Electricity bills seem to rise as fast as our need for more of it. It seems like every year there is another increase by the power company and another device or gadget that needs to be plugged in. If you’re like most people, you’re always looking for ways to reduce that bill. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Load your washer and dryer properly
You want to load your washer as much as you can to reduce the number of washes you do, but stuffing it full doesn’t work either. A packed washer doesn’t clean well (so you might have to run it again) and stresses the machine. Load it so the clothes reach the top, but don’t push them down.
A packed dryer doesn’t give hot air room to flow around the clothes. The dryer should be about 25% empty for fastest dry times. Make sure your lint traps and dryer ducts are always clean. However, line drying is the cheapest alternative.
2. Install solar panels to your roof
You don’t necessarily have to reduce the amount of energy you use to reduce your bill. By installing solar panels to your roof, you can collect 100% free, renewable energy. You can significantly cut and possibly eliminate your electric bill. The panels quickly pay for themselves. In Connecticut, there are tax advantages to help you install them without putting out any money.
3. Service your air conditioner
Keep your air conditioner serviced so it runs at top efficiency. Units placed in the sun (either outside your home or hanging in a window) can use 10% more electricity. Plant trees or shrubs around the unit for shade. Make sure the internal filter is clean.
4. Install motion sensor lights
If you like to have lights outside your home, motion sensors can help save you some money. Install them to your light fixtures and stop lighting up an empty driveway.
5. Buy Energy Star appliances
When it comes time to buy a new appliance, look for units with the Energy Star label, which means it has been tested against certain energy-efficiency guidelines. Most households spend $2000/year on energy for their appliances; Energy Star claims they can reduce that by about $600.
6. Do your laundry after 8 PM
Some electric companies offer reduced rates if you use energy during off-peak hours. They want to encourage people to add less stress to the grid during peak times. Call your power company and ask them if they give a discount for off-peak usage and see how to take advantage of it.
7. Cut down use of the power hogs
The power usage of our appliances and electronic devices is getting better with every model, but they still can add up. Relative to its size, your refrigerator, washer and dishwasher aren’t using that much energy. Your big energy suckers are video game systems, computers and televisions.
Individual portable devices like smart phones and tablets don’t take a lot of power individually, but many families have 8 or 10 devices per household these days.
The only way to reduce consumption of energy for these devices is simply to use them less and make sure they are turned off completely when you aren’t using them anymore (sleep mode still draws power).
8. Swap out those incandescent bulbs
These days, light bulbs have become much more efficient, but you won’t find the money-saving types in the aisles of your supermarket. Fluorescent and LED bulbs might be more expensive upfront, but you can recoup their cost within the first year. Every year after that is pure savings.
Written by Joe Chenoweth, President of Smart Roofs
Located in Trumbull, Connecticut, Smart Roofs offers premier solar panel installation and roofing services in Connecticut. Smart Roofs provides quality roofing and solar services to Fairfield County business and homeowners. Their talented roofing and solar teams will design a solution that fits your needs and sticks to your budget. They can help you reduce and even eliminate your monthly electric bill, all while raising the value of your home. Using tax benefits and recently-created SRECs, solar panel installation is more affordable than ever.
Contact them to find out how much you could save and get paid. Receive a free $50 Home Depot or Target gift card with an in-home assessment.
For more information, please visit smartroofsct.com.
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