Everyone seems to be struggling financially to some degree these days. Prices just seem to be going up and up, making it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. It is a fairly common belief that making changes to help the environment is going to cost us more. However, there are ways that you can save money, especially on your electricity bills, by going green.
Probably the simplest way to reduce your energy costs is to use less power.
Easy to say but just how can you achieve this without freezing in winter and getting around the house in semi-darkness?
So, we are going to look at some simple ways you can save money on your household power bills, simply by using less power in the home. Some of these ideas will suit you and your situation while others may not. Every small change you can make to how you use power in your home, is going to positively impact the bills you get and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
Save Money On Your Power Bill
To find out where you can save power in your home, do a home energy audit. You can do it yourself, using checklists and information available on the internet or get a professional team to conduct the audit for you. Some energy supply companies provide this service.
Here are some simple strategies you can put in place that will help you reduce how much power you use. You might have heard of some of them, while others might be new ideas to you. Remember, they’ll only work at reducing your bills if you actually do them and encourage your family to do the same.
- Turn off the lights in rooms you are not using – this is the biggest waste of electricity. Unnecessary and excessive lighting alone could account for up to 20% of your electricity bill. If a room is empty, there is really no need for a light to be on. Encourage everyone to turn off the light as they leave a room, even if they intend to go back. You will be amazed at the dollar saving of this strategy alone.
- Turn off the outside lights unless you are using the garden or someone is expected. Your house might have wonderful street appeal with lots of outside lighting but it is really just burning money. If you use external lighting for security purposes, change to sensor lights that only come on when movement is detected, thus using much less power.
- Turn off all appliances at the wall when they are not in use, including AC adapters. If there is a little light left after you turn an appliance off, it is on stand-by function, which uses more power than you’d think. There are products available now that you can plug several appliances into, so you only have the one switch to flick. This is convenient for entertainment devices like TV, sound system, DVD player etc, as well as for kitchen appliances. It only takes a moment to turn them back on but could potentially save you more than a hundred dollars a year off your power bill.
- Change all your incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent ones. While these may cost a little more, they use 30% less electricity and last up to a huge 15 times longer. When you change over all your bulbs, you will see a cost saving in your very next bill. The EPA estimates that using a 25 watt compact fluorescent bulb (which will produce about the same amount of light as a 100 watt incandescent one), will save around 100 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year.
- Use curtains in your home to help reduce energy needs. Curtains and blinds, especially those designed with special coatings, help to keep the heat outside your home in summer and inside your home in winter. This means that you will spend less on heating and cooling. Close the curtains against the summer sun, then open them after the sun goes down to catch evening breezes. Open them to the winter sun but close them as soon as the sun goes off that side of the house. Curtains and blinds last for many years and can be used to add to the décor of the home.
- Find where the drafts are. Cracks and holes account for a considerable amount of lost heat in winter. Simply filling these can make a big difference to the amount you spend on heating. Use draft excluders to stop drafts coming in under doors.
These a just a few simple measures you can take to reduce the amount of electricity your home uses. You will enjoy savings of a few hundred dollars a year off your power bills and have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your bit to save the planet.