Tuesday, October 28, 2014

3 Ways to Save Energy Without Lifestyle Inconveniences

With energy costs and environmental concerns rising side by side, trying to use
green energy sources and promoting overall energy conservation are no-brainers. In
some cases, this might require some moderate sacrifice when it comes to
conveniences, such as turning lights off every time you leave the room, or unplugging small devices (such as coffee makers) when they’re not in use. But often, the biggest savings require almost no lifestyle changes whatsoever. Here are three such ways to help the planet and lower your monthly bills:

  1. Get a Programmable Thermostat- Programmable thermostats can contribute to a 10% annual savings on heating and cooling costs in the average household -- without you having to sacrifice any comfort when you’re at home. These thermostats -- most of which are easy enough to install by yourself -- can hold multiple profiles, so you won’t even have to make manual changes based on whether it’s a weekday (when no one is home for quite a few hours in the middle of the day) or a weekend (when you might want it a little warmer or cooler to keep it comfortable all day long). If you really want the latest in technical improvements, you can even get a thermostat that connects to your smartphone. This will allow you to make adjustments to your preset profiles no matter where you are.
  2. Buy New Appliances- If you’ve been trying to save money by getting along with your old appliances, your efforts may actually be counterproductive: The average refrigerator sold today costs 60% less than its 1975 counterpart and uses 75% less energy. That means a moderate investment can save you big time on your electricity bill. And as a bonus, today’s refrigerators have about 20% more capacity, on average, which can allow you to get rid of that extra fridge or freezer.
  3. Green Energy Providers- You may be living in a deregulated energy market and not even know it. You may even be wondering what energy deregulation is. Essentially, deregulation has divided the production of energy from the distribution of energy, breaking up utility company monopolies. This means you can choose from alternative electricity suppliers even though your utility company stays the same. Often, these alternative companies focus on renewable energy sources, so you may be able to make better choices about where your electricity comes from and promote green energy without any noticeable difference in your service. Contact your electricity provider to find out what options may be available for you.
Do you have any more easy energy solutions to share? Join the discussion in the comments.