Most of us feel that we are not consuming as much electricity as we did five or ten years ago. However, our power bills have gone up. If our homes were energy efficient and we were taking all possible measures to save energy, how could this happen?
Well, it is true that most people have invested in energy saving gadgets and appliances. However, they still haven’t learned to use them responsibly. People buy power-saving CFLs, hoping that they can leave their lights on all the time. They believe that since the CFL consumes less energy, their bills won’t go up even if they keep it on for a long time. Unfortunately, because of these wrong notions, the bills went skyrocketing. And when people receive huge energy bills, they feel powerless.
But have you ever wondered why your energy bill is going up despite your efforts to bring it down? Well, there are several possible causes.
Inflation is one of the main reasons that drive up the cost of energy. But this is not something an average consumer can control. Some other developments too can push up our power usage. For example, large homes consume more energy. We are also becoming more dependent on gadgets – and gadgets consume power.
Homes that are less than 30 years old are built with a certain degree of energy efficiency. Nonetheless, there is still room for improvement.
Don’t blame the utilities
People believe that their utilities are jacking up the prices. That is not quite true. Utilities can’t change power tariffs without the approval of public utility commissions. So if you really want to lower your energy bills, stop blaming the utilities and start taking the right measures.
Don’t expect too much
Our expectations are often unrealistic. People expect to make huge savings when they invest in energy efficient homes. Unfortunately, that is not possible unless of course you are investing in a renewable source like solar energy. However, if you take all the right measures, you should see 20 % to 30% drop in energy bills. That is not a small amount though. An average American household spends $2,200 a year for energy.
Simple steps to reduce your power bills
Seal all air leaks.
Since air leaks can drive up your cooling and heating costs, getting them fixed is an absolute must. Common causes of air leaks in and around the house are electrical wires, plumbing lines, windows, recessed lighting, and attics. On the plus side, getting them fixed is really easy and doesn’t cost much.
Consult an HVAC contractor.
Get all your ductwork examined by an HVAC contractor and seal any leaking ducts. This could help you save up to $330 a year.
Program your thermostat.
Adjust your thermostat to power saving settings. Few people do it, although this can lower their energy bills.
Buy CFLs and LEDs.
Incandescent light bulbs are the least energy efficient. Replace them with LEDs and CFLs. LEDs are better than CFLs but they are a bit expensive.
Set your water heater to 120 degrees. Their default setting is 140 degrees. By dropping 20 degrees, you can save up to 10% on annual water heating costs.