If you cringe every time you get your electricity bill in the mail (or email), you need to understand what might be going wrong. Sometimes a few tweaks are all you need to save energy and considerably reduce your expenses.
You can tackle the problem in several different ways; some are easy and fast to implement, and others involve a bit of an investment. The good thing is that all of these practices help and the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll save on energy.
Do an Energy Audit
The first step you need to take before using any energy-saving technique is to find out who the real culprits are. Sometimes you might have a faulty or outdated appliance which is consuming a lot more energy than it’s supposed to.
You can either use a free service from a utility company or hire a professional electrician to conduct an energy audit. Knowing which areas to address first will help you decide if more costly fixes like a new appliance or thermostat are in order.
Turn off All Devices
It’s easy to think that when you turn off your TV or computer, they really shut down. The reality is that most of the time, they don’t. Appliances are often on standby, secretly consuming energy.
Unplug the devices so you can be sure they’re not drawing energy. The best way to do this is by using power strips and always remembering to turn the strip off when you finish using your devices.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re still adjusting your heating or air conditioning manually, you could be wasting a lot of electricity and money. Instead, install a programmable thermostat to do the work for you.
You know your family’s routine, which means you can program the thermostat in a more efficient way. When you’re sleeping or away from home, you can set it to a lower temperature to save energy.
Change or Automate Your Lightbulbs
Image via Flickr by Anton Fomkin
Did you know that incandescent bulbs only convert 10 percent of electricity into light? One of the best ways to save money is to switch all your bulbs to LED light bulbs which are more efficient.
You can also make your house lighting more efficient by installing motion sensors. Lights will turn on only when they need to and you won’t forget to turn them off!
Use Appliances When It’s Cheaper
Most energy companies have discounted rates for different times of the day. Sometimes the prices can be as much as 25 percent cheaper. If you find out you can save a lot more energy after 10:00 p.m., it might be a good decision to wash clothes or set your dishwasher after that time.
These are only a few ideas that can help you manage your energy consumption (and waste). Once you start testing them out and seeing the results on your electricity bill, you’ll realize saving money is easier than you thought and that small changes can really add up.