Electricity is a major household expense. Good thing it's easy to fight against rising utility rates:
Many strategies you can take are as simple as monitoring appliances, equipment, and behavior:
- We already went over lighting. It’s the first and fastest way to start saving money and conserving energy.
- Turn off computers and non-essential appliances when not in use. Unplug rechargers (about 8% of your electric bill is for devices that are plugged in when not in use).
- When you leave the house, turn down the heat or turn up the air-conditioning for considerable savings. Set the furnace thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, and the air-conditioner thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting.
Upgrading equipment can also significantly reduce energy costs once they need replacing:
- Replace old appliances, furnace or AC with an energy-efficient model that has an ENERGY STAR® rating. Find out about rebates and tax credits available in Virginia.
- Replace your thermostat with one that's programmable to do this for you. Using it the right way can cut your electric or gas bill by 10%.
- Now you’re ready to really maximize your savings. Contact a professional for a whole house energy assessment. This will identify those parts of your home that need professional repair and/or replacement. Save-a-Ton partner Cafe2 can help you get started today.
- There are many more ways you can conserve energy in your home. The Association of Energy Conservation Professionals (AECP) has plenty of Energy Conservation tips for you.