Let’s face it, money can get pretty tight for all of us at times. One way that we can cut back is to try to save money on our utilities. Some areas make that easier than others. For example, in Alberta or anywhere that consumers have a say in their power provider, you can compare energy rates and plans to choose which one best suits the needs of your family and your budget. For more information on that, click here.
Some people are of the opinion that the state your finances are in is a reflection of you. Some good arguments can be made to that point, but whether or not you have a savings account should not define you. At the same time, if you don’t have a savings account, why not? You can more than likely cut corners somewhere to save a bit of money. Why not start with your energy bills? This will also simultaneously be reducing your carbon footprint.
Go White Up Top
There was a study done by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Heat Island Group that found that in sunnier climates, buildings that were equipped with white rooftops needed as much as 40% less energy to cool them than buildings that were equipped with black rooftops. At the current energy rates, this could save you as much as $100 per year on your energy bills.
This isn’t an expensive thing to do either. Go to your local hardware or home improvement store and get some inexpensive white, elastomeric paint and then paint your roof with it. This type of paint is both flexible and durable and it is also waterproof. It gives you the additional benefit of adding to the life span and water resistance of your roof.
There are plenty of ways to save money on your energy bills in the winter. One way is to take a look around at your doors and windows. Not all of them will be used in the colder months. The ones that will not be in use can have plastic put over them. Window kits can be found at your local home improvement store for about $5 each. These are great for eliminating drafts and keeping the heat in. If you just can’t spare the extra dough for the plastic, you can always use blankets too.
Make a Few Minor Adjustments
Saving money on energy bills doesn’t mean that you have to go out and spend a bunch of money on supplies. There are a few things that you can do right now to make a difference.
- Check to ensure that none of the heat registers is blocked.
- Keep windows that face south uncovered during the day to let the warmth in and close them up again at night to keep the cold out.
- If you have doors that let drafts in under them, use a door snake. You can make your own out of a rolled up towel.
- Check on the power management settings for your TVs and computers to make sure that they go into hibernate mode when they are not being used.
You might think that when your appliances are turned off that they aren’t consuming energy. That would be incorrect. Appliances, TVs, other electronics can be energy vampires and be sucking power even when they are turned off. To avoid this, unplug them when you aren’t using them. If their outlets are not readily accessible, plug them into a power strip that you can turn off when not in use.
One last thing, you might want to think about getting an energy efficiency home audit to see where you can make improvements and where to get started.