When developing a budget, it’s easy to think that you have no control over costs for essential items such as electricity, particularly when every bill seems to be higher than the last. But if you look closely at your energy usage at home and make a few small changes to reduce your consumption, you will be able to use that extra cash in more enjoyable ways than paying it to an electricity provider. In addition, you are making a valuable contribution to the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The following five tips can help put more money in your pocket.
- Install efficient lighting. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 80% less energy and can last up to eight times longer than conventional bulbs. Consider installing skylights and use the sun for lighting your house as it’s free.
- Control the temperature. Set the air-conditioner thermostat at an appropriate level that is optimum for comfort and efficiency; 25°C is the recommended temperature. Use ceiling fans instead; they can even be used in winter to move warm air from the ceiling to down lower where it is needed. Wearing appropriate clothing for the climate and installing insulation can reduce the need for additional heating or cooling. Using window coverings such as curtains and blinds can also make a big difference; most of the warm air in a room is lost or gained via windows.
- Go natural. Using the sun and fresh air to dry your laundry is a free alternative to the clothes dryer. It is also gentler on your clothes and will ensure they last longer, saving you even more money. Most modern laundry detergents are designed to be used in cold water, so there’s no need to use hot water when washing your clothes.
- Consult the stars. When purchasing new appliances, check the star or energy rating. The more stars, the greater the energy efficiency, and the more you can save. Similarly, installing a water-saving showerhead can cut water usage by up to 50% and save on water heating costs.
- Turn it off. Turn off appliances if you are no longer using them; even in standby mode appliances can use a lot of electricity. A very simple habit is to switch off the light every time you leave a room.
There are many more ideas– just look around your home to discover ways you can switch and save. Don’t forget to involve your kids. It will help them to learn about saving money at the same time.
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