Did you know the average American pays over $1300 a year for electricity? This means your electric bills can take upwards of 5-10% of your income. Examining your bills and deciphering how to cut back your electricity can sometimes be daunting considering the lineup involved in one bill. However, there are effective ways of shaving money off your monthly energy bills and they don’t require you to compromise on your daily comforts. You really can have the best of both worlds!
1. Get An Energy Audit
Most Texas utility companies offer free home energy audits to their customers, and it is well worth taking advantage of. An energy audit can actually result in 30% reduction in your annual energy consumption. Evaluating whether you are using an inordinate amount of energy heating or cooling your home when you are not there is usually a part of the assessment program. This is a great start in deciding whether or not you want to purchase something like a programmable thermostat that allows you to reduce energy while you are home and can save you up to 10 to 30 percent on heating and cooling costs. You can also conduct your own energy audit if your company doesn’t offer it.
2. Install Solar Panels
One of the best ways to save a large sum of money is to invest in solar panels. You can actually make upward to $10-30k back in one year on your utility bill after installing. The amount you save on your bills is usually more than the amount it takes to buy and install as well.
3. Locate and Eliminate Drafts
Finding and eliminating drafts in your home can decrease your energy bills by 10%. This is because the average Texas home has enough air leakage to equal the amount of you leaving a medium-sized window open 24 hrs a day. A blower door test – sometimes performed with an energy audit – can reveal the locations of these drafts and quantify the amount of leakage. You can usually then go ahead and caulk any windows, doors, and fireplaces with air leaks.
4. Determine Your Insulation
The EPA states that insulation can lead to savings of up to 15% on your cooling and heating and 11% on your total energy costs. Insulation is usually measured by R-value, or its ability to resist heat flow. The more your insulation increases, the more your R-value increases. The proper installation of insulation along with consistent layers throughout your home can truly make a huge difference. Also, a well-insulated home often commands a higher market value and you may be eligible for higher tax incentives.
Next to these, you can also lower your Texas electricity bill with smaller moves. For the beginner electricity bill savers, simple moves like raising your refrigerator temperature, turning off/unplugging your coffee maker, using your dishwasher instead of hand washing, keeping your fridge/freezer full, washing your clothes in cold water, and even doing laundry at night can help with lowering your electricity bill.