You can never outrun your energy bill. Every month it comes knocking on your door like clockwork. Typically, you may not pay much attention to it, paying it off and not thinking twice about it. Given that you could consistently lower your bill, it’s a good idea to figure out how.
Below you’ll find seven reasons behind the pricetag on your bill. Luckily for you, you can rectify each one of these reasons – well, minus the last reason (you’ll see why).
1. Appliances that stay plugged in, even when not in use, still consume large amounts of energy.
Just because your appliances are off, doesn’t mean they no longer consume energy. When you leave your computer charging or even just the charger plugged in all night with your computer not connected to it, it will continue to consume energy – far after they’ve needed it.
When this happens, you’ve wasted both money and energy. But not to worry, it’s not only you that’s fallen into the trap. According to a 2015 study of Northern California, which was done by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a quarter of residential energy consumption came from devices that were left in an idle power mode. With the population growing, consumption will too.
2. Your incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs waste energy.
LED lights are more efficient and versatile bulbs that will last longer than your traditional bulbs. The main difference between the two bulbs is that LEDs emit light in a specific direction. Incandescent and CFLs emit light, plus heat in all directions, which leads to wasted energy.
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ENERGY STAR certified LED lights are the products you want to aim for. These bulbs have been thoroughly tested and adhere to strict conservation requirements. The cost for LEDs has drastically decreased, making them more affordable. So give yourself a hand: put LEDs on your weekend’s shopping list.
3. Your windows may not be as closed as you think.
Insufficient insulation is arguably the greatest reason for high energy bills. Think about the work your AC system goes through to give you what you want – especially if you live in an extreme climate. With cracks around your windows, your cool or warm air will escape.
According to House Logic, “An average home loses up to 30 percent of its heating and cooling energy through air leaks. The most significant air leaks tend to occur around windows.” To resolve this issue, you need to check out the exterior frames of your windows and see if new caulking is needed. If so, check out this article from the U.S. Department of Energy for help choosing the right caulking.
4. Why it’s time to say goodbye to those old appliances.
This one is pretty simple – your old appliances are less efficient than new appliances. ENERGY STAR appliances typically use anywhere from 10 to 50 percent less energy than their non-efficient counterpart.
The types of appliances you use directly influence your energy bill. By using older appliances that are non-ENERGY STAR certified – you’re bound to pay a higher energy tab.
5. Your thermostat usage needs to be regulated.
Thermostat usage is a daily routine. Every day we either lower it or raise it – but most of the time we do so based off of how we want to feel at that very moment. What we should do though is adjust the thermostat based off of needs, rather than wants.
Use a smart thermostat or a programmable thermostat to help you set your home’s or your business’ daily needs. Doing so will help you limit your HVAC usage, which will save you money in the long run.
6. Your peak time energy usage needs to decrease – immediately.
Peak time energy usage represents the time when consumers use the greatest amount of energy. If you’re the average American who works nine to five, then most of your energy usage will be during evenings and nights.
Energy companies increase their price of electricity during peak times – due to the high demand. Therefore, strategically limit the use of your appliances during such peak times. If you’re able to do some of your typical nighttime chores during the middle of the day when it’s non-peak time, take advantage of the lower rates.
7. Electricity rates continue to rise.
The final reason behind your high energy bill is a bit out of your control as we mentioned earlier. Average electricity rates have continued to rise in the last 10 years, per the EIA. California for instance, has seen their annual rate increase 3 percent from 2007 to 2017. As a nation, the U.S. has seen its rate rise 4 percent in the previous decade.
Some states have even seen a slight decrease at times. But overall, the EIA predicts that electricity prices will continue to increase at least up until the year 2040.
As you begin to implement tasks to reduce your energy bill, keep in mind that Rome was not built in a day. However, little by little, you will begin to see your savings increase and your bill decrease.