I love saving money. You love saving money. We all love saving money, especially in this economy. So when I found out I could be saving a bunch on my energy bill with a few simple tips, I was ecstatic. Here are some helpful hints on how to cut down on your energy costs and save your cash for something that really matters, like those cute boots you’ve been eyeing…
1. UNPLUG THINGS. This may seem obvious, but most of us skip it. Surprisingly, 75% of the energy used by your electronics is consumed when they’re turned off. Taking 5 minutes and unplugging your lamps, toaster, DVD player, and printer when they’re not in use can add up to major savings.
2. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. They’re 6-8 times more energy efficient and last 10-20 times longer than normal bulbs, meaning you won’t have to buy new bulbs for years! Also, for every fluorescent bulb used, electrical power plants use 1000 pounds less of carbon dioxide, making them the greener choice. Now, you can say your saving cash and the planet!
3. Regulate your thermostat. For every degree you lower your thermostat (ideally keeping it between the 60-70 degree range), you save 5% in heating costs. It may not sound like much right now, but it adds up over time. On that same note, think about installing a programmable thermostat, especially if you know you’re going to be at work all day. You can set it to turn back on 30 minutes before the family comes home so it’s the perfect temp when you walk through the door!
4. 13% of your home’s electricity goes directly into heating water. You can lower this by setting your hot water heater to 120 degrees and waiting for a full load before running your dishwasher or washing machine.
5. Taking long, hot showers is a small vice many of us share. I love playing the game with my shower where I make the water as hot as humanly possible before my skin melts off. But I found out that if I cut down my shower time just by 2 minutes and I save $40 a year. By cooling it down by a couple degrees, I could save even more. By switching to a low-flow showerhead, which restricts the flow of water, I save $72 a year. If your keeping up with the math, I just saved myself $112 by barely doing anything!
6. Finally, make sure your walls, ceilings, and windows are properly insulated. This can save as much as 30% on your home heating bill. The U.S. Department of Energy has a simple online tool that can help you determine if you have adequate insulation based on the region you live in.
By trying even one or two of these tips, you can save a bundle on your energy bill. So go ahead, give your wallet and electricity company a break, you won’t regret it.