10 Ways to Save on Your Energy Bill This Winter
When the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, you can expect an increased energy bill that covers keeping you warm. Instead of letting cold weather in the Santa Clara Valley break the bank, take action to reduce your power bills without shivering.
Here are the top 10 tips to enjoy a lower electric bill this frigid season.
Check Your Thermostat
The first step you can take when considering how to lower your electric bill is to lower your thermostat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% on your electric bill by lowering your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day.
Ten degrees might seem like a big sacrifice to save on utility bills. Turning down your thermostat for eight hours a day does not mean suffering in the cold. You could make this adjustment when everyone is away at work or at night when your blankets can keep you warm and comfortable.
Consider installing a programmable thermostat to help adjust the temperature when you are not home. You might even go with a smart thermostat that can learn your schedule and be controlled from your smartphone.
Switch to Energy Efficient Lighting
There has never been a better time to switch to LED light bulbs in your home. These illuminators produce just as much light as traditional incandescent bulbs but at a fraction of the cost. They also last longer than conventional bulbs, which means you will not have to replace them as often, thus saving you even more money.
On top of being long-lasting and more efficient, LED bulbs do not contain toxic materials or gases, making them more eco-friendly.
When you add solar panels to your home, you are taking a big step into the electrification movement and keeping money in your wallet. Thanks to the advancement of modern technology, solar panels are cheaper and less expensive to install than ever.
If you want to unlock additional savings with your solar power system, hire a Gilroy electrician to add a solar energy storage system to your home. This storage system retains energy when the sun is shining and saves it for use down the road. You would only need to pay the utility company when the sun is not shining, and your batteries are depleted.
Under the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act, there are new government programs that help reduce the cost of many green initiatives, including going solar. According to the IRA, you can earn up to a 30% tax credit for installing solar systems between 2022 and 2032. It has never been easier to save on your energy bill and save the environment.
Add Energy Storage
You can take advantage of a whole home energy storage system, even if you do not have solar power. These batteries can store energy during nonpeak hours, and utility prices are lower. You can then use the stored energy during peak hours when higher utility costs are higher.
Even with an energy storage system, you are still attached to the local grid and can access power whenever needed. The storage system helps you exert more control over how your dollars are spent.
Upgrade Your Electrical Panel
It may be time to upgrade your service panel if you have an older home. These older electrical panels often cannot handle the needs of a modern electric home, and this inefficiency results in increased energy consumption for your appliances and devices.
Upgrading your service panel can significantly affect how much energy you use, and it is worth exploring advanced smart electrical panels that offer additional features. Some systems allow you to track and monitor which circuits consume the most power, set schedules for when different circuits operate, and turn off energy-chugging appliances during peak hours.
Seal Your Windows, Doors, and Outlets
Air leaks can cause a significant amount of heat loss in your home. You can often seal gaps or cracks around windows or doors with the appropriate caulking. You can also purchase weatherstripping or plastic sheets for your windows at your local hardware store.
An often overlooked culprit of heat loss is around your electrical outlets and light switches, especially on exterior walls. Insulation has difficulty getting behind the electrical boxes, which allows heat to escape and cold air to get in. Electrical contractors in Santa Clara County can help identify these air leaks and make the appropriate repairs to ensure your home is sealed nice and tight.
Heat Spaces, Not the House
When used correctly and safely, space heaters can help reduce your monthly energy bill. Instead of heating your entire home, you can use a space heater to heat the area where you spend most of your time. An efficient space heater costs much less than an entire central heating system. Space heaters are also helpful in areas that are particularly drafty or hard to heat.
If your home has a fireplace, you can also use that to keep areas of the house warm. Make sure that your chimney is in good working order and that you manage any fires appropriately. A welcoming fire also adds a cozy ambiance. It is much better to burn wood than to burn through money.
Open Your Curtains
When the sun is shining, it can provide natural heat throughout your home. Open your curtains and draw back your blinds to let that free warmth inside. You can purchase various kinds of window treatments and reflective materials that allow heat while maintaining your privacy indoors.
Make sure to close those blinds and windows to trap heat indoors when the sun goes down.
Use a Smart Power Strip
Even when a device is not in use, it can still draw power and raise your energy bill. A smart power strip allows you to control several devices at once. Modern smart power strips provide incredible features like scheduling, remote control, and energy monitoring. Reducing standby power consumption may not eliminate your energy bill, but every little bit helps.
Protect Your Appliances
The last thing you want to do when trying to save money is deal with a broken appliance or device. A surge protector protects your devices from damage caused by power surges, blackout restorations, lightning strikes, power grid problems, and more. You can even have an electrician with a license install a whole-house surge protector that adds a line of defense to the entire property.
It does not matter how much money you save on your energy bill if you have to replace an expensive TV, refrigerator, or washing machine.
Cold Months Do Not Mean a Higher Energy Bill
Just because the weather is colder, it does not mean you have to pay a higher energy bill. By taking the necessary steps, you can easily enjoy a comfortable home and bank account.
If you would like to explore upgrading your home with an energy-efficient service panel, smart home technology, or energy storage system, call Waton’s Charging Stations & Electric. As the premier team of electrical contractors in the Gilroy, CA, area, we offer a variety of electrical services that can help reduce your energy costs and keep your home safe and comfortable all winter long. Schedule your free consultation today.