In today’s economic climate, saving money is on the top of everyone’s list. Sure, you can go out to eat less, and skip the sale at your favourite clothing store, but eliminating all the entertaining things in life isn’t much fun. Is there a way to save on necessities, such as electricity? The answer is a resounding yes!
1. LED Lightbulbs
A great first step is to switch all lightbulbs and home lighting fixtures to LED. LED bulbs are a bit more expensive at the outset, but they will save you tons of money in the long run. They last a whopping ten times longer than traditional bulbs while using 75% less energy than their incandescent counterparts; this is great news for the environment and your wallet. Every time a bulb goes out, or you purchase a new lamp or fixture, outfit it with an LED bulb.
2. Prepaid Electric Service
What exactly is prepaid electricity? Prepaid electric service is a smart and innovative way to take control of your energy usage, as well as your budget. Basically, it’s a setup where you pay for your electricity before you use it, instead of after, as is typical with most standard electric companies. Think of a prepaid cell phone; you buy the minutes and then use them until you run low, then you buy more. The same rule applies here. There’ll be no more surprise bills at the end of the month to send you diving into your emergency fund just to cover the cost. As long as you remain aware of your remaining electric supply prepaid electric service is the easiest and most budget-friendly way to go.
3. Balanced Billing
Balanced billing is a popular option if you want to stick to a very strict budget. When you sign up for balanced billing, you’ll be charged the same exact amount each month, regardless of how much electricity you use. Now, that’s not to say you should leave every light on and not worry about your consumption; quite the opposite, in fact. When you enrol in balanced billing, the electric company takes your total usage from the previous year and divides it by twelve, and that’s what you’re billed each month. This allows for normal seasonal fluctuation; for example, if you use your central air conditioning during the summertime, the bills for those months will be significantly higher than those throughout the rest of the year. If this is the case, you end up paying a little more in the winter and a little less in the summer, but you will always know the amount of the bill ahead of time. So if you go too crazy, you will certainly be paying for it next year. It would be best if you always were mindful of your electricity consumption, but using balanced billing takes the guesswork out of next month’s electricity bill. No more surprises!
4. Solar Power
This is probably the most drastic option, but the one that offers the most savings in the long run. When you install solar panels on your home, you use the electricity your household generates right on your rooftop! Sometimes, if you produce more than you use, the electric company will pay you for the remainder! Of course, transitioning to solar power can be costly, depending on the company you use. You usually have to have some money to put down on the new system. You will absolutely recoup this money when you get the panels in place and start generating your own electricity, but this can take time. Some companies offer payment plans to break up the cost of installation into manageable chunks.
5. Energy Efficient Appliances
That refrigerator from a few decades ago may not save you that much money in the long run. If you haven’t replaced your appliances with energy-efficient models, you may want to consider upgrading in the future. Modern appliances are built to the highest standards of efficiency and are designed to save you money on energy over the long term. Next time one of your appliances needs an upgrade, check out a similar product in an energy-efficient model. The cool part is that it’ll tell you the average yearly cost of operating the machine right on the appliance! That yellow label stuck to the front has a host of valuable information about energy costs, so you can select a machine that fits your needs, and saves you some money, too!
Whether you have primarily financial concerns or wish to conserve energy for the environment, there are all kinds of ways to reach your power-saving goals. From more complex methods such as installing solar power to minor changes, like switching to LED lightbulbs, there is an energy-saving method out there for everyone!