By Andrew Wade

The change of seasons inspires many of us to work on projects around our homes, and one key goal is often saving money on our electric bill. Here are eight easy tips to lowering your electric bill every year:

  1. Seal up your house – Don’t let cash slip through the cracks! Use inexpensive expanding foam or caulk to seal cracks in areas where cold or warm air would typically escape. Make sure to check around the windows and doorframes, the entryway to the basement or attic (especially if it is not insulated), and around holes in the walls where pipes enter and exit your home.
  2. Wash laundry with cold water – Heating the water in the water heater accounts for about 90 percent of the energy used when washing clothes. By using cold water, you reduce energy costs and it helps preserve the colors of your clothing!
  3. Turn on fans – For the little energy they use, fans could lead to big savings on your electric bill. They help circulate and regulate the temperature in the house, allowing your heat and AC units to work at optimal performance without struggling.
  4. Unplug electronics – Although most appliances and electronics don’t have a very high energy cost, only accounting for about 17 percent of energy use in the average American household, some have more of an impact than others. Keep a watch on video game systems, desktop computers and television sets. Handy tip: use power strips to easily turn off multiple devices at one time!
  5. Consider your lightbulbs – According to forbes.com, “turning off a single 100-watt light bulb from running constantly can save $131 per year and by replacing 10 60-watt light bulbs with compact fluorescents or LEDs you can save $123 per year.”
  6. Replace air filters – Do you have central air-conditioning/heat? Don’t forget to check the air filters! They should be replaced monthly to ensure proper airflow throughout the house. Also check to make sure all the vents are open. Closing the vents prevents your AC from running at its full potential.
  7. Don’t cool an empty house – If you have a programmable thermostat, use it! If not, make sure you lower the temperature before leaving the house, or close off the rooms you aren’t using.
  8. Go Solar! – And when you decide to go solar, OWN IT! Massachusetts is a pro-renewable energy state with some great incentives and financing plans, besides seeing dramatic savings on your electric bill. To find out if you are a good candidate for solar, get a free site assessment.

Andrew B Wade is President and CEO of My Generation Energy. He can be reached at (508) 694-6884 or andrew@mygenerationenergy.com.

This article was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Health & Wealth.