits.
Think Sustainability | While major carbon emitters must do their part to reduce emissions into the atmosphere, sustainability efforts really begin at home. Take responsibility for reducing your own carbon footprint. The average American consumes 20 metric tons in carbon emissions every year, which is five times more than the world average. If we all reduce our usage, we can save money AND reduce global warming.
It’s About Checklists | National Cut Your Energy Costs Day is a great opportunity to start putting a checklist together. Analyze for best values, cost savings, and minimizing areas of waste. Here are some items to get you started:
Weatherproof your home | Replace old windows with new energy-efficient windows | Perform preventive maintenance on your HVAC system | Turning off lights when leaving a room | Use energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs | Run dishwasher and washing machine only when fully loaded | Lower water heater temperature | Take shorter showers | Unplug unused appliances
I invite you to share your tips and tricks for energy conservation with me so I can share them with my other customers and clients. Happy energy cost cutting!