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Unfortunately for my family, our new home lacks the natural light we once had. We recently moved from a one story home with a lot of windows and natural light, to a bigger, two-story home, with almost no natural light at all. As you can imagine it has been an adjustment to heat the house up during these chilly fall nights and trying hard to not keep the lights on all day long. After looking at our finances a couple months after the move, we realized we were spending way too much money on our gas and electric bill and something needed to change.
My husband and I sat down and came up with a plan on ways we could reduce our energy without living uncomfortably. We knew that not only would this help us save money in the long run, but this would teach our children a great lesson on how to be more energy efficient and the benefits that come with it. Benefits like:
- Financial: saves money
- Productivity: saves time
- Comfort: improves quality of life
- Puts less strain on the grid (reduces outages)
- Puts less strain on other natural resources (like water)
- Reduces emissions that can harm the environment
After we set our plan on how we were going to cut down on our energy bill, we realized it really wasn’t that complicated. We could easily start incorporating these few ways to save money on our energy bill.
- Switch to energy saving light bulbs
- Upgrade to an energy-efficient model ENERGY STAR® labeled refrigerator, washer, air conditioner, or other appliance.
- When you’re at home, set the furnace thermostat at 68°F or lower, health permitting. Three to five percent more energy is used for each degree the furnace is set above 68°F.
- When you leave the house, set the thermostat to 56°F. By turning your thermostat back 10-5 degrees for 8 hours, you can save 5-15 percent a year on your heating bill.
- Warm the house with the fireplace instead of the heater, also keep extra layers of clothing on.
- Wash clothing on COLD! Today’s modern detergents work great in cold water, and about 90 percent of the energy used by clothes washers goes to water heating.
- Take shorter showers to reduce water heating costs. Try playing a short (10 minute) playlist each time you shower, then challenge yourself and others in your home to finish before the music does.
- Don’t waste money on electronics or appliances not in use. Turn off and unplug TVs and DVD players, computers, phone chargers, coffee makers, etc.
This is just a small fraction of ways we easily transitioned into our every day lives. PG&E has some incredible tips on how to save on your energy bill for warm weather, cold weather and everyday saving tips. All broken down by no cost, low cost and investment solutions. This really helped us when we were planning our ways to cut down on our energy bill. You can see the list here: http://www.pge.com/savingstips/
Because PG&E rocks, they also have some great advice on:
- Planning your next project by focusing on a specific area of your house with this Money Saver Tool (rebate info can also be found here): http://www.pge.com/myhome/saveenergymoney/moneysaver/#/default
- Doing your research and planning ahead when shopping for appliances. Check the rebate catalog: http://www.pge.com/myhome/saveenergymoney/rebates/
- Refrigerator recycling rebate program: http://www.pge.com/recycle/
- My Energy tips: https://pge.opower.com/ei/app/ideas
- Plug-in electric vehicles: http://www.pge.com/myhome/saveenergymoney/pev/
Right now PG&E is having a #PGEhome Instagram Photo Challenge Contest that’s happening from November 17-23. Seven lucky winners will each receive a $100 Home Depot gift card! Check out their Instagram page for more information: http://clvr.li/pgeinsta.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.