- 1 Saving May Be Easier Than You Think
- 2 1. Don’t Use What You Don’t Need
- 3 2. LEDs, Gravity Lights, And Energy-Efficient Appliances
- 4 3. Choosing The Most Efficient Local Solutions For Electricity
- 5 4. Cut Out Costly Creature Comforts
- 6 5. Explore Green Energy And Tax Credits
- 7 Saving On Energy With Simplicity
Saving May Be Easier Than You Think
Saving money on electricity is more doable than you think. Right now, on average, you’re spending a penny under $1,452 a year at 13.31 cents per 10,909 annual kilo-Watt hours (kWh) of use. At least, that’s what the average American household spends: just under $121 a month, or a little under $4 a day.
Cutting that figure down simply requires understanding what you’re spending, why, and where to reduce electricity use for overall savings. You can either purchase grid-independent options upfront, or you can reduce daily costs, or even some combination of both. It’s up to you. Regardless, here are some simple ways to save money on electricity
1. Don’t Use What You Don’t Need
Why do you never turn out the porch light? It’s not even a motion-sensor; just a light that stays on all day and all night, because you don’t think about it. Don’t you know that’s costing you money? Change it to a motion-activated light, or only turn it on when you need it. Similarly, don’t leave lights or other electronic items on in the house.
When you’re done using an appliance, unplug it until you need it again. Some appliances have a very slight electrical load even when they’re not in use. When you’re done with your computer, turn it off and unplug it until you need it again. Even if it’s just on “sleep” mode, that’s costing you pennies every day. They add up in time.
2. LEDs, Gravity Lights, And Energy-Efficient Appliances
Light-Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, don’t produce a lot of heat, and they don’t require a lot of electricity. They also tend to last longer than most traditional filament lightbulbs or fluorescents, and they produce as much or more total illumination. They cost a bit more upfront, but you save money on the back end. So switch all lights in your house to LEDs.
Next, look at gravity lights. These have been developed for third-world countries, but they’re elegant, simple, and after you buy them, you don’t have to pay for them anymore—especially if you use LED bulbs. Essentially, a weight like that which makes a cuckoo clockwork is used to provide enough energy to light a lamp. You just reset when the weight hits the ground.
Also, there are energy-efficient appliances which either use less electricity than traditional ones or have the ability to shut off energy that would otherwise be spent when they remain plugged in.
3. Choosing The Most Efficient Local Solutions For Electricity
Something else you may well want to do is explore options regarding the best power to choose in your area. A lot of factors may be involved. The cheapest option will likely use traditional conventions in the production of energy. More expensive options tend to favor “green” or “alternative” solutions.
4. Cut Out Costly Creature Comforts
Sometimes you’ve got creature comforts that are more expensive than the actual value they bring. A great example might be an electric heater when your home has a fireplace at its center. Identify and eliminate unnecessary creature comforts that are either superfluous or bring less value than their cost.
5. Explore Green Energy And Tax Credits
One solar panel is enough to charge your smartphone, earbuds, and laptop daily. For $300, you can totally offset the energy cost of your laptop. A 100-Watt panel is $1 per Watt, or $100, and you’ll need a battery, power inverter, and surge controller in addition to the power cables and mounting hardware. Hooking one up is simple, and endless YouTube tutorials are available.
A solar array that produces enough energy to provide for your entire house will be about $10k for 5,000 kiloWatts if you install yourself—which is possible; just do your research and ask around. Go this far and you may even get tax incentives in your locality for doing so (though that depends on the state). Panels last about a decade before they need to be replaced.
It about evens out in terms of energy costs, the tax-incentive pushes things into the “positive” category. That said, it’s an extreme move, and you’ll still want grid energy if there’s a cloudy day, or alternatively, a small wind turbine—these can be purchased and installed for around $5k.
Saving On Energy With Simplicity
Green options, tax credits, cutting creature comforts, choosing efficient local energy solutions, LEDs, gravity lights, energy-efficient appliances, and being careful not to use what you don’t need—all these tactics help you reduce your energy bill substantially. Lastly, know what the costs are on electricity use to help identify that which you don’t need, and get rid of it.