Turn Over a New Leaf This New Year! January 10 marks a national holiday that I think we can all get behind – National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. Most of the electricity powered in the United States is created by using fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, which can result in air pollution and contribution to climate change. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, about 40% of the total energy consumed in the Unites States is used to generate electricity, which means every person is making a detrimental impact to our world’s environment and the future of our planet. Drastically reducing your energy costs and using more clean energy sources will not only make your wallet happier – Mother Nature will thank you as well. To make things a little easier, we have compiled a list of easy tips on how to drastically decrease your electrical bill by targeting your house’s energy-draining hotspots.
1. In the hot summer months, try using your oven less, as the heat from your oven can affect the temperature in your home.
2. Refrigerators and washers are two of the biggest energy-wasting culprits, which is why trading in one of your appliances to a more energy-efficient brand can help you save money. According to Gainesville Regional Utilities, a new ENERGY STAR refrigerator can save you between $35 and $70 a year.
3. When reheating or cooking food, use your microwave more than your oven.
4. When defrosting food, simply put the food in the refrigerator overnight instead of thawing in the oven or under running water.
5. Try meal prepping for the week, which will reduce the amount of time you’ll have to use your oven.
1. For lighting, GRU recommends installing 13-watt compact fluorescent light bulbs, as CFLs use 2/3 less energy to provide the same amount of light as standard incandescent bulbs and can also last 10 times longer.
2. In order to waste less energy, remember to unplug electronics when they’re not being used. According to BC Hydro Power Smart, standby power can account for 10% of an average household’s annual electricity use.
3. If you’re not using your desktop, switch to a laptop computer, as laptops use less electricity.
4. Switch to an ENERGY STAR certified television. According to ENERGY STAR’s website, their televisions are 25% more energy efficient than conventional models.
5. Turn off the lights when leaving your home, or instead, use natural light from the windows to brighten your room.
6. Control your thermostat. In the winter months, try to avoid blasting the heat. If you’re absolutely freezing, limit the amount of time you increase the heat to when you’re actually home. You can save money by turning the thermostat down when you leave the house.
1. Try reducing the amount of time you use your dryer by hang drying your clothes on a clothesline.
2. Limit the number of baths you take, as running the bath wastes a large amount of water. Instead, take along a water-proof watch with a timer when you take your daily shower, which will limit the amount of water you waste.
3. Wash your clothes in cold water, which will work just as well as hot water, but without the excess energy used to heat the water.