7 Easy Energized Tips to Help You Reduce Energy Costs
Canadians pay anywhere from $300 to $500 a month on average for energy in a 1200 square foot home. Ouch, right? But, it’s the little things that fuel those energy bills. They’re hidden like vampires in the dark. They lurk in the filters in our appliances. They creep in through the cracks and steal our heat. Some Canadians have seen their energy bill jump 4 times during a cruel winter month. OUCH, again! These 7 tips can help you shrink energy bill by 50 percent or more, which means you can save anywhere from $1800 to $3000 a year by doing the little things that address the little things.
- SEE THE LIGHT. BETTER YET, SEE LESS OF THE LIGHT AND LIGHTEN YOUR ENERGY BILL
When you go to the bathroom and turn on an incandescent light, it is using more power to power up during the time you are emptying your bladder. LED bulbs, although pricier, last much longer and use dramatically less power. Example. A 60 watt incandescent bulb uses 60 watts, whereas an LED bulb will use just over 12 watts. Or use compact fluorescent light bulbs. But the easiest thing to do is to turn off your lights when you’re not using them. I have had a nasty habit of leaving lights on everywhere. I changed my habits and I actually have seen a lower bill. It’s enlightening.
- VAMPIRE ENERGY DIARIES: GETTING THE TEETH OUT OF YOUR ENERGY BILL
Chances are you have heard about the vampire drain. It is the unseen power seeping out of things like TVs, exercise powered equipment such as treadmills, and computers — all left on and naked to the power draw consuming your energy dollars. If you want to get the vampire’s teeth away from your energy bill, don’t just turn them off, unplug them. There’s another alternative coming right up.
- TIME IS EVERYTHING. TIME SAVED SAVES ENERGY COSTS
Use timers on everything you can. Put a timer on your water heater so that it turns off at night and back on in the morning when you really need it (unless you like to shower at 3AM). You can even group things into a power strip and put a timer on the power strip. Example: your TV, PVR, DVD player (if you still have one) and anything else you have packed into the strip. If you have a habit of leaving some lights on, then put a timer on that light and you can forgive yourself for being lazy.
- TURN IT DOWN – AND, IN THE PROCESS, TURN DOWN THE COST OF ENERGY.
It’s amazing how much money you can save if you turn your thermostat down by a couple of degrees. In fact, you can save as much as 3% for every degree you turn down the temperature. If you turn it down by 3 degrees you can save close to 10% on your bill. And don’t give me that “I hate the cold” argument. Buy a blanket for the couch in front of the TV. Check out new fashions in sweaters, thicker tops, bottoms and socks. Sure, the cold can shrink things, but don’t you want to shrink energy bills?
- LESS IS LESS – MORE OFTEN IS MORE OFTEN
A dishwasher works more efficiently when it’s full. I used a combination of a) making sure the dishwasher was always well packed and full and, b) hand washed some dishes quickly (with warmer as opposed to hot water) instead of putting them in the dishwasher. Pivoting now, we turn to the filter thing. Replace the furnace filter at least every 2 months and you will increase your furnace’s efficiency by 50 percent. You can also increase your dryer’s efficiency dramatically by cleaning the dryer’s lint filter, which, by the way, is also safer.
- IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO INSULATE
Insulate your water tank and turn down the thermostat by a couple of degrees. Result? A huge impact that definitely cuts energy bills. And, as I mentioned before, put a timer on it to turn it off at night and back on in the morning. By the way, guys, when you shave, don’t leave the hot water running constantly as you whisk off the whiskers. Turning to other aspects of insulation, you would be surprised to learn that you can reduce energy bills by 40 percent with better insulation throughout your home, such as the attic, windows and doors, including your garage door. Some things you can easily do yourself, such as caulking around windows and doors.
- USING A LOAN TO SAVE MONEY
It doesn’t take a lot of money to change a few things. A better water heater will offset the cost of the loan in addition to other changes you can make, such that, within a year or so, your loan will pay itself back in the savings you glean. This is something you can talk to Cashco about. A Flexloan, for example is perfect because it provides just enough financial support to do what you need to do and, with the good management of your payment plan, you can pay the loan with the savings you glean in a short period of time. The rest is now gravy. This, in my opinion, is sensible borrowing. You can also look for grants in your region that may be available to further support larger projects, such as solar panel systems.
I’M RUNNING OUT OF ENERGY
So I’m gonna’ wrap this up. Yes, you can reduce energy bills, shrink them, and cut energy costs. It is not rocket science. There’s plenty of information out there to help you. So, I will let Stats Canada take it from here. This is taken directly from their site. May less energy produce more savings and a better quality of life for you.
The Households and the Environment Survey and the HES Energy Use Supplement collected information on a number of different energy-saving practices including:
- using programmable thermostats;
- using compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs);
- washing laundry in cold water;
- turning off computer monitors when they are not in use;
- turning off gas fireplace pilot lights in summer;
- air drying dishes in the dishwasher;
- using dimmers on lights;
- unplugging electronics when away for extended periods;
- reducing heating or cooling in certain areas of the dwelling;
- using a clothesline or drying rack;
- using fans for cooling in summer;
- closing blinds or drapes during the hottest part of the day.