Five New Year’s Resolutions That Can Save Energy and Money
There’s no better time to create a plan to cut down on energy — and decrease your monthly utility costs — than the start of a new year. While multiple factors can influence how many kilowatt-hours you actually use, there are many ways to be proactive in making your home work better and use less energy, both of which can save you money.
Here are five steps you can take in your home to begin your year more efficiently:
1. Check your air filters.
Changing your air filters more frequently helps ensure that your heating and air system is working at an optimum level. With less obstruction, heating and cooling systems don’t use as much energy to push air through the filter. The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that keeping your air filters clean will save you 5 to 15 percent each month on your bill.
2. Swap out standard light bulbs for LEDs.
When you choose to use LED lights, more than 90 percent of the energy used to light your home will be converted to light, with only 10 percent or less being emitted as heat. This can significantly increase your lighting efficiency, by as much as 80 to 90 percent. In addition, LEDs are more difficult to damage than more fragile florescent and incandescent bulbs, turn on and off instantly, and are more resistant to degradation in extreme temperatures.
3. Upgrade to a smart thermostat.
Because heating and cooling can account for nearly half of your energy bill, installing a smart thermostat may be a good choice to trim away some of the unnecessary usage. Smart thermostats can learn your schedule and preferences, alert you about unusual temperature activity, and can often even be adjusted remotely via an associated app. All of these benefits will help make your heating and cooling more efficient — which, in turn, benefits your bottom line. And a bonus is Santee Cooper offers rebates for purchasing qualifying smart thermostats.
4. Consider replacing your heat pump system.
Energy-efficient heat pumps can reduce the amount of electricity you use by up to 50 percent compared to traditional furnaces and air conditioners. You can also take advantage of Santee Cooper’s rebates through the Smart Energy Existing Homes program to save even more money on installing qualified equipment in your home.
5. Manage your account with MEL.
By using Santee Cooper’s My Energy Link (MEL), you can create an online profile to completely manage your account, from monitoring your electricity usage to paying your bill “fee-free” using your checking account and routing number. MEL is also available from your computer, smartphone or mobile device and lets you sign up for text, email and push notifications so you’re always aware of important information about your account. Download MEL in the app store today.
These tips are just a start. The best way to make big changes is one step at a time — even small steps can add up to save you big money in the long run. We have even more ways to keep your home energy efficient, including participating in a Home Energy House Call with one of our Energy Advisors. Start taking your next steps to energy efficiency today!