Energy efficiency has become a hot topic issue in 2018. This is largely in response to data showing that more people recognize the risks of climate change. According to a poll published by the University of Michigan’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy earlier this year, the number of people believing in global warming is the highest ever. A stunning 60% of voters believe in manmade climate change.
As the number of people believing in climate change increases, the number of people that prioritize energy efficiency has risen as well. A national poll conducted by the Demand Institute found that energy efficiency is now the biggest housing concern Americans have.
However, many Americans don’t know what steps they should take to improve energy efficiency. Despite their genuine concern for improving the climate, they are often misled by erroneous information. The good news is that there are a number of steps that you can take to improve energy efficiency. According to some experts we spoke with, taking the following steps could increase energy efficiency by up to 40%.
Take Prudent Steps to Cut Energy Consumption
Take a moment to think about all of the ways you use energy on a daily basis, being mindful of the ways you might be wasting that energy. Do you leave the water running when you’re brushing your teeth? Does the fridge stay open while you’re pouring milk into your cereal? Are the lights left on when you’re not in a room? These small daily actions can make a major impact on your home energy costs.
Luckily, it’s not hard to lessen your energy consumption. Make these minor adjustments to your life to start seeing your home energy bills lessen.
- Limit “vampire energy loads.” Even when appliances aren’t on, leaving them plugged in still uses energy, increasing your energy bill some 5% annually. The biggest culprits are mobile device chargers, televisions, video game consoles, and computers. To combat this, plug these items into a power strip that you can turn on and off regularly. When you need to use the items, simply flip the power switch on.
- Update appliances and electrical supplies. Old appliances and electrical components can consume an unnecessary amount of energy. Make upgrades to things like your refrigerator, washer or dryer, and lightbulbs to start seeing savings immediately. Certain upgrades come with government tax incentives or rebates, so be mindful of that when you’re shopping around!
- Invest in dimmer switches. Lighting accounts for an average of 12% of your home energy bill. To limit this cost, install dimmer switches that offer variable illumination throughout your home. They’ll help reduce the wattage used whenever your lights are turned on.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Adjusting your thermostat is one of the easiest ways to save on your home energy bill. Programmable thermostats make it easier than ever to take control of your home. This technology allows you to set the temperature of your home to different degrees at various points throughout the day. Plus, you can adjust the temperature from anywhere through a wireless connection, so when the weather suddenly changes, you’re still saving.
- Chill with the laundry. Washing your clothes doesn’t take all that much energy, but the hot water you use to wash your clothes does. It takes a lot for your hot water heater to do its job, so instead of washing your clothes in warm or hot loads, keep the setting on cool. Cold water is gentler on clothing, which means you won’t need to buy a new wardrobe after a few loads!
Improving Energy Consumption is the Key to Fighting Climate Change
Paying for water, gas, and electricity are all part of owning a home, but they don’t have to be expensive. Implement these tips and tricks into your home to lessen your home energy costs. You’ll start to see savings almost immediately, which means you can put all of that money towards your holiday budget!