Understanding why energy efficient appliances aren’t saving you money
You thought you did the right thing. You forked out money for energy efficient appliances. Saving the environment was as important as saving on your utility bill. So why is your bill getting higher? Learn why your bill is higher than ever and what you can do about it.
Utility bill… is how much?
This scene continues to play out in homes around the country — not just in your home. And it’s upsetting. You’re doing your best to cut costs and save on the utility bill. You bought the right appliances and still not saving money. Why?
What are you doing wrong? Are these energy efficient appliances a rip-off?
Relax. You did the right thing buying Energy Star appliances and no, they aren’t a rip off. The problem lies not in the appliances but in the number of appliances in your home.
Improvements have been made as far as energy efficiency but Americans are using so many more appliances than before that overall, we’re still using more energy. In other words, our energy demand is overtaking the savings energy efficient appliances offer.
Why you have high utility bills
Since 2000, energy usage has increased a whopping 15.6%. At this rate, by the year 2030, your electronic usage and your utility bill will increase three times what it is today.
So, you don’t think you have that many electronic gadgets in your home? Think again. How about:
— personal computers
— alarm clocks
— coffee makers
— battery chargers
— cell phones
— DVD players
— gaming systems
— flat screen tvs
— satellite and cable box
So what do you do?
Turn them off!
You’ve probably heard that some electronics use power even when they’re not in use. This is called standby usage. This is true but most people don’t take this issue seriously.
When you break energy usage down, each appliance uses only 0.5 watts to 10 watts while on standby. But, look around. In the typical American home, there are as many as 20 small appliances on standby. According to IEA, the standby load accounts for 5% of all home electricity usage. The energy usage adds up quickly.
Because of consumer demands, major appliances like heating and cooling systems, refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers now meet Energy Star requirements.
This program, launched in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, has spurred manufactures to produce appliances that deliver the same quality while using much less energy.
If consumers make demands in other areas such as gaming consoles, TVs, and even small appliances like alarm clocks, manufacturers will make these products more energy efficient too.
Home energy audits
When you’re really ready to get serious about cutting your energy use, call your utility department. Most departments perform home energy audits for their customer.
They audit your home for energy usage and efficiency, making recommendation for you to lower your bill. Most utility departments offer financial assistance for weatherization and energy efficiency projects.
So, did you do the right thing buying energy efficient appliances? Yes. They’re quietly at work saving you money. But, you still have work to do.
Turn off appliances not in use. Get an energy audit from your utility company. And make demands of manufactures to produce more energy efficient products. Combine these tips to save on your utility bill and maybe, just maybe help out to environment while you’re at it.