One of the most disappointing parts of adulthood is having to pay bills every month. Remember when you got your first job and you were so excited about getting a paycheck? Now it seems like every cent you make goes to your mortgage, your car payment, and your utility bills, with nothing left over for savings or fun. But part of being a responsible adult is not just spending your money, but spending it wisely. So you should be happy to hear that there are myriad ways to cut costs when it comes to your electric bill. By implementing a variety of energy-saving solutions, you can drastically cut consumption – and cost. Here are just a few strategies that can help you to cut your carbon footprint and reduce your energy bills in the process.
What you really need to consider is how far you’re willing to go in the pursuit of energy efficiency in your home, and whether or not you want to put in time, effort, money, or all of the above to make it happen. You could start small with conservation techniques that are bound to show a slight reduction in your monthly energy bill. For example, you could program your thermostat to account for times when you’re not home, adjusting the temperature accordingly in order to reduce energy draw and lower your bills in the process. Or you could address phantom drain by unplugging electronics that aren’t in use, powering down your computer when you’ll be away from the keyboard for a while, and disconnecting mobile devices once they’re fully charged rather than keeping them hooked up to the outlet.
But if you want to see drastic improvements in energy costs, you’re going to have to make more dramatic changes. This could start easily enough by conducting a home energy audit to pinpoint areas of waste. The report you’ll receive following this inspection and testing will tell you exactly where you need to seal leaks and add insulation in order to make your home more energy efficient. From there you can start replacing outdated, energy-guzzling home goods with Energy Star approved models. Light bulbs are a good place to start if you don’t have a ton of money up front. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), for example, cost only slightly more than the average incandescent bulb, but they last up to ten times as long and require only about a third of the energy to produce the same illumination.
You can also upgrade appliances. Although this will cost significantly more than light bulbs, you could see a major savings on your energy bill immediately when you upgrade your fridge, dishwasher, or AC unit, just for example. And over time, the savings will practically pay for your new equipment. Of course, you can’t have a list of 5 to 10 steps to save you money and energy that doesn’t include the prospect of switching over to alternative energy, and sustainable and renewable sources are abundant these days. If you really want to go all out when it comes to cutting home energy draw, consider what can be gained by switching to solar, wind, water, or geothermal power options. The up-front costs are steep, but you can achieve net-zero energy use, do your part for the environment, and virtually get rid of your energy bill in the process.