We are all looking for ways to save money in our daily lives and would like to help save the environment and be a little “greener” while we are at it. By decreasing your own individual energy consumption, you not only reduce your monthly utility bills but learn ways to be more eco-friendly at the same time.
As the first of a two-part series, we’d like to offer you a few tips on how you can save valuable energy that can also put a little money back in your pocket.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats range anywhere between $40 – $100 and can save up to $200 per year by automatically turning up your air conditioning and turning down your heat during certain times of the day and night. Using a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature in your home while you are at work or asleep can save you up to 30% on energy.
- Wash your clothes in cold water. By washing your clothing at colder temperatures (around 30°C), you will use approximately 40% less electricity than at a higher temperature. This could save you as much as $100 per year. Additionally, you can conserve water by washing full loads and when washing half loads, use the economy program on your washer (if available).
- Unplug appliances and invest in a load monitor. According to a recent IBM study, you can reduce your monthly electric bills by as much as 15% by knowing how much power you are actually using when your appliances are not in use, but still plugged in. Load monitors cost $25 and up, and have a monitor that displays how much energy any plugged-in device is consuming and when it is using that energy. This monitor helps you determine what appliances should be turned off and unplugged when not in use. There are even programmable load monitors that are designed to cut power automatically.
- Be judicious when deciding what temperature to set your home at. According to the EPA, you can save up to 3% on your energy bills simply by adjusting your thermostat just one degree, either up or down depending on the season. You will notice the savings, but not the temperature difference.
- Consider installing a tankless water heater. Although a tankless water heater may be a larger initial investment, the savings you will achieve in the long run far outweighs the upfront cost. Tankless water heaters are designed to heat water on demand. Therefore, no water is stored which needs to be continuously heated. Because tankless water heaters run approximately 20% more efficiently than a standard unit, you’ll generally recoup the initial cost increase in only 2 years.
Check back next month for more ways you can conserve energy and put your hard-earned money to better use.