Whether you want to save the Earth or save a bit of money, taking measures to cut your electrical consumption (and hence, your electric bill) is a worthwhile effort.
Get Proper Insulation
Hot days and cold nights will take a toll on your electrical consumption. Most of the heat you produce in your house is lost through your roof, walls, windows, and even your floor. Heat loss comes in two forms: convection and conduction. Convection involves actual air leakage as warm air escapes, and fresh air comes in. Conduction involves the transfer of heat and cold through your windows, walls, and floor. Insulating your house can limit the influence of the weather and prevent heat from leaking out or coming in — same with the cold. Seal every unnecessary opening and try to limit opening your doors and windows. Insulate your ceilings with fiberglass and polyester; they can effectively trap heat and prevent the cold from the snow from entering your house. Get insulated windows for additional heat retention and have them treated with UV filtering film. Proper insulation can cut your energy consumption by as much as 30 percent.
Switch to Newer Appliances
Older appliances consume more energy. Newer appliances — especially refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioning unit — are designed to stricter specifications regarding energy use. Choose machines with good energy ratings and preferably ones that use inverter technology. Use frost-free freezers or refrigerators; you’ll avoid freezer burns and save a bit of electricity. Keep your house cool enough to be comfortable and use a timer on your thermostat or air conditioning units. Don’t forget to have regular servicing done on your air conditioning to keep them running at full efficiency. Switch to LED lights, if you haven’t already and turn off your lights and appliances if you’re not using them. Switching devices can cost a bit of money, but these measures will continuously reduce your electricity bills by up to another 30 percent.
The price of solar panels has dropped significantly, with 3-kW solar power systems that used to cost $40,000, now costing less than $9,000. A 3-kW system can provide enough electricity to meet the needs of most households, as well as provide enough energy to the grid to compensate for your nighttime consumption. Even with a 4-kW system that costs around $11,000, your monthly payments on a 5-year financing plan comes up to less than $200. If your average electric bill comes at about $200 or more, you’re practically paying for your panels with the savings on your electric bill. After five years, your panels would be paid for, and you get to enjoy another 20-30 years of free electricity. You’re not only helping the environment, but you’re also insulating yourself from fluctuating power costs and saving a bit of money.
Cut your consumption by 30 percent, 60, percent, or 100 percent. With rising energy prices and worsening climate change, cutting your electrical consumption is a sure way to save on money as well as help the environment.