It is possible to get lower utility bills without having to make a large investment in new equipment. Making a change to an energy efficient lifestyle will bring advantages that go beyond saving money. When people live a more energy efficient life, everyone wins.
So exactly what are the benefits of going green?
Energy efficiency is easy to practice, and the advantages benefit the household, the community, and the world. There are fewer hazardous and toxic chemicals released into the air, so the environment is improved. When humans go green, they reduce their carbon footprint on the world. Appliances run less often, so they use less power. Because of fewer emissions, people living in an energy efficient household are less likely to become ill.
People can also make money by living more energy efficiently. There are many tax credits and breaks that put more money back into the family budget.
Then how can a person practice energy efficiency to get lower utility bills?
The first thing to do is to turn off the lights. Leaving the lights on in an unoccupied room wastes power. By simply getting in the habit of shutting the lights off, a family is practicing energy efficiency. A 100 watt light bulb, on the average, costs $100 per year to operate continually. If it is used 12 hours a day, the cost is reduced to $50 per year. By turning off the lights when leaving a room, the consumer can save hundreds of dollars annually.
There is also technology that can make help save on lighting. There are inexpensive occupancy sensors that activate lights when someone enters the room, and then automatically deactivate them when the person leaves. These controls can also be programmed to turn lights off at preset intervals. They are easy to install, and they can really make savings add up.
It is also a good practice to unplug unused appliances and electronics. The U.S. Department of Energy has warned people that some small appliances and electronics can draw what is called “phantom” energy. A television that has a remote control will continue drawing energy because it needs power for the remote to function. To get lower utility bills, be sure to unplug electronics and appliances that are not in use.
Reduce hot water consumption. Recent studies have proven that washing clothes and linens in cold water is just as effective as washing them in hot water. The big difference is that a hot water heater is an expensive appliance to operate. Property owners can get lower utility bills by simply switching to cold water. Set the dishwasher to use cold water, and remember to take shorter, cooler showers.
Another energy saving strategy is to turn down the temperature setting on the water heater. It is easy to adjust, and if the temperature is too cool, it is just as easy to turn it back up.
Finally, it is a good practice to plant shrubs and trees around the property. Landscaping can significantly reduce energy consumption. If planted properly, plants, trees, and other foliage can act as a wind and sun barrier. Not only is the property improved aesthetically, but it can help a homeowner get lower utility bills. Fast growing foliage will help the person see results faster, and some types of trees can grow many feet a year.
People want to save money while improving the environment and that means going green. An energy efficient lifestyle will help families and individuals get lower utility bills, and most consumers will not have to spend a dime. A simple change in everyday living can have an enormous impact. So remember to unplug those unused electronics, turn off the lights when leaving the room, reduce the hot water temperature, and plant some trees.
By doing these things, everyone can make a difference.