Smart Ways to Save Money With Green Energy

Smart-Ways-to-Save-Money-With-Green-Energy

Appliances and home electronics take 20% of your electricity bill, heating and cooling forms 56% of the bill, and water heating accounts for between 14% and 25% of the total bill. Together, these three items make up to 91% of the total electric bill.

If you play it smart and follow the tips below, you can easily save over 50%-70% on your electricity bill. The investment that you make in green energy will pay itself back over time and also make you feel nice because you are contributing to Mother Earth’s cause. Now, let’s look at some of the smartest ways to save your hard earned dollars with green energy:

  • Start off your money-saving by conducting a home energy audit. A professional will assess your home’s energy needs and advise you how to make your home more energy efficient. He will also point out bottlenecks and inform you want can be done and what cannot. Though it will cost some money, such an assessment will help you plan better and save money on buying impractical equipment.
  • Buy ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances. These products carry labels that show the appliance’s highest and lowest energy consumption. More stars translate to lower consumption.
  • Turn off your computer monitor if you do not plan to use your computer for more than 20 minutes, and turn off both your CPU and monitor if you won’t use your computer for more than 2 hours.
  • Install a surge protector for all your computer-related appliances. Switch off the surge protector when the appliances are not in use.
  • If you’re remodeling your existing home or constructing a new wood-framed home, then use advanced framing techniques that will help save on lumber use and even reduce its wastage. Your contractor can explain these techniques in detail.
  • Use alternative energy sources like solar panels or a wind turbine for electricity and water heating. Or, check with a professional and consult him what will work best for your needs. You can install generators that store energy from the sun, wind, or water (micro hydropower).
  • Install cool roofs. Such roofs reflect sunlight (solar reflectance) and absorb less heat. Typically, the roof is painted with a special paint or reflective tiles are laid on it. Consider the climate’s impact before installing a cool roof.
  • Air-seal your home. This will help you reduce heating and cooling costs.
  • Weather strip your windows and exterior doors. Ensure that your windows are treated so that they do not allow heat to trap in summers or escape in winters.
  • Design a passive solar home, which will enable your windows, walls and floors to collect and store solar energy.
  • Use energy-efficient windows in your home. These windows allow the sunlight to come in and reduce the need for using bulbs during daytime.
  • Insulate and air-seal your home. Ensure that your home has adequate moisture protection and ventilation. All these 4 factors will contribute to energy savings.
  • Switch your incandescent bulbs to CFLs or LEDs with energy star rating (bulbs will carry energy star ratings from 2012). These new bulbs can help you save 75% to 80% of the energy consumed by incandescent bulbs.
  • Maintain your lights well. This is because light emitted by lamps decreases over time as lamps age or dirt accumulates on lamps. Remember to clean your lamps and fixtures once in every 6 months. If the lenses appear yellow, replace the lamp.
  • Consider buying lighting control equipment like dimmers, motion sensors, occupancy sensors or timers. These can help you save electricity by reducing or switching off the energy that passes to the lights.
  • Ensure that you install the right-sized heating and cooling equipment. Most contractors apply rules of thumb while sizing such equipment and sell you oversized equipment that consumes extra electricity and makes you uncomfortable. Ask your contractor to give you a sizing report based on the climate, home dimensions, insulation levels, window area and location, air infiltration, details of occupants, lights in the home, and comfort preferences.
  • If you live in an area that needs moderate heating or cooling, consider installing a heat pump. Heat pumps can work better than air-conditioners and furnaces. In the winters, they can help move heat from outdoors into the home, and in the summers, they do the reverse. They move heat, not generate it, and if used efficiently, can bring down electricity bills by up to 40%.
  • Your landscaping strategies must revolve around the local climate conditions. Use dense windbreaks if you’re living in a cold region. In a temperate region, deflect winter winds away and funnel in summer breezes. In a hot-arid region, ensure that your cool roofs are shaded, plant a lot of trees in your garden and block winds away from air-conditioned homes. If you’re in a hot-humid area, divert summer breeze towards your home, and maximize shade by planting trees.
  • Conserve water by improving the soil, irrigating efficiently, reducing weed growth and maintaining the landscape.
  • If you need swimming pool heating, install a solar pool heater. Don’t forget to use a pool cover to stop the heat from escaping. Manage the temperature and ensure that your pump is energy-efficient.
  • Install new-age doors for energy savings. These doors are made using modern materials like steel, polyurethane, foam, and fiberglass. These doors do not allow the heat to enter homes during summers nor escape during winters.
  • It’s a good idea to install skylights because these can help save energy by impacting illumination and temperature. Ensure that the skylight’s size does not exceed 5% of the room’s floor area if the room has many windows. If the room has just 1-2 windows, then the skylight’s size can go up to 15% of the room’s floor area.