When people think of switching to green energy, they often think of purchasing something large and expensive. It is true that the upfront cost for whole house solar can amount to a lot of money. But there are many actions you can take at much less cost. These can add up to substantial savings over the years. You do not need to make a large investment all at once. A step by step strategy will work. Here are some tips on modest steps you can take to help the environment and save money on your energy costs.
When you go to an appliance store, you will see Energy Star ratings on the appliances. These ratings are given by an independent government agency, testing the efficiency and the annual cost of running the appliance. These appliances are designed to use much less energy than older ones. Therefore they can save you money on your electric bills for many years to come. Go over the facts and figures. You will likely find it is worth paying a little more for an Energy Star appliance and getting those long term savings. They contribute to energy conservation, meaning less fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity.
You do not have to convert to solar power for your home’s entire energy needs. You can start with solar panels to heat your hot water. These are very cost efficient. Then you can put in a solar panel to run just one appliance–a refrigerator, for instance. This gives you protection from power outages that could cause you to lose all the food in your refrigerator. Even having one appliance “off the grid” means you are less dependent on the power company. You might set a goal of adding one appliance each year under solar power, or one every three years. An incremental approach means you do not have to make a big investment all at once.
Do you remember how fresh clothes smell when dried in the sun on a clothesline? If you have a sunny place for a clothesline in your yard, you can save a lot on electric dryer costs.
Trees that shade your home can reduce air conditioning costs in the summer. They also give out oxygen for you to breathe, and they reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.
Conserving energy can be as simple as just turning off lights in a room not in use. Or turning off your computer when you are not using it. The new efficient light bulbs save a lot of electricity over time. It is worthwhile replacing your old incandescent bulbs.
You can take another step to gradually decrease your energy costs: adding some more insulation each year, or caulking or replacing a leaky window. Most homeowners make some small improvements every year. If you concentrate on improvements that save energy, you will be rewarded with lower energy costs.
These tips are easy to put into practice and need not require a big investment. The rewards of energy efficiency help your bottom line, but they also help the planet.