Of all the things you pay for each month, it’s a good bet your energy bills take up the lion’s share after your rent or mortgage. Whenever you’re tightening your budgetary belt, thinking about ways to decrease your energy use is a particularly useful and painless tactic for limiting your expenses.
The first thing to do is take a look at your existing energy bill. If you’re spending a lot of money each month, find out whether you’re in a deregulated market or not. If you are, you might be able to save just by choosing a new energy plan. For instance, people that compare electricity rates can usually save a lot of money just by switching providers.
If you don’t live in a deregulated market, there are still plenty of ways to save money on your energy costs. Try out some of these easy tips, and you could be surprised by just how much you can save!
1. Replace your light bulbs
If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home you’re still using technology developed over 100 years ago! Times have changed and there are several new types of light bulbs that offer increased efficiency and thereby lower running costs. Replace your old light bulbs with either CFLs or LEDs, and you’ll quickly start saving money on energy.
2. Use power strips
Many electronic gadgets use power even when they’re turned off. How do you keep that from happening? Use a power strip! By plugging all your electronics into a power strip and flipping the switch when you’re not using them you’ll prevent any unnecessary power usage.
3. Adjust your thermostat
Whether it’s freezing or sweltering outside, you can make an adjustment to your thermostat that can save tons of energy. Just raising or lowering your indoor temperature by two degrees will make a marked difference in your energy costs. You can make up for those degrees by wearing thicker layers or running fans – both of which use little to no energy and can keep you just as comfortable.
4. Always cover foods when refrigerating them
Taking the extra step to cover your food and drink with foil or plastic before putting them in the fridge is a simple action that can prevent your refrigerator from working harder than it has to. This is particularly true for hot foods because the heat they put off raises the temperature in the appliance, making the condenser work harder to return the temperature to its coldness setting.
5. Don’t use warm water for cooking, washing dishes or laundry
Whenever possible, try not to use hot water. Your hot water heater uses a lot of energy, and in most cases you don’t really need warm water. If you’re running the washing machine, use cold water to save energy and keep colors from fading. When you’re cooking, there’s no need to put hot water in a pot that you’re about to boil anyway. For dishes, cold water is just as effective as long as you don’t let the dishes pile up for a few days before tending to them.