We’ve all heard the generic household efficiency tips like stuffing your home full of insulation, buying carpets rather than hardwood flooring and installing double glazed window frames, but what else can you do? For whatever reason, the generic advice provided by 99% of websites on this topic may not work for you or perhaps you just want to go a step further. The tips mentioned before are definitely recommended, which is why they are so widely recognised, but there are other ways you can save money in your home. On this page you’ll find three alternative ways that you can keep the savings rolling in.
1. Generate some of your own energy
By generating some of your own energy through such methods as solar power, you are not only reducing your reliance on your energy company, but contributing to carbon reduction at the same time. Although the initial investment may seem quite substantial if you are planning to live in the same property for the foreseeable future, you are likely to see a quite large return on investment.
If you wanted to go all out on your investment and potentially offset your electricity bills completely and generate it all from solar energy, you’re likely to need a 6 kW AC system, which will cost you around 15,000$. This will generate around 903 kWh per month and 10,836 kWh per year. Remember if you use less electricity than you are producing, you can sell any leftovers back to the electricity company to reduce your costs even more. If you use the electricity you are producing, this will take you roughly 17 years to pay off your initial investment, anything after which will save you around $850 a year. You do not have to generate 100% of your electricity using this method; there are much cheaper options and smaller systems that can help you just reduce your electricity bill, but if you have the money for this investment, it is highly recommended.
2. Switch your energy tariff
Depending on where you live in the United States you may be able to switch your energy tariff. In varying degrees, the entire country is undergoing an energy deregulation process that will open the markets up to competition, forcing companies to be much more reasonable with their rates, reducing costs for consumers on a whole. Here is a list of states and their current status:
|No choice||Electricity Only||Gas Only||Electricity and Gas|
District of Columbia (DC)
Our neighbours across the pond, the United Kingdom, have been able to switch their energy tariff since 1990. They can now save up to around $600 a year by switching and it is getting to this point in the US as well. Take a look at how much you could save using a service such as https://www.chooseenergy.com/. Not only will this save you tonnes of money, but you can also opt to have a 100% renewable energy tariff, which is not a lot more expensive than a regular tariff.
3. Make the switch on your light bulbs
One of things we do best in the US, unfortunately, is waste energy. It is estimated that between 61-86% of energy generated in the US each year is wasted. The amount of wasted energy in 2012 would have been enough to power the United Kingdom for 7 years! One of our biggest household mistakes that we can all admit to is leaving the lights on when nobody is in the room. This is something that we’re going to do from time to time regardless of reminders and conscious effort, but what if it didn’t matter as much? If you make the switch from your older, incandescent or filament light bulbs, to LED or CFL, you could reduce their electricity usage by up to 90%. Changing just 10 lightbulbs that are used for an average of 10 hours a day could save you up to $300 a year from your energy bills.