If you resolved to spend less and save more in 2020, cutting back on a few regular expenses is a great place to start. January 10 is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day, so we’ve rounded up a few of our best savings tips to help trim your utility bills without being forced to make significant lifestyle changes.
- Cut heating and cooling costs
We spend a great deal of energy heating our homes during the winter and keeping them cool in the summer, but are we doing our best to minimize the cost of our comfort? A programmable thermostat can be a lifesaver, allowing you to adjust the temperature when you’re out of the house or sleeping. There’s no reason to blast the AC when everyone is at work, and it’s doubtful that you need to sleep in 80-degree heat, so program your schedule into your thermostat, and it’ll do all the work for you.
- Watch out for energy-draining appliances
Big appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers consume a lot of energy, so the next time you replace one of these appliances, upgrade to an energy-efficient model with an ENERGY STAR certified appliances. These units are designed to use much less energy than their older counterparts, and often end up paying for themselves in savings over time. Keep these appliances clean and well maintained to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.
- Pull the plug
As our society continues to be more and more “plugged-in,” it should come as no surprise that we’re spending more on electricity to keep all of our devices charged and running. To keep costs reasonable, plug electronics into a power strip and turn it off when they’re not in use. This cuts off “phantom” usage and can save you a bundle. Some newer power strips even include an auto shut-off feature for an added level of convenience, so there’s no excuse for wasted energy.
- Hit the lights
As always, you’re encouraged to shut off the lights when leaving the room, but you can also make light bulb swaps that increase your energy efficiency. Replace incandescent bulbs with LED lights for an easy and affordable way to save on electricity. Not only do they last longer, but they also require less energy to run.
- Start with a simple home assessment
Interested to know how your home’s energy use compares to similar homes? Check out our online energy audit page or go to ENERGY STAR’S Home Energy Yardstick to learn how much of your home’s energy use is related to heating and cooling versus other everyday uses like appliances, lighting, and hot water.
As with any change, give yourself time. You don’t have to make all of these adjustments at once, and it will be much easier to take small steps rather than giant leaps. Soon, you’ll begin to notice your utility bills on the decline, and you’ll be lessening your carbon footprint, too. All these small changes will become one significant change, and you’ll be glad you did it!