The economic conditions of almost every country have been down in the dump since the pandemic. If your income isn’t increasing, you could end up struggling with meeting monthly expenses. In such a case, cutting down energy costs by turning towards more efficient energy usage may come in handy. To help you get started, we have listed a few ways to help you keep energy expenses low. These include:
1. Adjust your day-day behaviour
The first step you can take to cut down energy costs is to reduce your total consumption. We aren’t suggesting that you go on a shopping spree to buy every energy-efficient item on the market. But being efficient can mean anything as simple as turning off appliances and switching off the lights when you don’t need them. Apart from that, you can also start performing manual labour instead of using electronic devices around the house. For example, instead of drying your clothes in the washer, dry them by hanging them in your backyard. Similarly, wash dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher. Adjusting daily habits and behaviour to perform such menial tasks doesn’t take much time and energy. Still, it helps you significantly cut down the number of units you consume.
2. Switch to solar energy
The upfront costs of installing solar panels may seem high. But the investment is more likely to pay off in the long haul. For starters, using solar energy for electricity can reduce your electricity bills by up to 50%. This is because it will use natural resources to power up your home, except during the night or when it’s too cloudy. Your utility company’s services will become a backup, thereby drastically decreasing the electricity costs.
3. Use smart power strips
When you turn off your electronic devices and appliances or keep them on standby, they still waste a lot of energy. This phenomenon is known as phantom load, and it can add up to 75 per cent of your daily consumption. But using smart power strips can reduce the phantom load by completely cutting off the power supply to your appliances and electronic devices. You can use these power strips by setting them to turn off at a specific time during the day or night or through a remote switch that allows you to turn it on or off on will.
4. Install a smart thermostat
Having central heating or cooling in the home seems like a good idea until you have to cut down on energy costs. However, you can still control the consumption by using a smart thermostat. This device turns off the cooling or heating system during the hours you are away from home or don’t need it. But only installing a smart thermostat is not enough. You need to upgrade the house’s HVAC system to reduce energy consumption.
A smart thermostat can save you a few hundred dollars a month by simply running during the hours when the cooling or heating system is needed. But apart from that, smart thermostats now come with indicators that alert you if the HVAC system has any problem or air filters need replacement. This feature allows you to timely maintain the system, reducing costs and improving the system’s efficiency.
5. Purchase energy-efficient appliances
Your home appliances account for about 13% of the total energy consumption. Therefore, you must buy energy-efficient appliances to cut down on these costs. To do so, note the initial purchase price of the device and its annual operating cost. If the yearly operating costs are low, then it is an energy-efficient appliance. However, most energy-efficient appliances have a high upfront cost in the market. But don’t let that put you off because they can lower the consumption by 9-30%.
6. Reduce water heating expenses
Water heating costs tend to become the most significant energy consumption factor in your house during colder seasons. If you want to cut back on this, the first step is to invest in an energy-efficient water heater. Apart from that, you can take actions such as using fewer amounts, turning down the water heater’s thermostat, or insulating the appliance to retain heat.
If you don’t have an energy-efficient water heater, consider replacing it, then keep a few things in mind. For starters, consider the water heater that will meet your everyday needs, and consider what type of fuel it uses. Tankless water heaters are very energy efficient but only suitable for small families. Without a tank to store hot water, the heater cannot handle multiple uses. So, in this case, using a water heater with a tank will increase efficiency and reduce costs.
7. Install energy-efficient windows
Windows play a significant role in increasing your heating or cooling energy consumption. This is because windowpanes let the heat or the cold seep through, which means that the system has to use more energy to maintain the temperature in the room. But if you replace the single-pane windows with double panes, you can reduce 10-25% of your total heating and cooling system’s energy consumption.
If you live in snowy regions, consider installing gas-filled windows with a special coating to reduce your heating system’s energy consumption significantly. These windows will reduce heat loss, so the heating system won’t have to use my energy to maintain the room’s temperature. On the other hand, homeowners in warmer climates can invest in “Low-E” coated windows. These windows help reduce heat absorption by reflecting the sun rays and reducing the amount of thermal energy entering your home.
If you aim to reduce your home’s energy consumption, you will have to make some lifestyle changes. Apart from that, you will have to become more conscious of your energy consumption and make long-term investments, such as buying energy-efficient electronic appliances and devices. But the best method to cut down the bills is to use a solar panel to provide electricity for your home. The installation and other upfront costs are scary. Still, you get free electricity through sunlight after that for a long time with little maintenance cost. To increase efficiency, you can also invest in a battery that can run your bulbs and small appliances during nighttime, cutting down the costs even more.