A big eye-popping electric bill is a common cause of household budget stress. The good news is that small changes in energy consumption and efficiency can help decrease bills significantly.
For example, the Department of Energy suggests unplugging electronics and appliances when not in use to reduce “vampire loads.” A smart meter also lets you read your gas and electricity usage in real time. You may want to consider the Eco funding Scotland scheme that supports households with their energy consumption.
If your home is poorly insulated or has air leaks, you could be paying far more than you need to on heating and cooling. Foam insulation (injection foam or spray foam) creates an air seal that prevents your furnace and air conditioner from constantly running to keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Good insulation will also help to reduce draughts and noise. It also keeps the air in your home more humid which helps to fight mould and mildew.
Choosing the right insulation for your home depends on factors like your home’s R-value and where you live. Insulation can be especially effective if used in lofts. Loft Insulation Scotland can help you financially with grants to carry out the project.
Thermostats are the key to energy savings because they control heating and air conditioning, which account for a large percentage of home energy use.
A basic programmable thermostat can help cut costs by automatically shifting to a lower setting during the times you are asleep or away. This can save about 8 percent on your energy bills,* but the specific amount will depend on the climate in your area and on how much you use heating and cooling at other times of the day.
Smart thermostats take this a step further with features like motion sensors, geo-fencing and learning algorithms that can help save even more energy. They can also keep track of your home’s temperature history, so they can estimate how long it takes to get to a set heating or cooling mode and adjust accordingly.
Electricity costs can be a significant portion of your utility bill, but small changes can reduce your electricity usage and keep you on track to save money. It’s important to choose lighting options that are energy efficient, as well as a system that helps you use those lights effectively.
Replacing incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR-certified compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs), can cut your electricity use by 65 to 80%. Dimmers and timers can also help you reduce your electricity bills by using the lights only when needed.
While basic energy saving tips like turning off the lights and shutting down electronic devices at night can help lower your utility bills, there are also plenty of more involved changes you can make. Investing in energy-efficient appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators can also save you money over time by using less electricity.
Many electric companies offer rebates for installing energy-efficient appliances, so it’s worth checking with your provider to see what options are available in your area. If you’re in the market for a new appliance, opt for models with the Energy Star label to save even more on your electric bill.