With electricity prices rising significantly each year, it is becoming increasingly difficult for households to settle their energy bills. Since there is no relief from energy companies in sight, we have to do whatever is in our power to reduce the bills, and the only way to do that is by cutting down on our energy use. Although this might sound like a challenging, and almost impossible thing to do, it is far from being so. All it takes are some changes in habits and small upgrades that can be life-changing. Here’s what you can do.
Be prudent with appliances
Major household appliances, such as the freezer, refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and washer and dryer use almost 40% of the household’s total electricity, which means that changing the way you use them can add up to significant savings. Here are some things that you can do to cut down your costs:
- The dryer eats up electricity, so air-dry your clothes if you have enough outdoor space to do it.
- Likewise, a washer uses a lot of energy to heat up the water, so washing clothes in cold water is much wiser.
- Filling up the dishwasher only halfway is a true waste of energy. Wash the dishes only when it is full, and if your dishwasher has an energy-saving mode, use it.
- A large oven consumes more energy than most of us can afford. Most meals for an average household can be prepared in a toaster oven instead. Just make sure you are not opening the oven door frequently because you’re letting the heat get away, and the oven then uses more energy to achieve the optimal temperature again.
Optimize the heating and cooling
Besides the appliances, heating and cooling account for a large part of a household’s monthly energy cost. While you can’t give up these two essential features, you can use them in ways that don’t require as much energy:
- Get a programmable thermostat which can adjust the temperature according to your activities (g. turn the heat down when you are sleeping).
- A smart thermostat is another good investment because it allows you to control the heating/cooling from anywhere.
- Air gaps and poor insulation are responsible for heat loss. Seal the air leaks and improve the insulation for a more energy-efficient home.
- Use sunlight as a natural source of light and heat whenever you can.
- Minimize air-conditioning costs by using ceiling fans for a more even distribution of hot or cold air.
- Install an aerator in the bathroom and kitchen to save on hot water.
Fix or replace what’s broken
A broken refrigerator will struggle to maintain optimal temperature and use more energy in the process. It is similar with other appliances. If you have any broken appliances, a professional electrician from Blacktown or your neighborhood will be able to assess whether it is better to invest in repairs or purchase a new Energy Star rated appliance.
Address the energy vampires
While it doesn’t seem that way, lighting and electronics can use up a lot of energy, especially if you don’t use them properly. The little things can add up to big costs, but the little savings can help you make it through the end of the month more easily:
- Turn adapters and chargers off when you don’t need them because even when they are not used to charge something, they still suck out electricity.
- It is the same with electronics. All the devices should be unplugged when they are not used.
- A laptop uses much less electricity than a desktop
- Regardless of whether you are using a personal computer or a laptop, it should be unplugged when you are not using it.
- Printers and scanners are not among the appliances that are used on a daily basis. Put them in energy-saving mode or unplug them when you don’t need them.
- Replace your old incandescent bulbs with energy-saving lighting solutions (CFLs and LED lights).
- Light up your space with sunlight whenever you can.
Finally, besides decreasing the energy cost, what you can do to reduce your energy bills is to pay your bills as soon as they arrive. There is no avoiding paying the bills, so why not do it on time? Delaying payment often means late payment fees, which can add up and cost you a lot more than you expected.