Gone are the days when you would continuously pore over your utilities bill to figure out the best ways to reduce energy costs. In the modern economy, technological advances and legislative accommodation have made it easier for consumers to make objective decisions, reduce energy consumption and upgrade electrical equipment. Other factors will help diminish utilities expenses range from white-coating your roof to reducing your water heater counter to turning your lights and other equipment off when gong to bed.
Coat Your Roof White
The federal government's Energy.gov resource portal suggests that you paint your roof in white to make it cool. Remember that a cool roof absorbs less heat and reflects more sunlight, which is the perfect combo you want, especially if you live in areas where high temperature is the norm rather than the exception. A white-painted roof helps you to reduce utilities bills thanks to the lower usage of air conditioners, to decrease room temperature and to make indoor living pleasant.
Turn Lights and Electric Appliances Off
When you go on a vacation, you certainly turn lights off and unplug electric appliances, so why not applying the same tactic to the nightly sleep routine. Before going to bed, just take a few minutes to walk around the house or apartment and turn off everything from lights to computers and TVs – don't let the TV on standby. Electricity resource Michelbluejay.com indicates, for example, that you would save $178 per year if you would just sleep your PC when you are not using it. The annual savings are $274 when you turn off unused lights before going to bed.
Reduce Your Water Heater Counter
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you turn down your water heater, bringing the mark to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. That way, you save money on utilities bills but also cut energy that typically is wasted. The Energy Department also suggests that you insulate your water heater to diminish energy consumption and the bill you get each month.
Save on Furnace and Air Conditioner Filters
If you are like me, you certainly don't like to constantly change furnace and AC filters once a month, not only because you sometimes believe the furnace you are changing still has some useful life in it but also because of the recurrent purchase of furnaces. To prevent that frustration, buy a reusable or washable furnace. Note that you still need to change the filter, though, because your HVAC system is less efficient if you wait too long before changing your filter.
Purchase New Appliances
Electric appliances work the same way your other equipment, say, your car, operate. They all invariably bow to obsolescence, which typically results from wear and tear. Old appliances tend to increase energy consumption, which maximizes overall capacity on the national electricity grid. This is why, among other factors, the federal government and various State Legislatures have implemented incentives and tax breaks to increase energy efficiency. Utilities companies also have jumped on the train, providing rebates to consumers who opt for newer, better performing electrical gear. Talk to your state's Department of Energy and utilities company to learn more about incentives that are available in your residence area, to determine what the upfront cost is, and to figure out how much the benefits will be and how many years you would enjoy them.
Do a Periodic Check
You do an annual medical checkup, not because you necessarily are sick or feel morose, but because you simply want to have peace of mind about your health condition. You apply the same approach to your car, doing a maintenance check at the end of each year or every six months. So you should also consider doing the same thing for your electric appliances along with other places and items in the house that might cause energy bills to skyrocket.
Compare Your Bill to Your Meter
Try to periodically compare the usage shown on your water and electricity bills to the actual usage data – if you can track it. The last thing you want is to be charged for electricity or water you have not used, thus indirectly subsidizing your local Department of Public Works. Tracking your meter data might be labor-intensive because you must monitor it on a daily basis. Considering that utilities companies typically send their bills several days after the cutoff date, you would have to review again each day's meter data and pinpoint the data that specifically relates to the cutoff date.
For consumers, the widespread adoption of energy-efficiency measures at the state and federal levels has made utilities savings easier, instilling in the general public the important notions of cost reduction, energy sustainability, and a greener planet. To save money on utility bills, do things like painting your roof white, performing a periodic check, and matching up your bill with meter data.