There’s no question that I have a love for travel and new experiences. In order to fund those trips and experiences, it helps when we can cut down on our other bills, especially the unavoidable utility bills.
In our teeny tiny household of two (plus two animals), it is fairly easy to monitor everyday energy use. Based on our monthly PG&E bill, Ryan and I are fairly energy efficient. We had a guest stay with us for a month earlier in the year, and because she left a space heater on all day for days, our electricity bill more than tripled. She used more electricity than the two of us combined.
Aside from not allowing house guests to stay over if they do not care about energy efficiency, here are some tips for saving on energy bills, so you can channel your funds to doing what you love (in my case, travel):
Get Out More:
Ryan and I hiking in Point Reyes
Our lowest PG&E months have been when we have spent time away from home, whether on a trip away (YAY travel) or spending time outdoors with the pup or friends. We aren’t really gymgoers, so doing other outdoorsy things keeps us in shape. These days, we have been camping and hiking quite a bit. It’s good for the body, soul and electric bill!
Energy Efficient Appliances:
In order for “getting out more” to reduce electricity bills, you’ll need energy efficient appliances. Ideally, while the fridge just sits there keeping your food cold, it’s not racking up a huge bill. If you’re looking to replace appliances, Energy Star ratings are worth looking at as it’ll help you determine your usage over time. There are some rebates out there that might help with the cost. Do some research to see what you could be saving on your next major appliance purchase!
When we first bought our fridge and stove (and washer & dryer in another instance), we definitely took advantage of available rebates. We didn’t buy a new dishwasher when we moved in since the existing one works. However, it’s time to check out the efficiency and determine if we need to replace it.
Hey dishwasher, are you energy efficient?
Windows are the largest source of wasted energy. Even though the weather doesn’t get crazy cold or hot like the rest of the nation, we are still conscientious of our heating/cooling costs. Our largest windows in the front of the house are double pane, but we still have some single paned windows in the back. That’s a project that we’re saving up for, so good thing we’re lowering our costs elsewhere!
Change Your Bulbs:
With LED and CFL technology so prominent, there’s no excuse for using incandescent bulbs that not only have a short life span, but are also energy vampires. We bought efficient bulbs in bulk and haven’t looked back since. Since they last so long, who knows when the next time we’ll have to change a bulb will be?
It also makes forgetting to turn off a light much less painful, even though still not encouraged.
Unplug, Hibernate, or Get an Awesome Surge Protector:
Because our living room doesn’t have a light source on the ceiling like most of our other rooms, we invested in a few surge protectors that were remote operated. That way, we could turn on a light on the other side of the room with a push of a button. In addition to the convenience, these surge protectors also completely eliminate wasted power. With a click of a switch, you can essentially turn everything off. Like really off.
Even when electronics are off, if they are plugged into the wall, it’s likely they are draining electricity. It’s funny how something we originally purchased out of convenience became an energy conservation tool.
Direct Benefits of Being Energy Efficient
- Financial: saves money
- Productivity: saves time
- Comfort: improves quality of life
Indirect Benefits of Being Energy Efficient
- Puts less strain on the grid (reduces outages)
- Puts less strain on other natural resources (like water)
- Reduces emissions that can harm the environment
More energy saving tips: here!
Being energy efficient = saving money on utilities = more money for fun moments like photobombing your sister and her boyfriend during your weekend camping trip!
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.