Spending more time at home can cause a spike in your utility bills. Learn how to save energy and keep your wallet happy by following these five tips:
#1: Have A Light Bulb Moment
It’s easy to forget to turn off the lights when you’re home all day, but turning off lights you’re not using can save a lot of energy! Incandescent and halogen light bulbs are the least efficient light bulbs, with only 10% of the energy an incandescent bulb uses emitted as light. In comparison, LED light bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and lasts 25 times as long. That means in addition to turning off lights that you aren’t using, switching your light bulbs to LEDs can save you a lot of energy. While old LEDs got a bad reputation for having harsh light, advancements in LED technology have created a spectrum from bright to soft light.
You may be able to receive free ENERGY STAR® LED light bulbs by getting a Mass Save home energy audit. In an energy audit, a professional energy auditor provides a thorough assessment of your home’s energy use. In addition to a room-by-room examination, an auditor may also use equipment such as blower doors and infrared cameras to find where air is escaping from your home, taking your heat or AC with it! You can conduct a free online home energy audit through Mass Save to determine whether your home is a good candidate for an in-home energy assessment. Mass Save is also currently offering virtual no-cost home energy assessments that provide many of the same benefits of an in-person audit, including no-cost energy saving products such as LED bulbs, advanced power strips, low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators, and efficient thermostats.
If you are a municipal utility customer, you may be able to receive a HELPS audit with similar benefits. HELPS customers who complete an in-home energy audit project are eligible for a Home Efficiency Incentive. For more information, visit the HELPS website or call their toll-free number at 888-333-7525.
#2: Slay Energy Vampires
Don’t leave your chargers plugged in when you’re not using them. Many electronic devices continue to draw power even though they are off. Any device with a “standby” or “instant on” setting, such as a charger that draws energy as soon as your device is plugged in, continues to draw energy even when it is not in use, making it an “energy vampire”. Devices with remote controls, clocks, speakers, and answering machines are other common examples of energy vampires.
#3: You’ve Got the Power
Switch to smart power strips! A smart power strip can help reduce energy vampires by cutting power to associated devices based on criteria like timers, motion sensors, or turning off a “master” device. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has a great chart that compares different types of smart power strips to help you decide which one is best for your needs.
#4: Weather the Weather
Another easy way to increase energy efficiency is through weatherization. Weatherization is a process that protects against the outside elements, keeping your building cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Insulation, air sealing, and weather-stripping are all examples of easy to implement weatherization techniques. Check out our blog for more weatherization tips and tricks!
#5: Take Advantage of Free Energy
More energy from the sun falls on earth in one hour than is used by everyone in the world in one year. Take advantage of that free energy by using it whenever possible. Try drying clothes outside in the sun, using natural light rather than burning out your bulbs, and opening your curtains to allow the sun to warm your home during the day and closing them at night to keep that heat inside.
For more information on how you can save energy at home, check out our website!