October is Energy Awareness Month
Here at RGS Energy, we spend a lot of time thinking about ways for people to save money on their energy bills. Statistically, energy bills are one of the largest expenditures that a household must deal with and finding ways to reduce the amount of energy that a home consumes is one of the easiest and quickest ways for people to save money. To celebrate the fact that October is Energy Awareness Month, we wanted to use today’s post to go over some of the methods that people can use in order to cut down on their monthly energy bill. While there are many drastic methods that people can employ to increase the energy efficiency of their home, we understand that making major changes to one’s lifestyle is not always the easiest or most cost-effective thing to do. We hope that after this post, all of our readers come away with a little more knowledge on some of the steps they can take to reduce their energy usage. Keep reading below to learn more.
Small Steps Lead to Big Savings
One of the most common misconceptions that we come across with our customers is the belief that they have to take major steps to reduce the amount of energy that their home consumes. They figure that in order to save a noticeable amount of money they need to shut off their air conditioner in the summer, leave all of their lights off, or take other drastic actions to slow down their meter. Even though these things will save people money, in the long run, they are not the only things that people can do to slash their energy bill. Below, we have listed some simpler steps that people can take to make sure that they are not using more energy than they need to.
- Switch To LED: Unless you are really into primitive living, chances are good that you want to have to have some light bulbs in your home. Though many people don’t think about it, light bulbs have historically been one of the largest consumers of energy in the home. For decades, incandescent bulbs sucked up energy like glutenous energy hogs and, for the most part, society just had to deal with it. For years there was really no viable alternative to traditional light bulbs and people did their best to keep their lights off as much as possible to save energy. Luckily, LED bulbs have come along and greatly reduced the amount of energy that is needed to provide adequate home lighting. Even though the upfront costs of LED lights are more than other bulb types, with the average price hovering around $3.50 per bulb, the lifespan of the bulbs and the amount of energy that the bulbs use are almost too attractive to pass up. According to data, when you factor in the amount of energy that LED bulbs use, the replacement cost of the bulbs, and the predicted lifespan of the bulbs, homeowners can save thousands of dollars on their energy bill.
- Unplug Electronics: This is one of those energy saving tips that everyone has heard of but, in reality, few people practice. Although you may not think about it, any electronic device that is plugged into the outlets of your home is drawing power, even when that device is not actively being used. According to the US Department of Energy, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics, on average, is consumed while the products are turned off. These devices, known as phantom loads, can be found in many areas of the home but, for the most part, are centered around entertainment areas. When a television is turned off, it isn’t really off. They draw power at all times of the day in order to remember channel line-ups, time and date settings, language preferences, and a multitude of other bits of information. Other phantom loads include DVD players, video game consoles, computers, cable boxes, and stereos. Unplugging these devices when they are not in use might seem like an inconvenience at first but, after seeing a reduction in their energy bill, most people agree that it is worth the effort (be sure to read our next blog where we dive deeper into this topic).
- Programmable Thermostat: This energy saving tip is one of the most prevalent ones out there. Traditionally, thermostats used levers, mercury filled vials, and simple electrical circuits to control the temperature of the home. To adjust the temperature, a lever on the side of the thermostat would be moved, rotating the thermometer coil and mercury switch, allowing a current to flow through the mercury in the switch. As the temperature of the room reached the desired temperature, the thermometer coil gradually unwinds, tipping the mercury switch back to the “off” position. While this type of thermostat was in use for decades, it was far from a perfect solution to home climate control. If your home still makes use of a traditional thermostat, we highly suggest that you switch to a programmable digital thermostat. Programmable thermostats not only offer a more precise level of control over the temperature of your home, they also allow you to set schedules controlling when your home’s HVAC unit kicks on. With a programmable thermostat homeowner’s can schedule when their system turns, better ensuring that they are not heating or cooling their home when no one is actually in it.
- Insulation: Speaking from a scientific standpoint, it does not matter what energy savings strategy you employ to reduce your home’s energy bill if your home is not properly insulated. Without a solid insulation foundation, any and all energy put towards the climate control aspect of your home is being underutilized. Most people understand that insulation is important during the colder months of the year, however, fewer people realize that it is just as important during the warm months also. While we aren’t suggesting that you re-insulate every wall in your home, a task that is both time consuming and laborious, we do suggest that you make sure certain areas of your home are as well insulated as possible. Take some time check the insulation level of your home’s attic, any doors leading outside of the home, and windows. Windows are an especially important area of the home to take into consideration because many people do not consider them when trying to determine how well their home is insulated. If you notice that a lot of air is leaking around the frame of your windows, we suggest purchasing window film and “sealing off” your windows. This will help to reduce the amount of air escaping or entering the home until a more permanent fix can be completed.
Thank you for taking the time to read our short blog post on ways to increase energy efficiency around the home. By taking the steps to make sure that your home is using the energy that is poured into it as efficiently as possible, you can greatly reduce the amount of money that you spend on your monthly energy bill. If you feel as though your home is as efficient as it is ever going to be but still want to find a way to reduce your energy bill, get in touch with us today at RGS Energy. We have been a leading solar panel provider in the United States for over three decades and we have helped thousands of people reduce their dependence on municipal energy, lower their monthly energy bill, and reduce their carbon footprint through the installation of our solar arrays. With a solar array installed, your monthly energy bill will be replaced with a lease payment, a payment that will stay stable over the course of the lease and is not beholden to the same fluctuations as normal energy bills that are affected by the market price of electricity. When you’re ready to learn more about solar energy, please give us a call at (877)-747-4338 or fill out the contact form on our website.