These Easy-To-Keep 2019 Efficiency Goals Will Keep Money In Your Wallet & Out Of Your Bill
The invisible dollars we don’t see floating from our homes and out of all wallets can be mind-blowing when we finally sit and break down what our home’s energy usage is costing us.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports the average Iowa home owner’s electric bill runs $102.55 per month. That’s $1,228.60 per year, or one full two week paycheck for the average Iowan. The EIA estimates the average American home consumes 10,3999 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy a year, making it, as House Logic jokes, “a glutton (that) gobbles energy like a starved elephant.”
How much could a little smart, easy home energy belt-tightening in 2019 save us? Setting a New Year’s Home Efficiency Resolution can go a long way to savings hundreds of dollars in home energy costs.
This is one New Year’s Resolution that is easy to keep for 12 months, and far easier to maintain for 365 days than staying on a strict Keto Diet or keeping our hands out of the cookie jar.
“At the beginning of each new year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, which inevitably are forgotten by the end of January,” the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sarah Gerrity notes. “This year, forget making a New Year’s resolution. Instead, make a home energy efficiency resolution.”
There’s no arguing with Sarah’s math. According to U.S. News, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Entrepreneur.com’s research shows a mere 9.2 percent of resolvers are able to stick with their resolutions for the full calendar year.
Most often, Entrepreneur’s Julie Christopher observes, “our history plays back by default.”
The good news: Sticking with New Year’s home energy resolutions is far less challenging than remember to wake up early and work out for an hour before work each day.
Here are the U.S. Department of Energy’s easy to follow recommended New Year’s home energy resolutions:
- Install and Set A Programmable Thermostat: Watch your home save up to 10 percent per year on heating and cooling costs.
- Use Sunlight To Your Advantage: Open the curtains and, as George Harrison famously crooned, notice how “Here Comes The Sun.” On sunny days, open your curtains and raise your blinds to allow the greatest natural energy source known to man to naturally heat your home.
- Trust The ENERGY STAR: When replacing appliances and purchasing electronics, look for ENERGY STAR-certified products. ENERGY STAR products incorporate advanced technologies that use 10-15 percent less energy and water than standard models and can add up to over $750 in savings over the lifetime of the product. For a wowing savings example of ENERGY STAR product’s efficiency, ENERGY STAR clothes washers use 40 percent less energy than conventional washers while reducing water bills.
- See The Energy Savings Light: Lighting your home accounts for 10 percent of your average energy bill alone. Again, turn to the power of the ENERGY STAR force. ENERGY STAR bulbs save $75 a year in energy costs. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs yield as much as 75 percent more energy savings and last six times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Behold Power Strip Power: Energy vampires haunt every American house, costing the average household a Benjamin Franklin ($100) a year. Many electronic devices and equipment continue to consume energy even when not in use. Using a power strip for electronic devices and turning it off when not in use defangs and evicts energy vampires.
- Ensure Your Water Heater Isn’t Running A Fever: Water heating floods your energy bill, accounting for as much as 18 percent of your utility bills. By making sure your water heater is set no higher than 120 degrees, installing low-flow shower heads or temperature-sensitive shower valves and insulating your water heater with a jacket to prevent heat loss, you can reduce your water heating bills.
- Go With A Heating & Cooling Pro: Some jobs require an ace, a Justin Verlander/Jon Lester-esque shutdown artist. Going with a qualified technician for your heating and cooling system’s annual maintenance will ensure your airflow, fluid (refrigerant) level, combustion process and heat exchanger are safe and working properly.
- Get A Home Energy Audit: Nobody can give you a better game plan to improve your home’s energy efficiency than a professional home energy auditor.
Reducing your family’s home energy costs doesn’t require solving a Rubik’s Cube. It only requires smart and simple adherence to New Year’s Home Energy Efficiency Resolutions.