Thursday, October 9, 2008

Saving Money On Energy Costs in These Tough Times

The economic situation these days is terrible for many. Yet, there is always a bright side to everything. Sometimes it's hard to see, sometimes not. In this case, while we look at different ways to save the outflow of money, we can inadvertently also use fewer precious natural resources in the process.

How much more are we going to pay this year?
Did you know that the average American will be spending approximately $1700 more this year on utility bills and at the gas pump?

How can we stave off the rising costs?
Yes, the energy efficient light bulbs may cost more upfront, but over the lifetime of the bulb, you recoup your expense through the lower cost to operate the bulb. That is, if the utility company's don't recognize this and jack up your electric rates.

Crank it out and start buying those cool new, curly lights (CFL's). It's good for everyone.

Even if you think they're pretty pricey compared to the old style light bulb, just buy one each time you go the store. Spread the cost out over a period of time. Otherwise, pile on, grab a bunch and watch your electric bill drop like a rock. (OK, that just sounded fun to say.)

If I won the lottery and replaced all my old equipment, how much can I save?
According to Consumer Reports, if you replace older equipment throughout the house with newer, energy efficient equipment, you could save up to $2 grand in energy costs. (The new light bulbs were noted at saving up to $51.)

Some suggestions to help save money and resources:
  1. Don't pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
  2. Use cold, not hot water in your laundry.
  3. Don't overload your clothes dryer. It takes longer to dry clothes when it's overloaded.
  4. Open blinds, let solar heat warm your house.
  5. Alternatively, close the blinds to keep the house as cool as possible.
  6. Use LED holiday lights.
  7. Check your weather stripping on doors and windows. (I have to do that. I can see out under my door!)
  8. Using a low-flow toilet can save up to 4,000 gallons a year.
  9. Keep your car tires properly inflated and avoid the estimated 1 mpg loss of fuel economy.
  10. More suggestions at Consumer Reports.

Pinpointing energy waste
There's an organization called RESNET. (Residential Energy Services Network.)

They employ equipment that pinpoints where in your home you are leaking energy and $$. RESNET can point you toward certified professionals in your area if you'd like to check that out.

Good luck everyone.


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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce