There are so many ways to encourage energy efficiency in the home, that anyone can improve their situation to some degree. These techniques can range from chaining out light bulbs to installing new appliances and reconfiguring the climate control system in the home. Most of these don’t require a major financial commitment and they can be done without too much preparation, so anyone that wants to cut their utility bills down significantly can do so rather quickly.
As electricity costs continue to climb and the environment is becoming more and more of a concern, those that seek out energy efficiency can help the world and themselves out at the same time. Before getting started, it’s best for a homeowner to seek out an audit from their power company. This may be available for free, or for a low cost at the very least, and is an excellent way to get a clear picture of how the home or business is using its power. It’s possible to make major changes just going by the recommendations in this report, and it’s not unheard of for people to save 30 percent on their bills each month.
For the most part, making the home smarter about its electricity usage is just about replacing obsolete technology with newer models that are designed to do more with less. The simplest example is the light bulb, as tungsten fixtures are outdated but still in common use. To improve energy efficiency of the home’s lighting, switch these out with compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs. These high tech bulbs don’t waste most of their power on creating heat, unlike tungsten bulbs, and last much longer. Over their lifespan, each CFL can save the homeowner $80.
Switching out older appliances is more of a commitment financially, but it is easy to find devices that are considered green these days. The Energy Star program, which is operated by the Environmental Protection Agency, reviews appliances and gives their stamp of approval for models that use much less electricity than comparable products. Most stores carry these units, and the next time the home needs a new oven or fridge, going with devices that encourage energy efficiency can save hundreds every year.
Homeowners should also consider an air conditioning upgrade by switching out their thermostat or climate control unit. Standard issue devices for most buildings tend to be leaky and rely on older technology that is not as effective at controlling the temperature in the home precisely. New thermostats and climate control builds can learn what the occupants want, and maintain a constant temperature. This is excellent as far as energy efficiency is concerned because most power is wasted by switching the climate control unit on and off. Instead of overcompensating for temperature swings in the building, these devices keep those swings from happening.
Finally, a top-of-the-line power generation system, like solar or geothermal, can make a dramatic impact on future utility bills. They require a greater financial commitment upfront, but they can eventually untether the home from the power company’s grid, giving the building complete independence with electricity generation. In addition to saving piles of money, this can keep the home powered even when the grid goes down.