Tips to Reduce Electricity Cost and Usage

During this tumultuous era, we have been given time to reflect on how we live our lives; let’s become more sustainable. It’s time to rebuild our habits and change the way we consume. Everything from our sleep habits to our electricity bill can be audited. What’s great about performing these audits is we can see how much we use, and what we can save — savings in terms of monetary value, value for the planet, and value for ourselves.

Here are a couple tips and ideologies to carry with us as we rebuild the ways we live and rethink how we consume. These sustainable living tips will hopefully jump-start your home-based environmental stewardship and promote healthy living.

Let’s Rethink electricity: First, know how your electricity is produced. Being aware of which industry is producing your power can help promote a deeper appreciation for consumption. Carbon brief has an interactive infographic which depicts the electrical production sectors in the US, check out the link below.

Mapped: How the US generates electricity

Optimize Natural Light: Can the lights be turned off, and the blinds opened? Sometimes it’s nice to let in the natural light and give the incandescent a break. Speaking of incandescent, utilizing efficient lightbulbs is an easy way to create passive savings. Another form of passive savings is to unplug your electronics when you aren’t using them. Lawrence Berkeley Nation Laboratory estimates that unplugging your electronics can save up to $100-$200 a year, not to mention the environmental savings. [i]

There are some creative options to help promote your mitigation of unnecessary electrical usage. While reducing product consumption is always the goal, cool gadgets, which do their part to save the environment, can be heralded as a sustainable splurge. Currently, our office uses power strips that double as surge protectors. The power strips are set to timers to make sure we aren’t wasting electricity when no one is working. The power strips are also voice-controlled, while unnecessary, it’s a neat feature. Having an automated system can help reduce power consumption by simply setting a timer.

Optimize Renewable Energy: Without debate, sunlight is the most cost-effective energy source. Is there anything better than waking up with the sun and a hot cup of coffee? Utilizing the daylight and sleeping when it is dark will not only reduce your consumption of electricity but improve your health.

Solar power is another way to take advantage of this virtually free form of energy. Although tax incentives and subsidies are vital for solar affordability, and they vary by state, it could be worth researching. Below is a link that breaks down state-by-state potential solar savings. Keep in mind, a small panel powering your water heater could be affordable and possibly save money in the long run. While an entire solar array could be overkill for many budgets, it is always possible to start small and work your way to an off-grid sustainable superstar. 

Overall, rethinking electricity is, at its core, an exercise to gain a better understating of consumption. We linearly live our lives, and rarely do we determine the efficiency of our routines. We all have the potential to become minimalistic. The potential to save money and live fulfilled lives is as easy as the flick of a switch.

[i] https://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2001/02/09_energ.html

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