Is easier than you might think. Most of the changes cost little or nothing except for your time and a little effort. It’s a mixed bag really, and we’re ready to spill the beans …
Die-hard habits – are they worth the cost? Settle for a cool shower in warmer months. Or you can put it no higher than 140 degreesFahrenheit (DOE recommends 120 degrees) to save energy. Turn down the thermostat marginally when everyone’s out or while sleeping. Switch off lights in rooms that aren’t being used. Get the kids into this habit, too. Get used to fresh air. Keep your windows and doors open and make the most of your drapes and blinds to let fresh air and natural light in.
Look for Energy Saving Purchases When light bulbs give way, replace them with energy-saving fluorescent bulbs which are a little more expensive, but much more efficient. Even better than that, replace with Ultra Compact LEDs (UCLEDs) which use less energy and last longer than even fluorescent light bulbs and which do not contain any mercury.
Get a programmable thermostat fitted with a timer for your window units. Used judiciously and in conjunction with insulated curtains, you can significantly cut down your energy bills. Insulated curtains help control room temperature.
Energy-efficient home improvements Whenever any of your home appliances has to be replaced, always opt for the Energy Star-rated appliance. The walls and roofing of your home are a major cause of warmth escaping from the home. Proper insulation can reduce energy costs. Replace your windows and entry door with energy-efficient windows and doors which, once installed, will pay for themselves over a period of time.
If your roof is in very bad shape, replace it with energy-saving options made of lighter-colored, recycled materials to help reduce energy costs. Also install skylight windows in the roof, to increase the amount of natural light and ventilation.
Incentives and tax credits There are a variety of incentives, rebates and tax credits, both at federal and state level for energy-efficient products that you can take full advantage.
Consider switching your energy source Find out which utility company in your area offers green power from renewable sources like solar power instead of the conventional fossil fuel sources and consider switching at least partly to that source.
Go in for solar tubular lighting or for solar panels, if the amount of sunlight your home gets is adequate for their installation. Although up-front costs are high, your energy bills will touch rock bottom soon enough. And you may even be able to sell excess solar power to your utility.
Summary There are heaps of ways, expensive and inexpensive, which you can use to bring down your energy bills. Some are as simple as changing your habits; some may require a little budgeting.