By Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Over the summer a survey revealed that one in five Americans have saved $1000 or more throughout the pandemic. Spending habits have shifted from nightlife and traveling to DIY home projects and streaming services. Even with this change, almost half of Americans spent less this summer than they did last year. The dire situation has changed financial habits for the better and many Americans are still looking for ways to save. As we continue to spend more time at home, using energy wisely and optimizing efficiency can make a big difference when it comes to utility bills. Here are some tips to make your money go further and hopefully have some extra to stash away.
1. According to Citizens Energy Group (Citizens), you can save as much as 10% on your heating bill just by turning back the thermostat by 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day. Not to say you need to be uncomfortable if you aren’t leaving the house or are working from home. Keep warm by adding a layer of clothing or cozy up with a blanket. A pair of inexpensive house shoes can keep your toes warm on uncarpeted floors in the colder months.
2. For South facing windows, the sunshine can be a free source of warmth. Open curtains or blinds to let the sun warm up your home. As the sun goes down, be sure to close drapes and lower blinds to help create a barrier to the cold overnight.
3. Being mindful of where the vents in your house are pushing air out can optimize your energy use and comfort. Warm air rises so use a register to direct the air flow across the floor. Close vents and doors to unused spaces. If you have a spare bedroom you don’t need to temperature control it while no one is staying in the room. Be sure to close the damper on a fireplace that is not in use.
4. When decorating your home for the holidays, use LED lights instead of old incandescent light strands. LED lights are 70% more energy efficient, also brighter, and safer as they don’t produce as much heat. Limiting the hourly usage of lights by setting timers to automatically turn on when the sun goes down and turn off in the middle of the night can really cut down on energy costs.
5. Reduce the temperature on your water heater. Citizens estimates that a family of four, each showering for five minutes a day, uses 700 gallons of water each week. By lowering the thermostat on the water heater to 120 degrees, you’ll not only save money but avoid scalding your hands.
There are so many easy ways to save energy and multiple energy providers offer rebates and promotions to help consumers be smarter with energy consumption. Last year we created a post, Save Energy, Save Money that highlights energy providers across the state offering energy efficiency programs. The post also includes a video of one of our very own staff member’s home energy assessment with IPL. Reducing your energy consumption not only helps the environment, it keeps money in your pocket (unless you spend it on other things). As the seasons change, we’re less likely to go outdoors. Saving energy while optimizing the efficiency and comfort of our homes is a no brainer when it comes to conserving our financial resources during this pandemic. The above tips are low effort and yield a savings of money and resources for consumers and providers alike. For more energy saving tips, check out Save Energy, Save Money and for ideas to entertain yourself and your family while at home check out, Saving Money & Staying Sane While Staying at Home.
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