Tips to Lower your Utility/Energy Bill and put money in YOUR pocket

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Tips to Lower your Utility/Energy Bill and put money in YOUR pocket

Tips to Lower your Utility/Energy Bill

1. Adjust your thermostat.  As a rule of thumb, every degree you lower a thermostat's set temperature in the winter or raise it in the summer will save 1% of energy costs over an 8 hour period.

Wisconsin weather is calling for thermostats to be turned on soon.... so lower your thermostat at night and use extra blankets on your bed. Not home during the day? Then adjust accordingly.

2.  Turn down the water heater temperature to a maximum 120 degrees.  Lower it to 80 degrees if you are going to be away from home for more than a couple days.  If you have a gas water heater, this tactic will save you gas, not electricity.

3. The refrigerator is one of the biggest energy users in the home.  To operate at maximum efficiency the door should only be opened briefly and adjust the COLD control according to the manufacturer's directions.  Vacuum refrigerator coils to remove excess dust.

4. Unplug appliances like microwaves, stereo's, VCRs and printers that do not have to be plugged in all the time, but use energy when plugged in.  Simply unplugging these appliances can save a lot of energy.

5.  Use the microwave as much as possible, instead of heating up the stove or oven.

6. Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with high efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, which use from about one quarter to one third the energy to produce the same amount of light. Though most cost more than conventional lights, they last up to 13x longer.

7. Don't use nightlights that remain plugged in an outlet. Instead, use motion sensor night lights that only light when they detect motion.

8. To help lower water bill, install low-flow shower heads and toilets.  Take shorter showers and turn the water off while brushing teeth.  Collect rain water in a container and use that water to water your plants.

Lisa Bear
(262) 893-5555

Courtesy of  Lisa Bear  RE/MAX Realty Center

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Jamie Woods
Home Savings of America - Hudson, NH

Great tips, Lisa. I'm taking a fascination with ground source heat pumps (geothermal). It's recognized by the EPA and the DOE as the cleanest, most energy-efficient method, even more so than solar. It provides free hot water when in air conditioning mode, too, so basically all summer long up north here and year round in hotter climates. There's a 30% tax credit until 2016 for homeowners who convert to EE heating/cooling methods like geothermal. The installation cost in considerably higher than standard systems but the payback period usually occurs within 3 - 4 years, as they save literally between 40 - 70% on their monthly utility bill. PLUS if the homeowner exploits the tax credit (which is carryable forward to future years) AND finances the improvements into a new mortgage they actually start saving money almost immediately. The FHA 203(k) as well as the FHA EEM allow such conversions in fact they encourage them with extra flexibility in underwriting. Also, the 10% tax credit for businesses is now before congress to be converted to a 10% cash grant. 

Reducing ones carbon footprint is beneficial in so many ways.

Best wishes in your continued success and thanks for the tips.

- Jamie

Mar 07, 2011 05:12 AM #1
Ken Spencer
Buckeye, AZ
for Verrado, Buckeye, Sundance

I like your tips to reduce energy use.  All of that makes sense and several I've tried myself.  A number of homes our community have opted for the next step which is a pv system to reduce electrical expenses by 75%.  I think your tips are a great start prior to making a large expenditure.

Mar 07, 2011 05:29 AM #2
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Lisa Bear (RE/MAX REALTY CENTER) Waukesha,MilwWI Real Estate 2628935555

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