Face it. We are all looking for ways to tighten our financial belts to save a bit of money. We don’t know what the future might bring and we are all aware that many countries have been mired in economic struggles for the past few years. One of our major household expenditures is the energy bill. This is a great place to start when we want to cut corners somewhere. The question is, how to we save money on energy?
Start with Your Provider
If you are lucky enough to live in a place like Alberta, Canada, you will have the choice of who provides your energy. This is great for more than one reason. Because these energy providers know that they have to get you to choose their services, they can be a bit more competitive when it comes to the rates that they charge for your energy. For example, Direct Energy might offer lower rates than one of the other providers. You can also check into the different providers to see which ones offer green energy. This is another major concern for many people.
One way to reduce your energy bills is to have an energy audit. These are sometimes offered by different energy providers. They are sometimes free, but not always. What they are ALL the time is well worth the time. Energy auditors can inspect your home and let you know which areas can be improved on when it comes to energy usage and efficiency. They can check out all of your important systems, such as your heating and cooling systems, which typically account for about half of your energy costs.
Seal it Up
One of the best ways to lower your energy bill is to make sure that your home is properly sealed. Do me a favor. Go over to your nearest window and run your hand along the edges of it. Do you feel a draft? If so, that means that it needs to be sealed because you have hot and cold air coming in from the outside and this is making your heating and cooling system work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This is easy enough to fix though. All you need is some caulk and or weather stripping. If you pay attention to Consumer Reports, doing this can lower your energy costs by as much as 30%.
This has got to be the absolute most effective way to reduce your energy bills. Yes, you might have to shell out some money at the outset for the solar panels and installation, but in the long run, they will save you quite a bit when compared to what you are paying for your energy now. In fact, the typical household that switches to solar energy will save tens of thousands of dollars throughout the course of the lifetime of those panels.
Did you know that the type of light bulb you are using can have an influence on your energy bills? If you are still using the old fashioned incandescent light bulbs, you are spending more on your energy bills than you need to be. LED and CFL bulbs might cost a bit more, but they use less energy and have a longer lifespan. Another good thing about the LED bulbs, in particular, is that they are not made with any mercury. CFLs do contain a bit, although not as much as the old fashioned light bulbs. The cost of both the CFL and LED bulbs are coming down though too.
Avoid the Power Vampires
How many times have you left your phone plugged in after it was fully charged? Just because it says it is fully charged, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still pulling power. This is an example of what is known as a power vampire. This happens all the time with things like gaming consoles, toaster ovens, DVD players, TVs, and more. Even when we thing they are turned off… and they are… they are still pulling power. To avoid this, unplug them when you are not using them. You might also consider plugging things like this into a power strip that you can turn off.