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A Couple Of Ways To Cut Your Electric, Gas, or Oil Bills

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As electric, gas and oil prices rise over time, finding ways to cut those bills is increasingly important. Here are our top five ways to slash your utility bills and see instant monthly savings.

1. Consider installing solar panels

The best way to eliminate most (or even all) of your electricity bill is to install solar panels on your property. Although the upfront cost to buy a solar energy system is high relative to other possible bill-cutting actions, the long-term savings from a solar installation are many times higher than other solutions offer. This is because having your own solar panels allows you to produce your own electricity, rather than paying your utility for it. If you want to avoid paying up front for solar panels, there are many ways to finance your solar panel system and still enjoy the benefits of solar. In some states, you can also qualify for a power purchase agreement and enjoy the benefits of solar without having to purchase them.

Electricity rates generally increase over time, and having self-generation capabilities through your solar installation allows you to remove yourself from the yearly cycle of increasing electric bills. Increasing electricity prices means that with a solar panel system on your property, you are increasing your savings every year, assuming that your home energy usage stays the same.

2. Purchase an ENERGY STAR HVAC system and appliances

Devices with the ENERGY STAR label are certified by the federal government to consume less energy than standard appliances. One of the most impactful ways to incorporate ENERGY STAR products into your home is to upgrade your HVAC(heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. ENERGY STAR gas furnaces have separate specifications based on where in the U.S. you want one installed, and can save you 12 to 16 percent on your heating bill. Purchasing an ENERGY STAR central air conditioning unit can save around 8 percent when compared to conventional models. You can also optimize the efficiency of your current unit through cleansing treatments. Lastly, upgrading your ventilation system via the network of ducts distributing your hot and cold air throughout your house can lower heating and cooling expenses up to 20 percent.

ENERGY STAR appliances usually cost 9 to 25 percent less to operate than conventional products. Washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, and dehumidifiers are just some examples of the types of ENERGY STAR certified products available. ENERGY STAR appliances reduce energy usage by both lowering electricity use and reducing water use, which reduces the amount of energy used to heat water.

3. Adopt other simple energy efficient solutions

Many of the products we use in our homes are functional but inefficient. Common household items such as incandescent light bulbs, power strips, and light switches can all be upgraded for a low cost to greatly reduce electricity consumption. For example, using an LED light bulb instead of a conventional incandescent bulb uses at least 75 percent less energy and lasts a remarkable 25 times longer. Multiply those savings by all of the light bulbs in your home, and the energy savings begin to pile up.

Aside from light bulbs, products like advanced power strips, low-flow shower heads, and motion sensing dimmer switches all offer upgrades over conventional home tools to reduce your energy usage and thus your bills without changing your lifestyle or habits much, if at all.

4. Seal and insulate your home

When you weatherize your home, you seal air leaks around it, which can help greatly reduce the energy you need to use to keep your home heated or cooled. Common areas for leaks are vents, windows, and doors, and they can all be weatherized to significantly reduce air leaks. This is done with caulk on stationary objects (window frames, walls) and with weather stripping on moving objects (doors, operable windows).

Beyond weatherizing, you should fully insulate your home to help retain heat in the winter and keep heat out in the summer. Depending on where you live and the area of your house you are insulating, you will need different types of insulation. Some of the most common areas to insulate are your attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawl spaces. By insulating your home properly, you can make heat and air conditioning last longer, and use less electricity through the powering of your HVAC system. Multi-Layer Insulation, for example, keeps 97% of radiant heat from coming into your home in the first place. In the winter, it keeps 75% of the heat from escaping through the attic or basement.

5. Use technology to explore the impact of your routine

Actively thinking about your home energy usage is one of the simplest ways to cut your bills, and it doesn’t have to involve spending any money up front. When you leave a room, remember to turn off the lights. During the day when you might not be at home, turn your thermostat off and turn it back on once you get back. Wash dishes by hand instead of constantly loading and running your dishwasher. A home energy monitor can be very useful in helping you identify areas of opportunity.

There are many ways to cut energy spending at home, and it all starts with recognizing where you can make small adjustments to your lifestyle. By changing small, seemingly unimportant parts of your daily routine, you can begin to cut away at your bills, until stressing about utility payments each month becomes a thing of the past.

At EnLight.Energy we would be happy to inspect your home to look for ways to drastically lower and possibly eliminate your gas, electric, or oil bill and generate a savings opportunity assessment. Ask us about getting a Sense Home Energy Monitor for free.

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