Cutting Expenses – Energy bill

If you’re serious about cutting cost, you probably took a good look at your monthly expenses and realized that your energy bill consistently takes a large chunk out of your budget.

In an average home about half of the electric and gas bill is attributed to heating and cooling. This adds up to around $1,000 a year. What can you do to redirect that cash towards paying down debts? Consider the following:

Cooling:

Keep your air conditioning unit out of the sun. Direct sun light can cause your unit to use 10% more electricity. If the sun hits your unit, you can plant brushes or a hedge close enough to provide shade but far enough not to restrict air flow.

Clean your air conditioning unit regularly and check the motor’s lubrication to keep it running efficiently.

Use light colored paint on your roof. A building with a black roof requires 40% more energy to cool than one with a white roof.

Heating:

Don’t forget to turn off your heater before going on vacation.

14%-18% of a home’s total energy cost is for heating water. This can add up to more than $400 a year. Using an insulation blanket on your heater can reduce loss of heat by up to 45%. New water heaters are already insulated, but older heaters can definitely benefit from this simple tip.

It is only necessary to use hot water for your laundry if the clothes are heavily soiled or you want disinfect them (like after having the flu). If you wash your clothes with cold water you can save up to $125 a year.

The government offers financial incentives to those who replace old appliances with energy efficient models. This website provides an overview of rebates and other incentives in each state.

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