Want to shave valuable dollars off your electric bill every month? Who doesn’t? A 20-30% savings is generally achievable through simple energy efficiency means.
The first and most obvious place to begin saving is by changing out your light bulbs for LEDs. Lighting generally comprises 15-30% of a family’s electric bill and is among the lowest hanging fruit. If you’re sensitive to light, make sure to buy “soft white” (aka 2700 Kelvin) bulbs. Home Depot, Walmart, & Target all have an excellent selection of affordable LEDs.
For those with a swimming pool, replace your old pool pump with a new variable speed pump. Variable speed pumps use up to 70% less electricity and many utilities have rebates in place to reduce the cost. Variable speed pool pumps can have an ROI of as little as 10 months!
An additional 5-10% energy reduction can be achieved by eliminating “Vampire Load”. Most people don’t realize it, but DVRs, home theater systems, computers and peripherals, etc all draw power even when they’re ‘Off’! Anything with a remote control is a prime energy vampire.
Depending on the array of devices in your home, your Vampire Load could equate to several 40-60 watt light bulbs running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To eliminate energy vampires, simply place all electronics on power strips and turn them off when not in use.
Want go further? Here’s a quick list of no cost and low cost tweaks that’ll save you even more money:
- Wash laundry in cold water with cold water detergent (simply heating water comprises 90% of a washing machine’s energy consumption).
- Allow your Dishwasher to ‘air dry’ your dishes. Turn off the heat dry feature and reduce this appliance’s energy usage by 50%!
- Install ceiling fans in bedrooms and living areas. For every degree you raise your AC above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll save 7-10%.
- Close blinds or shades on south and west facing windows during summer days to reduce solar gain and slash AC costs.
- Install a temperature activated attic fan to vent your attic in the summer time. Bringing your attic down to outside temperatures in the evening will greatly reduce or eliminate your need to run AC at night. Combine this step with ceiling fans and give your AC a 1-2 knockout punch!
- Replace your appliances with Energy Star rated machines when their useful lives come to an end.
- Turn your Water Heater down to 120 degrees. Water heating comprises 13% of your home’s energy costs.
- Keep your furnace filter clean. Dirty filters cause the circulating fan in this appliance to work harder and run longer.
- Unplug phone, MP3, and other electronic chargers or put them on a power strip. These draw current even when they’re not charging anything at all.
- On hot days, leave your car in the driveway so the motor can cool down before pulling it in the garage.
In the solar industry, we have a saying – ‘Reduce before you produce.” You’ll save the most on a solar panel installation if you get your home’s energy consumption under control first. At Flex Advisers, our experts can help you determine which energy efficiency measures will have the biggest impact. Contact us today for a free energy analysis.