Household utility bills are amongst the costliest monthly expenses for any renter or homeowner but luckily, there are more than a few simple tricks anyone can use to cut an energy bill.
Light Up Your Life – for Less!
If your parents ever told you to “Turn off all these dang lights!” or “Close the door, we’re not paying to air-condition the whole neighborhood!” as a child, then you’re already familiar with surefire cost-cutting measure number one – conserve. While old-fashioned, this is truly the most time-honored way to save cents. Along these lines, you should also make an effort to utilize your home’s natural light to the fullest.
As citizens of the 21st century, we can also save energy through additional means not available to our parents’ generation. One such way to cut lighting costs in a home is to replace traditional incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent, or CFL, bulbs which expend a fraction of the energy of a traditional light bulb.
In fact, a non-profit group called Green Light New Orleans has made a mission of this very task. Green Light New Orleans offers to replace your existing bulbs with CFL bulbs (9-, 14-, 20-, or 23-watt) free of charge.
According to the US Department of Energy, renters and homeowners can save on energy bills by keeping household water heaters set at a temperature of 120 degrees. According to the DOE’s Energy Saver tips, “For each 10 degree Fahrenheit reduction in water temperature, you can save between 3 and 5 percent in energy costs.”
Hot Times in the City
Summer energy bills in New Orleans are high; as summer without air-conditioning here is like winter in Antarctica without heat, running the AC 24-7 is almost a necessity. This, of course, becomes costly quite quickly but there are a few ways to keep your bill from becoming too outrageous.
Depending on how much sun your home gets, you may want to consider purchasing specialized window treatments designed to block sun. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to maintain a cool temperature in your home without the natural solar energy of the sun seeping in. Just be sure to consult your community manager (if you are renting) prior.
Cooking, too, can be an arduous task in the too-hot summer months. Anyone who’s roasted a turkey can tell you that using an oven will heat up more than your meal. To combat this, it may be a great idea to invest in some type of outdoor grilling apparatus. If you don’t have a yard, a toaster, microwave, or even a countertop grill machine will emit less heat than a standard oven.