4 Ways to Trim Your Energy Bills While Staying Home
While we all do our part to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re all spending much more time at home, and this can make a big impact in how much energy your home’s using and, therefore, your upcoming power bills. If you anticipate needing help paying your upcoming bills, contact your power company as soon as possible – most have pledged extra assistance for customers during this unprecedented time.
However, if you’re looking to save a bit of money by cutting down your energy bills, you’re in luck – there are many actions that you can take today without having to make a trip to the store or having a technician come to your home. With more time for do-it-yourself projects around the house, it’s the perfect time to make these changes. Let’s look at a few of the best tips here:
1. Swap your old lightbulbs out for energy-efficient LED bulbs
The argument for upgrading to LED lightbulbs is one of the strongest in energy efficiency today – these bulbs use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, last up to 25 times longer and are much safer since they produce almost no heat. There are also many options for you to choose from today, including smart bulbs (which can be controlled remotely), color-changing bulbs and dimmable bulbs (which can further your energy savings).
It’s also a really easy upgrade that you can make it a matter of minutes, and the bulbs can be found online at Amazon, Home Depot and other e-commerce sites. If you purchase LED bulbs in a 12- or 24-pack, it’s possible to find them for around $1-2 per bulb. Once you’ve swapped out the bulbs in your home, most experts say that the average home will save about $100 per year on electricity costs, meaning you’ll recoup your investment in no time.
2. See if you’re on the best electric rate plan for your home’s usage
If you’re like most Americans today, you likely pay the same amount for each unit of electricity consumed regardless of the time of day that it’s consumed. However, due to the addition of smart electric meters on homes, there are many other options out there today, and you might be able to save money on your bill by switching to one of them.
The most common is a time-of-use rate, where the day is divided into two or three blocks of varying prices. If you avoid the costliest block (usually around 4 to 8 p.m.) as much as possible, you’ll likely save a bit of money. Things like running a dishwasher or laundry machine should be moved outside of this block. Contact your power company and see what options are available; they may be able to conduct a bill analysis to determine the best fit for you, and they may offer bill protection to ensure you have no surprise bills when adjusting to the new rate.
3. Weatherize your home before hotter temperatures roll in
Weatherization is the process of protecting your home against the elements (including wind, rain and sunlight), and it’s an easy, cheap and effective path to considerable savings on energy. By making just a few small upgrades, you could save up to $400 a year on your energy bills, while improving your home’s comfort and reducing its carbon footprint.
Since everything you need can be ordered online, now is a great time to make these upgrades – especially with hot summer weather on the way. You can use weather-stripping to stop leaks around windows, doors, attic entrances and anything else that needs to move, and you can seal smaller cracks and gaps with caulk. Many guides for weatherization can be found online (check YouTube), and by making these upgrades, you can start saving energy immediately.
4. Use a smart thermostat to more efficiently control the temperature
Finally, installing a smart thermostat is another excellent energy-efficient measure that you can most likely tackle on your own. While the ability to control your home’s temperature on the go won’t be particularly useful for now, smart thermostats offer much more than that. Smart thermostats more efficiently adjust the temperature of your home and give you more info on your energy consumption.
Smart thermostats can save you 10-15 percent (or more) on your heating/cooling costs. If you’re interested in installing one, check with your power company before buying one for full price elsewhere. Many power companies now have online marketplaces where you can order heavily discounted products to help you save energy.
While you’re spending more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic, don’t overlook adding a few energy-efficient projects to your to-do list. It’s the perfect time to make these upgrades, and by making some relatively small time and financial investments now, you can be well on your way to saving money on energy all year long.
Did you know that smart home technology can be a great way to save energy at home? Check out the smart home FAQ here to learn more.