Like most solar companies, we’re obviously biased towards harnessing the power of solar energy for your home in order to lower your energy bill AND help the environment. Alternatively, solar panels for business can even provide a higher profit margin by lowering your overhead costs. However the average cost of solar panel installation can be a little high ($5,000 for a smaller system and around $12,000 for an average system in the US), so while saving up for solar panel installation, you may benefit from exploring alternative ways of lowering your bill.
1. Programmable thermostat
An immediately useful and cost-efficient way of lowering your electric bill is to invest in a programmable (or even better – smart) thermostat for your home. This way you can raise your AC to sit at around 78-80 while you’re away and set it to a more comfortable temperature when you’re home. With a programmable thermostat, you can set it and forget, with a smart thermostat, you can even adjust it remotely!
2. Energy efficient appliances
Investing in energy-efficient appliances like stoves, fridges, or washers and dryers can greatly reduce your electric bill without changing anything you’re already doing. Importantly, most appliances come with 5-10 year warranties, so your investment is protected for many years to come – in fact, they may even pay themselves off in savings over the course of their useful life.
3. Be mindful of your water heater
One of the biggest energy-intensive appliances in your home is your water heater. However, there are also several things that can be done to reduce its impact. Most heaters are set to around 140 degrees. Lowering this to 120 degrees can cut your water heating costs by up to 10%. Similarly, opting for shorter, warm (as opposed to very hot) showers can have a great impact. Additionally, being mindful of not washing clothes/dishes in hot water can substantially cut costs.
4. Use smart power strips
Many electronic devices don’t ever truly power off. Instead, they sit in a dormant mode that is still using a small amount of power. Many (but not all) of these are devices with a remote control function since the sensor needs power in order to receive your input. An extremely low-cost fix for this is purchasing smart power strips which work by monitoring the power usage of individual outlets. When a device connected to a smart power strip goes into standby mode, the smart power strip senses the drop in energy use and turns off electric output for these devices. These “phantom power” devices (when not utilizing a smart power strip) can account for 5-10% of your home’s power usage!
5. Solar energy
No article on reducing your power consumption/bill would be complete without mentioning the obvious; solar energy. A renewable – and clean – source of electricity that pays itself off in less than ten years on average, it’s a powerful method of reducing your carbon footprint while also saving you money. We pride ourselves on being one of the best solar panel companies in Central Florida, and are so confident in the power of solar that we’re happy to walk you through installation, and benefits, and even help you estimate your savings. Additionally, you can utilize many online solar panel kwh calculators to further estimate savings/costs and get a better idea of the impact a solar system for your home might have. An added benefit of solar panel systems is that you’re able to stay connected to the energy grid and even sell back excess power – further decreasing your electric costs.
Importantly, most energy companies will offer incentives like rebates or discounts on solar energy systems, or energy-efficient appliances. When looking to lower your energy bill, make sure to take advantage of these, as you could unknowingly be leaving hundreds of dollars on the table. Lowering your energy bill not only has a beneficial impact on your wallet but also on the environment by lowering your carbon footprint – the main cause of human-induced climate change and pollution. Do our planet a favor, and pay attention to your light bill this month! Alternatively, give us a call to discuss if solar panel installation is right for you.