It’s no secret that the price of energy constantly goes up. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t try to reduce your energy costs. There are some obvious ways to save money on your energy bill and some not as common. I recommend trying various things in your home to see what works the best for you. Here are some secrets to cut down that dreaded energy bill!
Save Money on Your Energy Bill #1: Change Your Light Bulbs
You might not think that simply changing your light bulbs would be so effective, but the truth is, if you are still using the incandescent bulbs, you are wasting some energy. There are a couple of options open to you; first is CFL or Compact Fluorescent Lighting which is like a standard long fluorescent tube but made smaller. The other type is the LED version that is newer and more versatile.
The LED bulb is much smaller fittings than a CFL bulb and can be used in smaller fittings. They are also often brighter. The LED illuminates immediately, whereas, the CFL bulbs typically take about 30-seconds to illuminate fully. The other big benefit of an LED bulb is it can be used with a dimmer switch. The obvious money-saving tip where lightbulbs are concerned is this: turn off the lights when not in use!
Save Money on Your Energy Bill #2: Switch to a Programmable Thermostat
Your thermostat controls your heating and cooling system. Older thermostats are good for setting a constant temperature and shutting things off and on. This doesn’t allow for automatic adjustments when you go out or during the night. This can affect your energy usage greatly.
Programmable units allow you to go in and set adjustments in advance. For example, you can program the thermostat to turn on the heat 15-minutes before you get home so its warm in the house. Doing this also prevents leaving it on when you don’t need it. Newer thermostats can do even more though. Some of the smart thermostats can be controlled from your smartphone. This helps in situations that require a sudden schedule change.
Save Money on Your Energy Bill #3: Get Solar Panels Fitted
If you are determined to save some big money on your energy bill, have you considered producing your own energy? Installing solar panels in your home is a clean, efficient way to do just that. Although there is no guarantee solar panels will supply all your needs, they will dramatically reduce costs for sure. In some cases, they can produce more than you need. Energy companies may even buy this surplus from you. I recommend doing some research into costs, efficiency, and solar panel installation, so you can make an educated decision if it’s right for your family.
Save Money on Your Energy Bill #4: Buy a Net-Zero Energy Home
If you are in the market for a new home, you have an opportunity to control your energy usage. Some building companies are now creating what’s called net-zero energy homes. These are designed to generate as much energy as they consume, through solar panels, insulation, and energy efficient materials. Although many of these homes have a lot of modern technology, they aren’t generally more expensive than other homes.
Save Money on Your Energy Bill #5: Downsize
Another way you can reduce your energy bill is to downsize your living space. Many people still live in the house they raised their children in, even though they are empty nesters. You are using a lot of energy to heat or cool a house that is for only two people. When looking for a smaller home, think about your energy needs and whether the potential new home will serve your best financial interest. Check insulation, windows, appliances, and the general quality of the home. You might even have an energy expert come in and give you an energy efficiency inspection before you buy.
Save Money on Your Energy Bill #6: Insulate Windows
Older houses, in particular, can have old, deteriorating windows that are not energy efficient. However, replacing them with newer windows will be a hefty expense. If you don’t have the money to replace at this time, consider making what you have more efficient. Window inserts are an option for most types of windows. And there is always the plastic that adds a layer of protection with minimal cost. However, it can be cumbersome to apply and doesn’t hold up well with active children and pets.
Save Money on Your Energy Bill #7: Get Energy Efficient Appliances
If you have had your refrigerator and your washing machine for a number of years, chances are they are not energy efficient. Even if they were when you bought them, they become less efficient with age. Do your homework before you buy, as not all brands have the same energy rating. Also, remember, that with some appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers, it isn’t only the amount of energy they use that’s important but also the amount of water.