We all want to save money on our electric bill, and saving money on one’s electric bill is one of the primary reasons customers look into going solar. Going solar will certainly save you money in the long run, and in many cases can save you money on a month-by-month basis. However, the best way to save on our electric bills and to reduce our upfront costs for solar is to reduce the amount of electricity we consume on a monthly basis.
Changing our lightbulbs to LEDs is a great place to start, as an LED on average requires about one sixth (1/6) the amount of electricity to produce the same amount of lumens as incandescent bulbs. LEDs also last an average of 22 years as opposed to a year for incandescents, making it worth while to spend the extra to make the transition.
EnergyStar and energy efficient appliances are also a good route to go, however the cost of many of our household appliances make them an item we’d rather wait to replace when our current ones fail. So remember next time your fridge kicks the can that it may be worth investing in an energy efficient one.
Aside from upgrading appliances and lightbulbs, downgrading our electrical consumption is also a good move. This doesn’t need to equate to a reduction in lifestyle, it only requires us to be more cognoscente of the energy we consume and reconsider how we do so. Turning off your lights when you leave a room, turning your AC from high to medium, and turning off your desktop computer when you are not using it can all help us reduce what we consume on a daily basis. If you want to be super stingy about it, unplugging all electronics when unused to eliminate phantom draw can also help save kilowatthours per month.
If you want to go a step further, then consider an energy audit. An energy audit consists of finding poorly insulated areas in your house, and tallying all of your appliances and multiplying their wattage by the hours per day or per month they are on. This can help give you a picture of what exactly is bringing you electric bill up and where you are losing precious thermal retention.
Heres the Department of Energy’s take on a DIY energy audit. I hope it helps!