How to Save Money on Your Utility Bills
Whether you live in a small one-bedroom condo or a large house with your family, you are likely interested in how you can reduce your energy consumption in order to bring down those pesky utility bills. In this article we’ll share a handful of tips that will help you save money and lighten your ‘footprint’ by eliminating your excess energy use.
Taking Care of Energy ‘Vampires’
If you’re like many homeowners, your house is filled with electronic goods that need to be plugged in regularly. However, did you know that many of the adapters and chargers for items like your laptop, phone, and tablet will consume energy when they’re sitting idle? One easy way to eliminate energy vampires is to switch off your power bars when none of the sockets are being actively used. When you need to charge something up, simply turn the power bar back on and plug it in.
Consider Turning Down Your Water Heater
Does your hot water seem very hot? Many homeowners keep their hot water heater set at 140 degrees or above, which can waste a significant amount of energy each year. Not only does it cost money to keep the water in the tank at that temperature, but your hot water heater has to heat fresh water from room temperature – or colder, depending on the season. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that reducing a hot water heater’s temperature setting from 140 degrees to 120 degrees can save up to $450 per year.
Seal Up Windows and Door Frames
Every small crack in a window or door frame seal is another area for warm air to escape from your home and for cold air to rush in. While you might not think much of the small drafts that you feel here and there, over time they can add up to a significant portion of your total energy use. It is well worth patching up a drafty seal as soon as you come across it.
Leverage Technology to Help You Save
Making small investments in home automation and other technologies can help you save on your monthly bills. For example, smart thermostats like the Nest Thermostat will learn when your family is around the home and adjust your heat accordingly. Upgrading appliances like your refrigerator, washing machine, dryer and stove to newer models that use energy-efficient technologies can also help to bring your energy use down.
Produce Your Own Energy with Rooftop Solar Panels
As investing in a residential solar setup has a significant up-front cost we can’t really make the claim that you’ll be saving money right away. However, once your solar panels are in place you will reduce the amount of energy you purchase from your local utility to the point where you may end up generating electricity to send back into the grid. If your home receives a fair bit of sunshine and is angled properly you can generally recoup the cost of a solar setup within a few years, thanks to the credits you’ll receive for contributing back to the grid and generous federal tax incentives. You’ll also add quite a bit of resale value to your home.
The above solutions are just a few steps that you can take to begin saving money and energy each month. Optimizing your energy use is a constant process, so be sure to get the entire family involved and have some fun with it.