If a major part of your monthly budget goes into paying bills, it is time to dig deeper and trace your energy consumption pattern. Even if you feel that you are consuming less energy, faulty devices and damaged pipes can still increase costs. Just keeping your lights off when not in use cannot reduce your bills by more than 20%. Here are some effective energy-savings tips to cut your monthly utility bills and costs in half and help you streamline your budget.
1. Minimize Water Usage
Hot water usage can increase your energy bills by a greater margin, which is why you must find ways to reduce water consumption in your everyday life. The first step is to cut back on your shower time. Even if you reduce your shower time by just two minutes every day, you can save several gallons of water every month. Your heater will also reduce its power consumption by a significant percentage. When doing laundry and washing dishes, use cold water as much as possible. If you are not at home all day, switch off your water heater or keep it stable at 120 degrees to reduce utility costs by 10%.
2. Invest in Energy-efficient Appliances
Appliances are another commodity that sucks up a lot of power and increases energy bills. Your dishwasher, washing machine, mixer grinders, water heater, refrigerator, TV, and HVAC system take up a major part of your utility bills as they require tremendous power to function. Invest in energy-efficient appliances to save electricity, water, and money. Look for ‘Energy Star’ labels when purchasing appliances as they reduce water and electricity consumption with every operation cycle. For example, normal or older dishwashers use around 10 gallons of water during each cycle as opposed to 3.5 gallons of water used by energy-efficient dishwashers. In case of ambiguity, look for options online to compare the energy-saving thresholds.
3. Install Solar Panels
If you have the luxury, invest in solar panels as they can majorly cut down your electricity bills. People living in areas exposed to a lot of sunlight should definitely take advantage of solar panels. If you live in Australia, installing solar panels can be the best decision you can take for your home and for the environment. Any experienced Southern Highlands Solar Installer will recommend following an energy-conscious plan for environmental and financial benefits. Even though the initial investment and setup cost of solar panels is a lot, the reduced costs make it worthwhile. In some cases, you can also earn money by directing the saved energy to the common grid.
4. Check and Fix Your Ductwork
Leaky ducts can reduce the airflow and put more pressure on the system to redirect proper flow in and out of your indoor spaces. This can lead to your HVAC system taking up a lot of energy and thereby increasing your bills. If the leaks are left untreated, your energy bills can go up by a whopping 40%, which can majorly affect your monthly budget. Any kind of poor connections, holes, or leaks in your home’s ductwork can significantly affect the HVAC system’s performance too. Get the pipes and connections checked once every few months to ensure maximum efficiency. Cleaning the pipes is also important to get rid of debris and dirt that can also reduce performance.
5. Control Your Electronics through Smart Power Strips
Smart power strips are designed to detect devices on standby or when they are not in use, thereby reducing energy consumption. If you use several devices at once and keep them plugged into a power strip, you may consider getting a smart power strip to save money. With several types of smart power strips available today, you must consider the type of devices you use to narrow down your options. Every smart power strip uses different mechanisms to detect the attached device’s performance. While some use USB cables, others use motion sensors to detect whether or not the device is still in operation.
6. Check the Tariff on Your Energy and Utility Bills
Lastly, check your energy and utility bills to trace your energy consumption, especially if you have seen a significant rise in the bill amount. At times, new energy suppliers include out-of-contract rates or increase tariffs, which is why it is necessary to be aware of the new rates and additional clauses. Some regions also increase their tariffs at regular intervals. If you feel that you are paying more than your consumption, you are free to switch your energy supplier and get cheaper deals. Before you do that, compare the price caps and differences in deals offered by your local suppliers.
With these tips and steps, you are not only reducing your energy bills but also taking a step towards environmental consciousness. Today, it has become necessary to control and reduce carbon footprint to combat climate change and global warming. These tips will ensure that your budget and energy consciousness plan is successfully implemented.