The Wisest of Penny Pinchers
It can often feel like there aren’t many things that we have direct control over in this world, and we’re always looking for ways to make those things we do control a little better, or a little easier. What we spend our money on is something that we at least have some control over. When considering what to regard as most important on our primary list of money concerns, two factors should near the top of this list for all of us: energy and electricity.
As routine as these topics sound, having a handle on these two elements of daily life is imperative. One way to tackle the matter of energy and electricity consumption is to see it from our day-to-day vantage point, especially household use.
When considering the use of energy, and how to conserve, it is essential to know the rates in your area or your state. According to a new study on both the residential and commercial electric rates by state in the U.S. conducted by Elite Fixtures, the country had a pretty varied range of rates. Hawaii ranks the highest in the country for the household and commercial rates while Nevada has the lowest nationally in both categories.
However, these two states only make up approximately 11% of the U.S. total population. Let’s figure out what we can do to protect our paychecks in the other 48 states.
Get a Hold on Your Heating and Air Consumption
In this age of smart houses and controlling the temp in your home from your cell phone, automating your home is no longer out of your price range. In fact, it could save you a lot of money. Experts say that HVAC systems account for about half of utility bills. Consider trading in your default thermostat for a digital one that’s programmable. Being able to have the temperature automatically change when you leave for work or go to sleep will make your life that much easier as it’s one less thing to remember. With heating and air condition costing so much, this simple transition will yield immediate savings.
Switch to Energy-Star Certified Products
We’ve all seen those “Energy-Star Certified” stickers on new appliances, but people seldom take the time to understand what this actually means. Items that are Energy-Star Certified are guaranteed to save the consumer energy and money all while not sacrificing features and functionality. Though we are used to seeing major home appliances bear this seal, you don’t have to lose sleep over an empty wallet. Energy-Star also green lights smaller home fixtures such as LED light bulbs and televisions.
Kill Your Vampire Power Appliances Nightly
If you’re like me, you have no clue where this idea came from. This is actually a term given to the power sources that are plugged in a home and continue to run in standby mode, e.g., TVs, computers, game consoles, etc. These household items are often not powered entirely down when not in active use; however, they account for an additional several hundred dollars on your electric bill annually. Doing a nightly sweep before bed is a great way to start towards long-term utility bill savings. Begin with desktop computers and game consoles or consider grouping all these sorts of items onto power strips to save energy.
What appears as a discouraging task can actually be menial when you take small steps to attack the problem. Saving major coins in household electricity will quickly become a lifestyle for your family, but the process has to start somewhere. Why not with you?