Save money on your electricity bill by conserving energy
- Katherine D. Rodriguez
What is energy conservation or saving energy?
Energy efficiency is using less energy to reduce costs and environmental impact. It can be less electricity, gas, or any other energy you pay for and receive from your utility. Energy resources are limited on the planet. It is in everyone’s interest to conserve energy whenever possible.
There are many ways to save money and energy at home. You can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by reducing your energy consumption at home. This will also minimize the resources needed to power your house. There are many things you can do at home to reduce energy consumption.
Energy efficiency vs. conservation of energy
Energy efficiency is the use of specific products that use less electricity. Both concepts are similar, but they use different methods. Energy conservation can be achieved by using energy-saving bulbs and smart appliances in your home. Energy conservation is a great way to save money while increasing your sustainability.
ENERGY STAR website states that approximately 60% of the electricity generated in the U.S. comes from burning coal or natural gas. This releases greenhouse gases into the air and contributes to climate change. The amount of energy you use will depend on several factors, including the age and size of your house, the number of people living in it, the insulation of the home, and the products used.
You can adjust your daily behaviors
You do not have to buy energy-efficient appliances to reduce your home’s energy consumption and save energy. It is easy to conserve energy by turning off appliances or lights when not in use. You can reduce the use of energy-intensive appliances by doing household chores manually. For example, you could hang-dry your clothes rather than put them into the dryer and wash dishes by hand.
To save the most money on utility bills, you should reduce the temperature of your thermostat during winter and use your air conditioner less during summer. The average household’s energy bills are nearly half accounted for by heating and cooling costs. Therefore, reducing the intensity and frequency of your heat and cooling your home will yield the most savings.
You can use energy meters to determine where most of your electricity goes in your home and which appliances consume the most daily.
Replace your light bulbs
Traditional incandescent bulbs are more energy-intensive and require replacement more frequently than the alternatives. Halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), or light-emitting Diode (LED) bulbs use 25-80 percent less electricity. They also last three to twenty-five times longer than conventional bulbs. ENERGY STAR, the government’s symbol for energy efficiency, is a small rectangle. If you see the ENERGY STAR logo, you can be sure that you are buying a product or appliance proven to save energy. For example, LEDs with the ENERGY STAR Label use 90 percent less power than incandescent bulbs while producing the same amount of light.
Energy-efficient bulbs may be more expensive, but their longer lifespan and efficient energy usage will cost less.
Smart power strips
The electricity that is used by electronic devices when they are turned off or on standby is also called “phantom energy,” “standby power,” or “vampire-energy,” is known as “phantom energy.” Standby energy is one of the biggest energy wasters. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it costs an average U.S. home $100 annually. Intelligent power strips (also known as advanced power strips) eliminate the problem of phantom load by turning off power to electronic devices when they aren’t in use. Smart power strips can be programmed to shut off automatically at a specific time, after a certain period of inactivity, or by remote switches.
Installing a smart or programmable thermostat
Smart thermostats can be programmed to turn heating and cooling off when asleep or away. Installing a smart thermostat can reduce your energy consumption from heating and cooling without upgrading your HVAC system.
ENERGY START states that a smart thermostat can save you up to 8 percent on your heating and cooling costs, or about $50 per year. The amount of savings you can expect to make will depend on your climate, personal comfort preferences, the number of people living in your house, and the age and type of HVAC equipment. Different models of smart thermostats are available that can be programmed to suit your weekly schedule. Other features include indicators that indicate when you need to change your air filter or if there are problems with your HVAC system. This can improve the efficiency of both heating and cooling systems. Find out more about intelligent thermometers such as Google Nest or Ecobee.
Buy energy-efficient appliances
You should consider two numbers when purchasing an appliance: the initial purchase cost and the annual operating costs. Even though energy-efficient appliances may cost more upfront, they can save you money on your utility bills and energy in the long run.
It would be best to always look for energy-efficient appliances with the ENERGY STAR certification. This is a federally guaranteed guarantee that these appliances will use less energy when in use or on standby. The amount of energy saved varies depending on the device. On the other hand, ENERGY STAR fridges use only 9 percent more energy. According to ENERGY STAR, certified dishwashers could save up to 3,800 gallons over their lifetime.
Reduce your water heating expenses
Water heating accounts for a large portion of your energy consumption. There are other ways to reduce your water heating costs than buying an energy-efficient heater:
Turn down your thermostat.
Use less hot water.
Insulate the water heater and the first six feet of hot and cold pipes.
When replacing your old water heater, it is essential to consider the type of heater that best suits your needs and the fuel the heater will use. Tankless water heaters, for example, are efficient but unsuitable for large families because they can’t handle simultaneous and multiple uses of hot water. Heat pump water heaters can be a very efficient way to heat the water in your home. Heat pump water heaters that are ENERGY-STAR certified will help a family of four save $470 a year in electric bills compared to an electric water heater. This can add up to over $4,500 over the water heater’s lifetime. Even larger families that use more hot water can save more. Heat pump water heating systems are more expensive upfront. Still, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, rebates and tax credits are available for many homeowners who want to upgrade to a heat-pump water heater.