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As we move into 2018, the priority for many homeowners and tenants alike is to try and become more budget conscious. There are many ways which this can be done. However, one of the most effective money saving methods which any household or business can engage is to reduce your power bills.
Not only does this have a positive impact on your monthly power bill, leaving you with a sometimes great financial saving; it also means that you are doing your bit for society by becoming more socially aware and trying to reduce wastefulness when it comes to energy.
Many times, people harbor two misconceptions about saving energy above others. The first is that they simply cannot find areas to reduce their power usage. This is not true, there are a variety of areas where you can save money. We subconsciously waste energy and needlessly increase our costs on a daily basis. This has become so ingrained in the daily routine for most of us, that we struggle to comprehend we are actually contributing to the problem.
The second area of greatest misconception is that saving some energy will have little or no impact on the overall power cost whilst realty afflicting our daily lives. Again, this is an incorrect pre-conception. In fact, the accumulation of savings over the long term when we commit to energy saving can be astounding. This can be achieved through a remarkably small change of habit which has really no lasting impact on our daily lives in the long term, certainly not in a negative way.
1. Change Your Bulbs
Your bulbs are likely to be some of the most used devices in your home. They can also be some of the most costly if you are not mindful of their power output. The sound of parents or prudent housemates telling us to “turn out lights when you aren’t using them” is probably ringing forever in our ears. This advice though is well founded and the first step you can take in lowering your home energy cost, sometimes dramatically.
Secondly and following on from ensuring you keep unused lights switched off, you can and should actually change your light-bulbs if you haven’t already done so. By making the change to energy saving LED bulbs, you can save more than $4 annually per bulb. This represents a huge saving when you consider the number of bulbs in your home.
These days, the cost of changing to LED is greatly reducing, this makes it an ideal time to change. You can expect that your initial investment in changing bulbs can be repaid within as little as six months based on current market prices, meaning any savings beyond that time are going directly where they should. Into your pocket.
For more precise calculations, you can always check here by inputting your home bulb usage to display an accurate assessment of your potential saving.
2. Install Solar Energy
Many may see the solar energy and install solar panel as an expensive venture which they are unsure of how to start. Indeed, this can be true. However, with planning and a little ingenuity, powering your home by solar means does not have to be an insurmountable task.
Firstly, there are a number of government initiatives around the world where governments will subsidize part or all of the cost of your solar power. This depends on a number of variables and you would have to contact your local authorities for more precise details on schemes, grants and other benefits which may exist in your area.
In terms of getting started on a budget, it is also now very possible to construct your own DIY solar infrastructure. This does not need to be an extensive and overly complex task. The existence of companies like SolarPod can help you get started really fast and at minimal cost.
In terms of energy savings, these too will be dependent on your location and a number of other variable factors. However, averagely, it has been reported that using solar energy to power the home can save up to 50% on your monthly power bills. Don’t forget also that in many cases you can also revenue from selling your power back to the grid.
If you are in the market for a less fixed solar alternative for versatile use, check out our recent articles on solar powered generators for more information and the best market prices available.
3. Programmable Thermostats
Another big accelerator of your power bill in the wrong direction is through the unregulated use of your heating system during cold periods. Whether it is the result of forgetfulness and leaving the system on while you are out or through an overestimate of the power you actually need, this can cause a spike in the overall cost of your energy.
Of course, you should stay as warm and cozy as possible, especially in winter. The key though is moderation. Overheating is simply not necessary. It is something which many of us are guilty of, without even realizing. The solution is simple and easily implemented- Get yourself a programmable thermostat.
This means that you will easily be able to control your home’s heating at all times. Not only does this ensure that you will stay toasty warm at the correct times, it also means that you will avoid unrequired loss of heat and a nasty surprise at the end of the month. The Nest provides one of the most comprehensive systems on the market for control the heating of your home and over time represents a wonderful investment.
4. Combine Your Fridges and Freezers
Sure, we like to have ample storage for our favorite foods. This could be brought about by happening upon an unbeatable deal at the local market, or by wanting to stock up for the festive season or other causes for celebration and major household events. The existence of a hungry and growing family also helps to increase the demand for food storage space.
Be mindful, however, that this extra storage does not come cheap in the case of your power bill. The extra facility of a fridge or freezer can be the culprit for a sustained period of high power bills. This is especially true in hot summer times or as equipment begins to age and has to work harder to maintain the cool temperatures.
