Do you ever receive an energy bill and need to have a long sit down after reading it? The cost of keeping our homes powered, heated and with running water can quickly mount up. Take electricity for example. According to the Energy Information Administration, residential electricity rates have increased nationally by 15 percent over the past ten years.
You might be wondering what you can do to cut down on your energy bills? A dollar saved here, and there can add up to significant savings when it comes to your annual outgoings on bills. It can also significantly impact on the Earth; the more energy efficient you become, the less impact you’ll be having on climate change and the environment.
There are lots of ways in which you can begin to reduce your energy bills, ranging from unplugging devices to major house renovations. Here is a range of low-cost and big-ticket changes that you can make to help save you money.
Turn off unnecessary water
Water wastage is a massive problem across America. Think about when you have a shower, You turn the shower on, the water is running, but you aren’t getting in until it’s warmed up. As a result, water is wasted for approximately 20 percent of each shower taken. Studies put this loss at around seven cents a shower which may not seem like a lot, but if a family of four each have a shower every other day over a year, that’s $59 down the drain.
That’s just shower waste as well. When you add in the water we lose when running tap while brushing our teeth or shaving, running half loads of laundry in the washer and using a dishwasher when it isn’t full, suddenly a household can be literally washing away money.
Think about your water usage and whether it is really necessary to have a tap running or an appliance operating at half capacity. It can make a real difference to your energy bills.
Don’t wash clothes with hot water
While we’re on the subject of water, you can make a significant saving if you opt to use a cold or warm cycle when it comes to laundry rather than hot water. According to one report in 2014, up to 90 percent of the energy that your washing machine uses comes from heating the water with the other 10 percent going into the actual washing of clothes.
By moving away from the default setting of a hot wash, you can save a significant amount of energy. Money isn’t the only consideration either – there are other reasons to use a cold wash such as increased longevity of your clothes.
Renovate your roof
Heat rises, and that makes the roof of your home a key player in deciding how warm it is. If a significant amount of heat can escape through your roof in the long, winter months, then you are going to have to spend more money trying to keep the building warm.
Replacing or renovating your roof can give you a new and improved structure that is better suited to keeping the heat in. Companies specializing in roof repair based in Brandon, fl will be able to recommend changes to your roof that could help drastically reduce your energy bills. These could vary from simply installing insulation to your attic to an entire replacement.
Install solar panels
Depending on which part of the country you live in, you could receive a real boost from installing solar panels on your property. As technology develops, solar panels are becoming a more effective way of generating electricity and heat for the home.
This, in turn, can help reduce energy bills – but the financial benefits of solar panels don’t start and end there as you may also qualify for annual tax incentives from having them installed.
Replace incandescent lightbulbs
Although incandescent 40 and 60-watt lightbulbs were phased out some five years ago, many of our homes may still be lit by energy-sapping bulbs. Halogen bulbs, LED and CPL bulbs all offer longer lasting light and are much more energy efficient than the devices that they have been designed to replace.
With the average home using over 40 bulbs, replacing any old bulbs with newer, more efficient alternatives can help save on your electricity bill.
Unplug all chargers that aren’t in use
With so many portable electronic devices like cell phones and tablets in the world, chances are that most of your plug sockets are taken over by chargers for one device or another. These chargers are known as “energy vampires” because they suck the life out of our energy bills even when they aren’t in use.
The average charger will consume 0.26 watts of energy when not in use. Now, that might not seem like a lot but when you consider how many chargers are permanently plugged in across your home when not even in use, it adds up – as much as 10 percent of an annual energy bill, according to some estimates.