Solar energy is cheap electricity. Sounds simplistic, doesn’t it? But as long as long as the sun is shining, your home is running off the solar energy. When it’s dark or cloudy, you are paying for alternate sources of electricity purchased from your local energy service.
So if solar energy is so simple, why is it not yet commonplace in people’s homes? Most homeowners aren’t yet comfortable enough with the technology and costs of installing a solar energy system. Here, we demonstrate proven, common sense ways how to improve electric utility bills.
- Light fixtures are one of the biggest sources of energy use in your home.A good source of information and lighting use guides is available from the US Department of Energy. Consultation with an electrical contracting service can also help you with substantial savings, especially if you are doing a lighting retrofit or are planning new construction. Before your choose light accessories and fixtures, visit a lighting showroom, and inquire how to lower electric bills with various bulbs and lighting ideas.
- Use light and other appliance timers to coincide with your daily schedule.An even better energy solution throughout the house is to install motion detector lights, that go on automatically as you move in and out of rooms, saving your bill, while easy your busy movements between dark rooms (especially if you hands are full). This works well in closets, garages, basements and bathrooms, where it is easy to forget to hit the switch.
- Check your thermostats.If you have more than one cooling and heating zone in your home, use them according to where your family is at various times of day, without sacrificing comfort. If your thermostat features a timing mechanism to adjust based on night and day, your savings can be immediate.
- Check the thermostat setting. Daily.Adjusting the thermostat down a degree or two within 68 degrees in the winter, and 72-74 degrees in months of air conditioner use, you can save hundreds of dollars a year, without sacrificing comfort. The amount of electricity required to heat even 1 degree higher will have exponential effects on your monthly bill.
- Take advantage of modern technology’s wireless energy solutions, such as thermostat sensors and remote capabilities.Imagine walking into your toasty home after work without manually adjusting your thermostat and waiting. Through GPS, your smart home can be “trained” to sense when you are expected home, and turns on your heat or air in advance. It’s an uber-cool way to lower your electricity bill!
- Adjust your water heater settings.Even minor changes in your hot water temperature setting translates into measurable savings. Most heaters available today are equipped with multiple settings. Lowering the hot water temperature in the summer offers another adjustment that helps you save.
- Research residential electricity service rates n your area.Electricity rates vary widely. Consult with a local electrical contractor for recommendations and available incentives for tax credits or rebates.
- Purchase certified Energy Star appliances.Today’s major appliances also feature convenient wifi-controlled modes that can save on your electric bill. For example, you can start or delay a load of laundry remotely, to use off peak electricity rates. Energy Star appliances usually offer rebates, and many manufacturers incentivize warranty options.
- Invest in an electricity backup generation service.This can be a “lifesaver.” Having a generator professionally installed by a local electrical contractor ensures continuity of electricity service in your home automatically, regardless of where you are. If you cannot afford to lose power if, for example, someone in your home requires an electric medical device, a backup generator will come to the rescue.
- Using solar energy is encouraged by your local power company.When your residential solar energy system is actively generating electricity, you are not paying the utility company for it. In fact, the power company is actually “paying” you, by giving you credit for your time “off the grid.”
- Conduct an energy comparison of your own.If you are considering solar energy, there are plenty of resources available from the US government and utility companies that provide a wealth of information without the sales pitch. You can learn how solar pv systems work (photovoltaic), or estimate construction and conversion costs.