A refrigerator can cost you close to an additional $300 per year in terms of your power bill. That is something to reflect on before deciding whether or not you really need that additional space.
This may not be the solution that everybody wants to hear, however, size is one of the biggest determining factors when it comes to power consumption and thus price. A big home essentially means that you are losing a lot of energy in many locations. This could be through windows, door cavities or just from high ceilings and large open space alone, especially heating and cooling systems will use a lot of unnecessary energy.
This can be combatted by reducing the space. It is the most certain way to reduce your power bills and overall energy consumption. This need not be done by moving house necessarily. Partitioning off unused parts of your house can also be effective and ensuring to shut off lights and heat in unused rooms can be vastly beneficial to a reduced power bill.
It may not be music to everybody’s ears but it is one of the more drastic measures you can take if you want to reduce power costs and also embrace a more cozy form of living.
6. Improve Your Insulation
A large amount of heat in winter can simply escape your home due to poor insulation. This is akin to money simply breezing out through the walls and can be frustrating for any homeowner or tenant. There are several ways which you can attempt to improve this situation.
As the homeowner, you could have your house re-insulated or the type of insulation improved if your house is on the older side. If you are renting then it may be advisable to ask the landlord about this situation if you are suffering a notable loss of heat.
You can also improve your roofing, as heat will rise and escape through the upper part of your home.
On the less expensive side, you should ensure that all doors leading to the outside are using a draft protector. This will help to guarantee you are not losing much energy. Also, in the case of windows and other cracks, it may be worth investing in some sealer to easily plug any small gaps. In winter you could also cover windows which you do not require for direct natural light such as your bathroom to reduce heat loss.
7. Compare the Best Providers
It is, of course, essential to shop around for the best deals when trying to save on your energy bill. This may not always be comfortable for people, but rest assured that companies expect some calls and tough negotiations. There are certainly bargains to be had if you can talk well and research the prices of the market competitors before calling.
These days it has never been easier to compare a variety of providers for every service thanks to the internet and ease of accessibility of information. Your energy bill is no different. By not shopping around, you are doing yourself a disservice. Use sites like this one to source the best deals.
When your current deal runs out or if you spot a better one, you should also be sure to call again and try to renegotiate. These things can be more flexible than we would first imagine.
8. Use Alternative Heating Methods
These days the world is your oyster when it comes to heating your home. You can investigate many different heating methods. Some of these methods will be more effective than others but they are options to explore none-the-less.
One of these, if you have the facility to do so if an open fire with a connection back boiler. This would serve the dual purpose of heating your living room most likely and also heat the radiators in the rest of your home through the use of the boiler.
Fueled using a variety of methods, this can be effective at saving on your energy bill, though depending upon your fuel source, it may or may not be effective in helping to reduce your carbon footprint.
9. Electric Blankets are Your Friend
On these long, cold, winter nights there is an overwhelming temptation to fill bedrooms full of centrally heated radiator warmth. Whilst this is absolutely warm and cozy, it is certainly not the way to a cheaper power bill.
The electric blanket is a device which many of us will have fond memories of, perhaps from childhood or other times, though do not think that it is confined to bygone eras. The electric blanket is alive and thriving. It is no better and safer than ever before. Indeed, electric blankets are the most efficient way of providing your bed with that toasty warm feeling.
Not only will electric blankets like this one provide direct heating to the areas which need it most. They also help to minimize heat lost within the rest of the room and by doing this, reduce your power bill.
10. Install a Traditional Stove
Another addition you can make to your home which again harks back to an earlier time. A traditional stove with cooking and heating facilities as well as the ability to house a semi-open fire used to be a firm staple of the family home.
That was replaced in the intervening years with open fires and top of the range gas cookers for the kitchen and living room respectively. However, the wisdom of the previous generations is well noted. The traditional style stove is back in fashion.
A big part of its coming back to style is the fact that a traditional stove will save ample amounts on your monthly power bill and overall serve to improve your energy efficiency.
Through its own natural power to emit heat, your oil or gas based energy costs will tumble. Also, it provides the additional facility of being able to cook. Nowadays, the investment in a trendy, modern style of stove is well founded. There are many popular brands to choose from and all at reasonable prices which will see you make a positive change in your monthly energy costs.
11. Use Fans in summer
There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer’s day than the cool breeze of an air conditioning unit. It is true that there are a number of power saving options on the more modern units such as this one. These can work well when trying to control overall costs.
