Saving energy is incredibly important for the environment, but it is also beneficial for your own wallet. Cutting back on the energy you use on a daily basis will reduce the amount of energy needed to come into your home or office, thus reducing pollution and fossil fuel consumption needed to produce that energy. Beyond saving energy at home and work, how you travel can have a major impact on energy conservation.
1. Planting Trees — Trees not only provide us with shade from the sun and oxygen, but when planted properly around your property, they can help save you money. By planting deciduous trees on the western side of your home, you will shade your home in the summer, keeping it cooler. When the seasons change and the tree loses its leaves, it will let the sun in to help warm your home. This can help save on the use of heating and air conditioner systems.
2. Window Films — Windows are notorious for letting climate controlled air out of our homes, whether it’s through radiant thermal loss/gain, or through small cracks between the window and sill. You can prevent the radiant loss/gain by applying a Low-E film to your windows. This film allows most of the natural light to pass through, but it prevents most of the heat from passing through. In the summer, this keeps your more heat out of your home, while keeping more heat in your home during the winter.
3. Energy Efficient Windows — Purchasing and installing high efficiency windows can solve the heat loss/gain problem as well. These windows are specially constructed to minimize the gaps between sills, panes, sashes, and also weather strips them with rubber seals to further prevent air leakage.
4. Awnings and Blinds — For a more decorative look with some of the benefits of films and weather stripping, installing blinds or awnings reduces the amount of solar heat gain and radiant heat loss. They won’t be as effective as energy efficient windows, but they are generally cheaper and can provide a return on your investment in less than four years.
5. Climate Control — Instead of changing your thermostat to warm or cool your home some more, consider changing your attire. A single degree of change can make a big impact on your energy bill, so by bundling up in the winter or stripping down in the summer, you can actually save yourself a good amount of energy.
6. Programmable Thermostats — By installing a programmable thermostat, you can set your heating and cooling systems to run on a particular schedule. This eliminates the worry of leaving them running while you are not home. The thermostat will turn each system on or off at whatever time you set. Some “Smart” thermostats even learn your schedule and will set themselves accordingly.
7. Vampire Electronics — No, they don’t sparkle, but they do continue to drain power even if they are switched off. DVD players, televisions, computers, game consoles, cell phone chargers, etc. all continually draw power as long as they are plugged in. By simply unplugging these (or using a power strip with a shutoff switch) you can stop the flow of electricity to these devices entirely.
8. Riding a Bike — If you live in a city, bicycling is an extremely cost effective and healthy way to get to and from your various destinations. They require no fuel, which eliminates pollution entirely, they are relatively cheap for a good model, and generally aren’t subject to the woes of high traffic. On average, a person who uses a bicycle as a primary means of transportation can save more than $10,000 per year.
9. Hybrid and Electric Cars — Cars that don’t solely rely on fossil fuels to drive are tremendously beneficial to the environment. Most large cities have several recharging stations for all electric vehicles, allowing you to recharge them while at work if need be. Hybrid vehicles will cut way down on your fuel needs (eliminate them if it’s all electric) and are perfect for cities.
10. Electric Scooters and Motorcycles — Cheaper than their four wheeled cousins, these vehicles are even more cost effective for city drivers. They provide a much greater range than simply bicycling, but maintain much of the maneuverability.
11. Public Transit — Like bicycling, this method of transportation can save the average person more than $10,000 per year. One major benefit to mass transit, aside from the energy savings, of course, is that it allows you to do other things while you travel. Read a book, catch up on emails, play a game, chat with family or friends, even get extra work done, if need be.
12. App Management — Removing unused apps from your phone and closing apps you are not currently using will prolong your phone’s battery life and reduce the need to charge it as often. There are also some apps that can show you ways to cut your electricity usage at home. Finally, check your phone or tablet for energy saving settings. These include lowering the brightness of your display, wireless settings, and background apps. By setting these appropriately, you can further reduce energy consumption.
13. Go Off the Grid — Many people may have trouble doing this, but it is just another way to cut energy usage and provide a healthier lifestyle. Shut your phone off and go for a walk, hang out with friends (encourage them to shut their phones off as well), or simply relax and enjoy some peace and quiet.
About Us: Source Power & Gas LLC is one of the fastest growing retail energy suppliers in Texas. Selling electricity to customers in deregulated markets across the state, SPG Energy takes pride in providing unparalleled customer service paired with information to enhance consumer knowledge. Learn more about us by visiting www.SPGEnergy.com or by following us on Facebook and Twitter.