These days, “going green” is becoming increasingly popular. Even if you’re not a huge fan of the green movement, you’re probably still a fan of saving money. Technologies that have grown up around “going green” can certainly help you accomplish that goal.
The reality is that for most people, your monthly power bill is one of your top monthly expenses. Anything you can do to reduce it is as good as putting money in your pocket every month. It’s like getting a pay raise without having to fight with your boss about it, and who doesn’t like that?
Here then, are a number of things you can do make your home more energy efficient and put money in your pocket each and every month:
A few years ago, compact fluorescents were all the rage, and while they’re still vastly more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs, they’re nowhere near as efficient as LED’s. Even better, the price of these lights have fallen markedly over the last three years, making them an incredibly attractive option.
You don’t have to go crazy here. Just replace your bulbs one at a time as they burn out, and watch your power bill drop with every one you replace. Individually, it won’t make a huge difference, but over time, it will really begin to change the equation.
“Smart” Power Strips
A lot of people use conventional power strips, connecting various pieces of electronic equipment, then powering them down manually when they’re not in use. That’s fine as far as it goes, but these days, they make “smart” power strips that can detect when the equipment plugged into them is no longer in use, and power down automatically. It saves you a step, and is just one less thing you have to remember or think about.
Energy Star Appliances
This is a much slower process, but the same basic thinking applies. When you find yourself having to replace your fridge, stove, dishwasher, or other appliances, spending the extra money to get the most energy efficient appliance you can buy will wind up saving you money in the long run.
Solar Water Heater
While many states in the US now have net metering laws on the books, the reality is that installing a whole-home system can be an expensive, daunting proposition. Fortunately, there’s another approach. If you focus just on water heating, you can install a system for significantly less money. The reason this approach works is simply that heating water for home use is typically one of the single biggest drivers of your monthly power bill.
Individually, the single most impactful of these strategies is the installation of a solar water heater, but taken together, the cumulative impact of these is enormous. The money you save month to month by adopting these strategies will easily give you the flexibility in your budget to pursue even more strategies, that will save you even more. Again, even if you don’t care one way or the other about the “green movement,” saving money always makes sense, and there’s a whole raft of new technologies that allow you to do just that.