It has been shown that using a fan instead of an air-conditioner in some cases can cut your energy emission by around 90%. This, of course, translates into fantastic and measurable savings on your final bills.
The cost of installation and maintenance of a fan is also very manageable in comparison to an AC unit. Regardless if you are using ceiling fans or portable mini fans, the principle is the same and they are quite easy to take care of. In the case of ceiling fans such as these, they also make a beautiful decoration for any household when not in use.
To give you home a modern, retro design twist, and all the while keeping cool for less in the sweltering summer months, give serious consideration to investing in some home ceiling fans.
12. Ration Your Air Conditioning Use
We all love to stay as cool as possible during a hot summer season. Admittedly, however, this can be taken to excess sometimes and our homes are left feeling like the proverbial igloo. Of course, this may provide comfort and respite in the most sweltering of conditions, but it also helps your power bill to skyrocket.
You can manage this by controlling your use of air-conditioning. Make sure that you are only using it for short periods throughout the day and also never forget to switch off if you are leaving home for any reason.
Also, ensure that you service your AC Unit regularly to avoid any malfunctions and that it is performing to the best of its capabilities. Turning down or turning off your AC for just an additional one hour per day can help to reduce your overall power consumption by up to 25%. By doing this, the knock-on effect is that you also reduce your power cost.
13. Reduce the Use of Your Clothes Dryer
We all like to have our clothes dried as fast as possible. This has become something which we have taken for granted over recent years with the increasing availability of clothes dryers which are more powerful, gentle on our clothes and even power economic in many cases.
Sure you can pick up some models like this one which has fantastic power economy modes, and at great prices. However, the fact remains that clothes dryers are one of the heaviest users of power in our households.
The more we can reduce using the clothes dryer, the more money we are likely to save.
Another benefit of reducing the use of a clothes dryer is that you take care of protecting your clothes for longer. Using a dryer to constantly dry your clothes leads to them becoming more damaged and faded, with a shorter lifespan.
14. Air Dry Your Dishes
Much in the same manner as we discussed reducing the use of a clothes dryer, air drying your dishes can have a positive impact on your overall power consumption. As far as the kitchen goes, Dishwashers are another strong user of power.
If you have a large family and a high volume of dishes, it is perfectly understandable that you will use a dishwasher to avoid spending large chunks of your day over the sink. The reality, however, is that many dishwashers will require you to give the items a rinse before placing them in the machine regardless.
As well as reducing your overall power consumption and cost, your cost will also be reduced in buying the tablets necessary to operate the machine and also saved on the time and money that some of the technical problems can cause. Finally, air-drying your dishes is also the most natural process, avoiding contact with any chemicals.
15. Install Dimmer Switches
This is a great energy and cost-saving method for your home. Quite simply, it is not required that we have full light radiating through our rooms at all times. Installing dimmer switches means that not only do we have the ability to reduce our costs significantly at the end of the month, we can also ensure that we set the appropriate mood for different situations and times of the day.
Dimmer switches can save you a varying amount on your bills, depending on how much you use their features and how you dim and control the lights. Nowadays, with smart homes becoming ever more popular, the dimmer switches are also commonly developed with preset lighting functions so you no longer have to toggle delicately to find the perfect setting.
16. Off-Peak Rates
One of the biggest drivers of increased cost on your power bill is using too much power at the incorrect times. If you are prudent with the times of day when you choose to use the bulk of your energy, then you can, in turn, save a great deal at the month’s end. There is a sizable difference between the costs of electrical power at peak hours versus the cost during off-peak times, sometimes as much as 50% depending on your provider.
17. Cold Laundry Washes
A final area where you can prioritize saving money on your power bill is by washing in cold water. Much like turning off heat drying in your dishwasher or reducing the heat of your clothes dryer, washing in cold water saves on the energy which would be expended in heating the water. This process uses a lot of energy, akin to a power shower in terms of water heating.
Washing in cold water is a great way to save up to 25% on your power costs and it is also more beneficial to many of your more delicate items to be washed in cold water.
With these fantastic power saving tips, you can be sure not only to save power but also have a positive impact where it matters- Your pocket.
As we can see, it is easy to influence almost any part of your daily routine to reduce power bills and energy consumption. This also does not have to constitute an arduous struggle. Even the smallest changes can make a huge difference to the bottom line.
For all of your power and energy needs and advice, feel free to review any of our other articles. These will help provide you with helpful insight into a wide variety of products as well as useful and practical advice for your everyday power requirements.