Due to a move towards sustainable energy solutions, 2016 saw American spending on energy bills reach a record low. Despite this, energy costs are still a cause for concern for many cash-strapped Americans. If you are still reliant on coal and gas, you could not only be damaging the environment, but your personal finances also. Regardless of which energy source you use, here’s how you can be more efficient and reduce your monthly outgoings.
You probably already know that you shouldn’t leave lights on when you’re not using them. The problem is, when you’re not using them is exactly the time when you’re not there to check if you’ve left them on. Over the course of the year, forgetfulness can have significant costs.
Overcome this by installing motion sensor lighting. This can be done relatively cheaply and should pay for itself over time. The lights will always be there when you need them, but will switch off the second you leave the room, meaning you get maximum efficiency out of your lighting.
This can be a big task and relies on your house being built in the right way. However, there are also small steps you can take. If possible, install large windows and remove objects outside which may be blocking the sunlight.
Air conditioning can contribute to over 50% of your electric bill. When it is too hot, see if opening a window is enough to keep you cool. The same goes with heating. Consider using a log fire instead of electric heating.
An item which is plugged in and on standby is using energy, while providing no benefit to you. The vast majority of your electronics do not need to be plugged in all the time. A healthy energy efficient home will only keep the essentials plugged in, while removing everything else.
The one exception is the refrigerator. This will usually be kept running, but should be kept at 39-41 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal efficiency. If you are going on vacation, make sure to unplug the fridge completely.
Switch Energy Supplier
If you have cut out all unnecessary usage of energy and still feel your bill is too high, then you can always switch provider. Search online to see if there are better deals available.
If you are already with the cheapest company, then maybe your energy source is the problem. Consider whether it is possible to switch to renewable sources. The United States government will allow you to deduct 30% of solar panel installation costs from your federal taxes, meaning it is more affordable than you think. Many consumers still believe solar isn’t competitive, but it has dropped in price by 99% since the 1970s and is on its way to become the world’s cheapest energy source.
Reducing your energy bills could be one of the best ways to get your finances in order. With payments made every month, even small savings can make a big difference over time. Embrace automated lights, use nature to your advantage, unplug electronics and don’t be afraid to switch to a new provider or energy source if a cheaper option is available.