Electricity can be a sneaky thing. It’s always there and sometimes it can be hard to measure. This often leads to rising energy costs, leaving you scratching your head asking, “What happened?”
There are many things that can cause out of control rising energy costs, but here are a few of the common culprits:
Using out-of-date appliances
Today, it can feel like technology, from our cell phones to our refrigerators, need constant updating. While we’re not recommending you buy the latest appliance, it is important to replace old, worn-out tech in the spirit of conserving electricity. Appliances are one of the biggest chunks of your electricity bill, so it’s crucial you’re not running ‘clunkers’ when you should be upgrading to energy-efficient models instead.
One item to look for when upgrading your appliances is that little Energy Star logo. Energy Star appliances may cost a little more than traditional machines, but these energy-efficient machines use less energy to get the job done than their other electricity-zapping counterparts.
The same goes for all the light bulbs in your house. If you’re still using traditional incandescent bulbs, you’re in the dark! LED lights use 80–90% less energy, provide better bright light, and last pretty much forever.
Too many devices on ‘stand-by’
One of the main reasons your electric bill may be high is that you leave your appliances or electronics plugged in whether you’re using them or not. While that might not have been such a problem years ago, most modern appliances and gadgets draw electricity when turned off. This is mostly because much of modern technology never really powers down. When you press the “Power” button on your DVR, computer, or television, it actually transitions to a standby mode so it can be turned back on faster, either for continued use or to carry out a scheduled task like recording a TV show or brewing a pot of coffee.
The problem is, these devices are sitting idle, sucking electricity out of your home while waiting for a command from you or waiting for a scheduled task to run. Anything with a clock, such as microwave ovens and coffee makers — and even older technologies, like VCRs — need power to keep time while turned off.
You can start saving energy by connecting devices to power strips and turning off the power strips when you’re not using them. That way, off will really means off as you’ve effectively disconnected the device from the power source. Check out how these devices rank in terms of energy usage.
Your Home Needs to be Insulated
Another sneaky culprit of electricity drain is the energy it takes to heat and cool your home. If your home is not properly insulated, all the money you spend on heating and cooling will be going right out your beautiful, bay windows and drafty attic space. This means your home’s unit is working harder than it should, costing you time and, of course, money!
To help deflect escaping heat/cool air, try replacing all the old windows and doors in your home with well-fitting, multi-pane choices. If this isn’t an option, you can always install weatherstripping around your doors and windows, too. Check out this handy guide from Energy.gov to find out how much insulation your home needs depending on where you live.
Electricity can be a pesky thing to keep track off, especially when it’s costing you lots of money. Let us help you get your home into ‘green’ shape, while saving you time and money on your next energy bill. Learn more about Provider Power and check out our rates for your state and we’ll help you get on track to a more energy efficient home.
Like what you read? Read more tips here:
10 Tips to Save Energy this Fall and Winter
5 DIY Ways to Insulate Your Home on the Cheap
Blame it on the Rates: Electricity Bill Charges and What it All Means
You’re Wasting Money on Monthly Expenses: Five Tips to Lower Your Bill