When dealing with high energy costs finding ways to cut back and save is important. Working together with other members of your household to come up with a plan to conserve energy and save money at the same time is ultimately your best option. If everyone can pitch in and play their part, you will find that the costs of your energy bills will drop significantly. Below are a few ways you can get started.
Review Your Energy Bill
The first place to start is by reviewing your energy bills. If you can look at bills over the course of a 6month or annual period it will help you to determine exactly where your energy costs start to rise. It will also give you an idea of your average energy consumption rates each month. When reviewing your energy bills if you notice that certain months seem to be particularly high jot down any reasons this may be. Maybe you cranked up the heat a bit more because of excessively cold weather. This helps you to make note of your habits and determine where you can make changes.
Energy savings tip: If you look at your energy costs but realize that the surge in prices is a direct result of the energy company, you should consider switching energy providers. Thanks in part to deregulation in the US and Canada (here’s more information on deregulation), many residents have the ability to switch energy providers to receive lower costs.
Hold a Family Meeting
After you’ve got the basic rundown on why your energy prices are higher than you’d like you can then put all the family on the same page. Hold a family meeting and let everyone know what you’re trying to accomplish. While you may not want to let the kids know about the financial specifics, you can let them know that you need their help in saving energy and money.
Ways to Save
Now that everyone is on the same page, all that’s left to do is to delegate responsibilities that will help to conserve energy and save you money. Below are a few ways you and your family can work together to save money.
· Turn off lights – when you’re not using a particular light, turning them off is recommended to save on energy consumption. Make sure that everyone in the house is doing their part by turning off all lights that aren’t in use. This might even include smaller lights like oven lights or motion lights that you use at night.
· Unplug appliances not in use – many people assume that if they turn an appliance off it is not draining electricity; however this is not the case. Even appliances that are turned off can drain some energy. Have your family members remember to unplug things like the coffee maker, toaster, computers, and gaming consoles before leaving the house for the day.
· Switch to energy efficient lighting – if you still have incandescent lighting in your home it’s time to make a switch. This form of lighting drains a lot more energy and also emits a lot of heat which isn’t necessarily the best thing during the summer. Energy efficient lighting can save you additional funds on your energy bill, and they last a lot longer so you’re saving money long term as well.
· Clean Filters and Vents – While this might be a job for the adults or older children in the house it can save you a great deal of money on your energy bill. When your air filters and vents are clogged with dust and other debris, they cannot work as efficiently in heating and cooling the home. As such, you crank up the temperature causing the system to work twice as hard and consume twice as much energy. Simply cleaning the vents and filters on a periodic basis can save you a good amount of cash.
Everything is always better when you have family on hand to support you. When it comes to saving money on your household expenses such as energy costs, it doesn’t have to mean making huge investments and waiting ions to see a return. By completing the above simple tasks you should start to see a significant change in your energy costs within the next month or so. However, if this solution does not work, switching energy providers or having a professional conduct an energy audit are efficient ways to save money as well.