The image below shows our monthly energy bill. We do not have a separate gas connection for heating needs. Our bills are abnormally high during the summer months. We finally nailed it to the old air conditioning system. Our landlord will soon replace the AC system, before the summer really kicks in here in Florida. So far, we have been saving summer energy bills by few simple methods. We consume 40% less energy than the national household average of $2024 per year, a little solace! Still we feel we can save more.
One of the best ways to save money and build your savings account is to work hard at reducing your electric bill. Think about it: the lower your power bill (and other utility bills), the more money you have in your pocket that you can either save or use for other things you need. Here are some practical and important ways to save power while substantially increasing your savings.
I wrote previously about cutting back energy use to have a better life. This is another in the same direction. Just to emphasize how important it is to your finances and the overall betterment of the world we live in to save energy consumption.
1. Shop Around
If you are lucky enough to live in a state with a deregulated energy industry, take advantage of the opportunity to shop around! Almost every deregulated state (and a few that don’t) have websites where the different utility company rates and reviews have been compiled to give you a quick and easy way to compare benefits. For example, in Ohio (a deregulated state) you can check out Ohiogascompanies.
It might cost a few extra bucks a month but it’s worth the cost to opt-in to a renewable energy source plan. Your power is already automatically partly supplied by renewable or sustainable sources but there are programs that will give you 100% of your power this way. Opt-in so that you won’t feel guilty about the power that you do still use (even after you make the following adjustments).
3. Spend to Save
Some of the best ways to save power involve buying in to newer technologies. Solar powered device chargers cost money but, over the course of their lifetime, they’ll save you more on your power bills than it cost you to buy the charger to begin with. It’s even worth it to get the upgrade so that these chargers can power up your laptops or tablet computers as well as smaller portable devices like phones, mp3 players, etc.
Another good example here is LED lighting. At the outset, LED lights are by far the most expensive lighting option, coming in at an average of $20 per bulb. But! They use less power than incandescents (some as much as 80% less) and even less power than CFLs (LEDs “beat” CFLs in power savings by 10-15%). They also last much longer than both of those types of bulbs. One LED bulb should last 5-6 years, which is an improvement over the CFL’s 3-4. They can save you hundreds of dollars in power savings over the course of their lifetime, which makes the initial $20 investment well worth it.
Along these same lines, if you want to get bigger, are energy efficient appliances, the installation of wind turbines or solar panels, tank-less water heaters, etc. Spend now to save lots over the long term.
4. Cliches are Cliches for a reason
Turn off the lights when you aren’t using them (install motion detectors if you have a hard time remembering to do this).
Wash dishes by hand instead of using a dishwasher.
Hang dry your laundry instead of running the dryer.
Use natural light until it is no longer sufficient to see and then turn on the lights.
Wear a sweater instead of turning up the heat.
Here’s the the complete list of 101 ways to save energy.
5. Over Budget
This is more of a money tip than a power savings tip: budget at least 5-10% more for your utility bills than you think you should need (use your largest power bill over the last twelve months to get this number). This way if your power spikes, you’re prepared and won’t panic about your budget.
If it is less than you’ve budgeted, take the “leftover” amount that you had planned to spend on your power bill and tuck it away in your savings account. You’ll be able to track your savings and save up all at the same time!
These are just some of the ways that tackling your power bill can save you money. What are some of your favorites? The US Energy Information Administration report finds decreased energy consumption per household in 2012 compared to the previous years. Which is a good sign and shows the overall awareness among people.
With the brand new AC system being installed in our home, we expect to see major drop in summer energy bill, we are also planning to use more of the table fans. Readers, what are you doing to cut down your energy consumption?
|SB is a husband and working as a software professional for a Fortune 100 corporation in Florida. Thanks for visiting the blog.
You can receive free full-text articles from One Cent at a Time in your email inbox, on the days we publish fresh content, by entering your email below. Your email will only be used for subscription, and each email will include a link you may use to unsubscribe at any time. You can also become our Facebook fan or follow us via Twitter