August 18, 2011

Energy Savings

Have you ever thought of how much of your monthly household budget is consumed by electric & gas cost? Consider these tips.

  • Is there someone at your home at all times? If not, consider buying a programmable thermostat. There is no need in cooling your home all day long when your family is only at home after 5pm on weekdays.
  • Setting you air condition 5 degrees higher can save you up to 20% on your cooling cost.
  • Consider budget billing. Most utility companies provide this free service to anyone who has been at there current address for more than 12 months. Budget billing, which is also known by other names depending on your provider, finds the average of your bills over the past 12 months. Instead of your bill changing every month, you would pay the same amount. Please note that with budget billing, your account may be up for review monthly, quarterly or yearly to see whether your provider may need to raise or lower your monthly bill amount depending on the cost of electricity and/or your usage.
  • Try running your ceiling fans more often instead of lowering your air condition.
  • Replace standard light bulbs with CFL (compact florescent) bulbs that use less energy to run.
  • Be sure to enable “power management” on all of your computer and be sure to power them down at night. A laptop uses 90% less power than a traditional desktop.
  • Use large appliances, such as your dishwasher, washer and dryer later in the evenings to lower cost on electricity. Using electricity between 8am and 8pm cost you more. Try setting your dishwasher on timer mode and have it run around midnight.
  • Still curious about more ways that you can save on utilities, call your local utility provider and ask them to come out and do an energy audit of your home. Most utilities will do this for free as a service to their customers.

According to some recent tips from State Farm’s Good Neighbor magazine (Spring/Summer 2011) consider this…

Try a Utilities Crash Diet

For one month make it your goal to use as little electricity as you can and still live a relatively normal life. For example see how little hot water you can use when doing laundry and dishes, or when you shower. Then compare your bill with the same month in the previous year and see how much you save. You might decide that a utilities crash diet can help you shed some financial fat.