Remember when oil prices plummeted during the pandemic? Well, those days are history. The global fuel energy price index, a measure of energy prices for crude oil, natural gas, coal, and propane, has skyrocketed from a low of 55 in April 2020 to nearly 260 last October. Higher fuel costs don’t just hit your home budget; they’re a big reason for inflation and high-interest rates.
Reducing your energy bill can be challenging — after all, we still need the energy to heat our homes, cook our meals and turn on the lights. But there are still many ways to reduce your energy use and save. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Change your light bulbs to LEDs: Old bulbs produce most of their energy as heat, not light. LEDs produce very little heat, so they waste a lot less.
2. Wash in cold water: Cold water washing is fine for most clothes. Sweat sets into fabrics in hot water, and hot water also tends to shrink and fade many fabrics. If sanitizing is your goal — for instance, washing bedding or towels, hot water is still recommended.
3. Air seal your windows and doors: Sealing gaps, cracks, and other leaky spots and adding insulation where you can, like in the attic, can save up to 10% on your energy costs.
4. Microwave when you can: In microwave ovens, 30 to 80% of heat energy transfers to food. A stove, on the other hand, only transfers about 12%.
5. Turn off your computer: Electronics like computers and printers can waste energy. Only turn them on when you need them.
6. Don’t leave your bathroom and kitchen fans on too long: They replace inside air with outdoor air, raising your home’s temperature in summer and lowering it in winter, so your furnace has to work harder.
7. Install a smart thermostat: A variety of smart and programmable thermostats are available that automatically adjust your home’s temperature.
8. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them: Lights — particularly non-LEDs — account for more than 10% of your utility bill.
What are your tips and tricks for reducing your energy bill? Please share your thoughts with the Shop Talk blog community — we love to hear from you!
Did you know: Dress up
Instead of raising the heat in winter and turning on the AC in summer, wear warmer or cooler clothing as needed.