Have you ever stared at your utility bills in utter disbelief? You swore you were better about conserving energy last month, yet your bill says otherwise. Each month it drains more and more of your energy bill, and your sanity. How could that be the case when you’ve thought of every obvious way to reduce your energy bill?
Well, therein lies the issue–you only looked at the obvious ways. There are a many sneaky ways you could be increasing your energy bill without even knowing it. Here are 5 things to look out for that could be driving your energy costs up–and emptying your wallet.
1. The seals on your windows, doors, and appliances aren’t strong.
A bad seal on your windows, doors, and appliances equals a bad seal on your wallet. Most people can easily tell if their windows and doors have a draft and are much more apt to check for it. Appliances, however, are a different story. Unsealed appliances are a double-whammy on your energy bills; the cold air leaking into your home causes you to spend more energy for heating, and the refrigerator draws more electricity trying to maintain its temperature setting.
2. Your lightbulbs are outdated.
You probably don’t pay much mind to how many lightbulbs are in your home or when the last time you updated them were. If you’re not careful, they can be a major contributor to increased energy bills. You can save drastically on your energy bill by switching to fluorescent or LED bulbs that are Energy Star approved, as they are much more efficient than older types of lightbulbs.
3. You’re quick to adjust the thermostat.
Yes, you should be comfortable with the temperature in your home. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be mindful of the thermostat. If it’s set too low in the summer, or too high in the winter, you’re wasting valuable resources and running up your bills. Turning your thermostat up just one degree in the summer will make a noticeable difference in your cooling bill.
But you can take this one step further–if your home is unoccupied for long periods of time, like when you’re at work, adjusting your thermostat 10-15 degrees can cut heating and cooling costs by 10% or more. With a smart thermostat, you can set timers or adjust the thermostat remotely, so your home will be comfortable by the time you get home–you won’t notice any difference, except on your bill.
4. You’re not unplugging household items.
Most people have dozens of household items and appliances that they leave plugged in when not in use. But even when they aren’t on, those items are still drawing electricity. Things like computers, televisions, landline phones, cellphone chargers, coffee makers, lamps, toasters, and more are all sneaky culprits in your energy use. If this seems like a challenge, try plugging multiple items into a power strip, so you only have to worry about turning on and off one strip rather than each individual item.
5. You’re not taking advantage of a deregulated market.
If you live in one of the 17 states with a deregulated energy market, then you may be costing yourself money without even realizing it. Customers in deregulated markets have a choice of energy supplier, but only about 30% have switched from their default provider to a better plan. Usually, people don’t switch because either they didn’t know they had the ability, or they have attempted to in the past but the complicated and unclear process made it a negative experience.
The best way to take advantage of a deregulated energy market and lower your utility bills is with AutoPilot, which fills the gap between the consumer and the supplier. AutoPilot constantly monitors the energy market, analyzes trends, and finds the plan that will save you the most money at the end of each renewal term. Just simply send in a copy of your bill, and watch your utility bill go down.