When you’re looking to save money, usually the first place you start making cuts is to your monthly bills. Your electricity bill is one such example where small daily changes can add up to a significant amount of savings over time. The good news is that most of these changes do very little to impact your quality of life. Let’s take a look at some actionable steps you can implement today in your Ash Street Housing Cooperative.
Turn off the lights.
Have you ever heard of the country music song from the 90’s called, “Every Light in the House is On?” When my kids are home, literally every light in the house could be on at any given point in time, although I doubt this is what the country singer had in mind. Most of my time is spent going behind my children turning off lights in empty rooms. This simple act that takes all of two seconds reduces the amount of energy we use. When you reduce energy, you reduce the amount of money you’re charged. Challenge yourself, or your kids, to start turning lights off as you leave the room and rake in the savings.
Use energy-saving light bulbs.
Speaking of lights, invest in some good energy star light bulbs to use even less electricity. LED light bulbs not only use 75 percent less energy than normal light bulbs but also last 25% longer. LED light bulbs have come a long way since they first hit the market. You can find more pleasing shapes of bulbs and hues of light than ever before
Lower (or raise) the thermostat.
The US Department of Energy estimates that you can save up to 10 percent a year on your electric bill by lowering or raising the thermostat 7-10 degrees per day for eight hours. So, in other words, if your monthly electric bill averages around $150 per month, you can save up to $180 per year. The less work your air conditioner and furnace have to do, the less money it costs to run them. If a 7-10 degree difference in temperature makes your family too uncomfortable, start with a smaller adjustment in the beginning to help you stick with it. Even small steps can result in dollars saved.
Invest in a programmable thermostat.
Another option is to invest in a programmable thermostat. This automatically adjusts the temperature while you’re out of the house or while you’re sleeping and can set things back to normal for when you are home from work. This may be a good solution for those who are particularly temperature-sensitive. Make sure to utilize your ceiling fans during both summer and winter months to help circulate the air. You will need to reverse the direction of your fan blades in the winter though.
Run that dishwasher.
Believe it or not, using an Energy Star dishwasher can save you more money than washing dishes by hand according to the California Energy Commission. By loading dishwashers efficiently and opting out of the heated drying cycle, you can save not only money but also hours of your time. Run your dishwasher, if possible, during non-peak hours such as in the morning when most people are at work to accumulate even more savings.
Adopting just a few of these habits can make a big difference in your monthly utility bills over time. Start with baby steps that the whole family can stick with and you will be racking up the savings in no time!