Shocking ways to save money on your electric bill
Three quick steps that shed light on saving money on electricity
Saving money on our energy bill is a top priority for most families. Did you know electricity accounts for 34% of the average household's monthly energy consumption*. The easy answer to help reduce your energy bills is to reduce the amount of lights you use and convert to energy efficient lightbulbs. But that's easier said than done since the number of options can be confusing and expensive. We've got some helpful hints to help you light your home for less money
Step 1: How much electricity are you using?
Understanding how much electricity your household is using is the first step to saving money. According to a recent survey, the average American household uses 47 light bulbs - crazy right? If you assume that each bulb is an old school 60 watt incandescent, that's 2,820 watts all together!! Now here comes the scary part - most households use 150 hours of electricity a month at an average cost of $50.25 per month - that's over $600 a year. Not to worry, there are better options at a fraction of the price
Before you skip down to the part where we talk about saving money, take a quick inventory of the lights in each room, along with how frequently they are used. The goal of this exercise is to figure out which 5-10 light fixtures you should replace right away and which you can either unplug altogether or wait to replace when the current bulb burns out.
Step 2: Understand your lighting options
Anyone who has been to the lighting section of Home Depot recently knows that there are a ton of options to choose from, at what seem like hefty price tags. It's important to understand your options before you get to the lighting aisle. This will prevent you from getting overwhelmed and purchasing the wrong bulbs.
We've already established that incandescent light bulbs should be crossed off the list if we are trying to save money. That leaves three options - Halogen, Compact Fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or Light-emitting diode (LEDs). Halogen incandescent have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase bulb efficiency. They are available in a wide range of shapes and colors, and they can be used with dimmers.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are simply curly versions of the long tube fluorescent lights you may already have in a kitchen or garage. An ENERGY STAR-qualified CFL uses about one-fourth the energy and lasts ten times longer than a comparable traditional incandescent. Plus, a CFL uses about one-third the energy of a halogen incandescent.
Light emitting diode (LED) are semiconductors that convert electricity into light. ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20%-25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs they replace. Also, LEDs use 25%-30% of the energy and last 8 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescents.
As you can see, each option has distinct benefits and cost savings, we've found the below chart that helps compare all three options:
Step 3: Search for discounts
Once you've decided which light bulbs you plan to purchase, put your YAY! Savings training into effect and search for discounts. There are government programs as well as retail incentives and discounts. Also, don't be afraid to call your energy provider to see if they offer any deals for switching over to energy star bulbs. To get started, visit responsiblebynature.com to find retailers in your area that offer discounted energy-efficient lighting.