My energy company has started sending out Home Energy Reports. I figured that I was probably doing pretty well. After all, I don’t keep the house unreasonably cool, and I don’t spend a lot of time watching TV, and I do my best to always turn off the lights when I leave a room.
My latest home energy report has my home using 4% more than similar homes in the area.
What is going on?
Well, my energy conservation is good, but it’s not perfect. For example, I have a fan that runs constantly in my office. That part of the house isn’t connected to the HVAC system, and without a fan, that room quickly gets very hot and very humid. I like to keep air circulating in that space. It’s well insulated, but just doesn’t have the necessary ventilation.
I also have a treadmill that I run on a few times a week. That can’t be good for the energy use.
But these are things I don’t plan to change. What about what I can change?
My fridge, washer, and dryer were all part of the home when I purchased. They were new, but not fancy in any way, shape, or form. I’m sure there are versions that are more eco-friendly.
I know I need new windows. I’m slowly saving up for them, but for now, I just have to deal with that heat transfer.
I do wonder what my water heater temperature is currently set at and need to see if I should make some changes to that setting.
Many of the lightbulbs in the house are not the most energy conscious. That’s an easy fix.
I can also be more meticulous about switching off lights when I leave a room. Just going to be gone 30 minutes? Eh, lights can stay on. No, the lights should go off. It should be a habit.
I can also bump the thermostat up a degree or two, especially when I’m home. It’s easy enough to knock it back down.
I’m sure there are things I’m missing. What are your tips for saving on energy costs?
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.