Money

6 Smart Ways to Lower Your Home Energy Bills and Expenses

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When working from home your energy bills and expenses may soar. Here are six easy ways to lower household bills and save money!

Upgrade to Dimmer Switches

“While dimmers are best known for their ability to improve a room’s aesthetic appeal, they also reduce energy consumption, leaving more money in your wallet. If you dim your lights by half, you can reduce the power requirements of each bulb by 40 percent and save up to $30 a year on your power bill.” — Jori Gohsman, senior category manager, lighting, Batteries Plus Bulbs.

Opt for Energy-Saving Light Bulbs

“We started replacing our incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. Not only are they brighter, making fewer lights needed, they save money on energy. Studies show that you can save up to $300 a year with LED compared with incandescent bulbs.” — Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell, author of Living Large in Our Little House (Buy on Amazon, $17.38)

Wrap Your Water Heater With This

“You can save up to $50 a year simply by wrapping your water heater with an insulated water-heater blanket (available at hardware stores, starting at $20). This easy project keeps the water warmer for a longer period of time, resulting in elements turning on less frequently. The insulation can reduce your heating bill by as much as 45 percent. To secure the insulation, use thin, flexible wire — not tape or plastic, both of which are flammable.” — John Hale, owner of Mr. Electric of Augusta, GA

Outsmart Phantom Electricity

It can be hard to remember to unplug all your devices after using them. So we switched to power strips that kill “phantom electricity” — electricity consumed by gadgets or appliances plugged into outlets even when devices are powered off. Once you hit the kill switch on the power strip, you don’t have to worry about extra electricity being used. Power strips cost around $20. Ten percent of an average home’s energy consumption is from phantom electricity, so over time, this can add up to huge savings!” — Kathryn Kellogg, GoingZeroWaste.com

Snag Credit  By Skipping Peak Hours

Surprise — a phone call to your utility company could save you money! They’re required by law to operate “Energy Smart” or “Energy Efficient” programs that help you cut your usage and costs. For instance, some utilities turn off your water heater for 15 minutes at peak usage times in return for a credit on your bill (about $4 a month). Others offer free home audit programs, where a professional can detect costly leaks. Just contact your energy provider to see what they can do for you!

To Lower Internet Fees

Many companies now offer online services — and at more competitive prices than what you may already be paying. To compare providers, visit Wirefly.com/compare-internet-providers, type in your ZIP code, and you’ll get a list of area providers and their prices. Not able to switch? Ask your current provider if they offer an “economy” tier. Xfinity and Cox offer economy plans that will save you $120 per year compared to their base plan. This lower-priced option has slower speeds, but they’re enough for posting on Facebook, using email and watching an occasional YouTube video.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Make Money From Home (Buy on Amazon, $12.99).  

We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.

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