When the stock market was on the rise, people used to say that Bill Gates was making so much money each second that it was not worth his time to pick up a $100 bill lying on the street.
Most people laugh at this story, knowing that such easy money would be well worth their time. Yet some of these same people do not realize is that there is easy money throughout their home in the form of energy efficiency. By taking simple steps to conserve energy, you can find “dollar bills” throughout your home. Here are nine strategies Salt River Project recommends for reducing your energy bill in 2009.
- Invest in CFLs: Replacing five frequently used incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can save $100 or more in electricity costs over the bulbs’ lifetime, according to the EPA. The federal government reports that ENERGY STAR CFLs use 75 percent less energy and last longer than standard incandescent light bulbs. Please visit the SRP PowerWise™ Web site to learn how you can receive a discount on CFLs.
- Stop the vampires: Many adaptors and appliances use electricity if you leave them plugged in while not using them. These wasteful appliances are often called vampires, and they can be slain by unplugging power adapters after charging or using a power strip that you switch off when not in use. According to the EPA, the average U.S. household spends $50 per year to power devices while they are off or on standby.
- Seal your home: Reduce your energy use by tightening up your home. Making sure all of your doors and windows are properly sealed can cut your heating and cooling costs up to 2 percent while increasing your comfort. Click on SRP’s online video gallery for instructions.
- Pool pump timer: Install a timer on your pool pump and run it only as long as needed each day to keep the water clean. SRP’s online video gallery explains how pool pump timers work.
- Time-of-Use Price Plan: For extra savings, combine a pool timer with your utility company's Time-of-Use Price Plan, which will save you more money if you run the pool pump during off-peak hours.
- Switch to LED holiday lights: SRP offers up to $5 off on LED (light-emitting diode) holiday lights. According to the Electric Power Research Institute, LEDs use up to 98 percent less energy than conventional incandescent holiday lights. From now until Dec. 31, SRP customers can receive $1 off the retail price of a set of LED holiday lights (five sets per coupon) at participating Ace and True Value Hardware stores.
- Go solar: Installing a solar water heating system is good for your electric bill and good for the environment. By replacing a conventional water heater with a solar water heating system, you can save up to 25 percent on your monthly electric bill.
- Shop Green: Look for the federal ENERGY STAR® and WaterSense℠ labels when shopping for appliances. Over their life, they can save you about 30 percent on your energy bill and 20 percent of your water use compared to standard models. SRP is offering rebates on select appliances until Dec. 31.
- Appliance recycling: Many Arizonans have a second refrigerator, but you may not realize that an extra refrigerator can cost you up to $100 in additional electricity each year. SRP will pick up that working appliance for free and then mail you a check for $30.
Using these nine strategies could help you save hundreds of dollars in 2009. Ignoring these simple steps is like ignoring a $100 bill on the ground, and these days even Bill Gates needs that extra money.