In today’s rough economy, every dollar is an important one, and a few energy savings strategies can go a long way to keeping a budget together. The price of electricity is something that many families struggle with regularly, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some tips on how to lower utility bills and keeping them from getting out of hand.
The best way to avoid wasting electricity is knowing how the home is using it. A home or business owner may be shocked when they find out how much power is being spent on trivial things every month. A professional audit can break down where the inefficiencies are in the building’s infrastructure. It’s fairly easy to track down an auditor, and many utility companies will offer to do it for free or for very little money. Among energy savings strategies, this one is highly effective, and can cut down costs by nearly 25 percent.
Go with Energy Star rated appliances and electronics
When shopping for appliances, look for the Energy Star icon, as this means the device uses power more efficiently. The program is sponsored by the EPA, and any appliance that qualifies will use around 35 percent less power than other appliances without this rating. This can net big savings, sometimes several hundred dollars a year, and as it requires no effort on the part of the homeowner, it’s a no-brainer.
Replace older light bulbs with newer, more cost effective models
The classic incandescent light bulb is an electricity sieve, and is very poor at making ample use of power. One of the simplest energy savings strategies therefore is to replace them with compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs. Unlike incandescent light fixtures, CFLs convert most electricity into light instead of heat, making them a safer, more reliable and less expensive option. They last about 10 times longer than a traditional bulb, and require only a quarter of the power. Switching out just one light fixture can save up to $80 over the life of the bulb.
Consider investing in a photovoltaic system
A photovoltaic, or PV, setup can reduce electricity costs by a dramatic amount and give a home or business owner independence from exorbitant charges from the utility company. Among energy savings strategies, it requires a lot of commitment and a significant financial investment, but it will eventually pay off the most in the long run. PV is just another way to describe a system of solar panels that feed gathered power into the home or business. In the past, these setups were prohibitively expensive and it was difficult to find a reputable manufacturer. Now that the industry has matured some, though, there are many more resources available to the consumer that can mitigate these concerns. Government rebates and incentives can reduce the initial investment close to nil, and the panels will eventually pay themselves off, and then some. PV can be calibrated for homes or businesses, and any building can improve its energy efficiency with an installation.
In a world where power is getting more and more expensive, those who practice energy savings strategies will find it much easier to keep to their budget and their standard of living going.