Even with the economy starting to recover, most people wouldn’t say no to lowering their monthly utility bills. And while you might think that going green will cost you a lot more money, and in some cases it can come with an up-front cost that is greater than what you would otherwise spend for goods and services, the truth is that there are also plenty of ways that adopting an eco-friendly attitude can actually save you money. One great way to kick off this trend within your own home is to cut back on your energy consumption. This practice is not only good for the health of the planet, but it can also reduce your electric bill in the process, something that you’d have to be crazy to say no to. But what do you have to do to get these savings? As it turns out, there are all kinds of small, simple changes you can make that could save you a good deal of money. Here are a few to try out.
- Program your thermostat. One of the best ways to see instant savings on your energy bill is to install a programmable thermostat…and use it. It’s sort of amazing how many people have them already and fail to set up a schedule that will adjust the air when they’re gone all day in order to cut consumption when the house is unoccupied. By taking 20 minutes to set up a daily or weekly program (depending on the complexity allowed by your thermostat) you can significantly reduce electrical usage linked to your heating and air conditioning. And most programmable thermostats have a temporary override if you need to adjust for a short period of time and then go back to your regular schedule. In short, there’s just no excuse for not saving energy and money in this small and simple way.
- Use power strips. Even when you power down electronics, they still draw a small amount of energy through a phenomena known as phantom drain. But since you don’t want to unplug every device after you’re done using it, simply plug them all into an easily-accessible power strip that you can switch off when you leave for work or head to bed. And while you’re at it, unplug mobile devices when they’re done charging; it can help to prolong their battery life.
- Skip the screen saver. Did you know that you’re not really saving power when your screen saver comes on? Many people assume that after a few minutes of inactivity their computer simply goes to sleep. Unfortunately, you actually have to set them to go into energy-saving “sleep” or “hibernate” modes – your screen saver won’t cut it.
- Give up incandescent bulbs. You may like the gentle glow of old-school incandescents, but they’re definitely the most expensive option in lighting these days. Instead, outfit your standard fixtures with CFLs, which use about a third of the energy and last as much as ten times longer. You can even get low wattage options and the warm glow you crave. And think about purchasing lamps designed for use with LED bulbs, which happen to be even more energy-efficient than CFLs.
- Ask for help. If you want more tips about how to lower your electricity prices, give your power provider a call or check out sites like http://www.electricityprices.org.uk. You can not only find out how to qualify for the best rates, but these resources can also offer advice on how to minimize energy usage throughout your home.