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How Can New Homeowners Save Energy? (And Money)

February 23, 2021

How Can New Homeowners Save Energy? (And Money)

Reducing energy consumption often goes hand-in-hand with saving money. As many Richmond Home Insurancecustomers know, electrical costs make up a significant portion of a household’s monthly budget. This is why it is so important to save energy as much as possible.

Here are some suggestions on how you could reduce your energy consumption.

1. Be more mindful of your electric consumption

Switching over to energy-efficient products is an excellent way to conserve energy. But there is a lot you can do with your existing appliances without spending a cent. Simply modifying your day-to-day routines and habits will go a long way in reducing your energy consumption.

Start by turning off unused lights and appliances. You could also wash small laundry items by hand instead of using the washing machine or hang up your clothes to dry in the sun.

Other things you could do include turning the heat down in the winter when it isn’t too cold. You could use your air conditioner less in the summer too if the heat is tolerable. Considering how much electricity heating and cooling consumes, doing these will reduce your electrical consumption considerably.

2. Use more energy-efficient lighting

Consider changing your incandescent light bulbs to more energy-efficient options to save energy. Traditional light bulbs use up a lot of electricity and require more frequent replacement than energy-efficient bulbs.

Some of the lighting options you could look into are halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lights or CFLs, and LED bulbs. These types of lights use 25% to 80% less power than traditional bulbs. Plus, they last considerably longer, so you won’t have to replace them as frequently.

Of course, energy-efficient lights are usually more expensive than traditional bulbs. Even so, the longer life and reduced energy drain make them much more cost-effective options in the long run.

3. Solve “phantom load” issues

You may not be aware of it, but you could be consuming a lot of electricity without necessarily benefiting from it. Many devices use up power even when they are off or on ‘standby.’ Often referred to as “phantom load,” it accounts for a considerable amount of energy consumption.

How much energy does phantom load consume? Conservative estimates place the amount of electricity used by the home’s various devices at about 50%.

Some estimates are even higher, attributing 75% of your home’s total energy consumption to these energy vampires. All your devices combined could be costing you as much as $200 per year, and you aren’t even using them!

Smart power strips are a great way to reduce the cost of phantom loads. Also referred to as “advanced” power strips, these shut down all electricity to plugged-in devices when they aren’t being used.

Smart power strips can even be set to shut off the power to your devices at a predetermined time or if they have been inactive for several minutes. You also have the option to turn off the juice via remote switches or switch the devices off in response to a master device.

4. Use a programmable ‘smart’ thermostat

Speaking of ‘smart’ devices, you could invest in a programmable thermostat that turns off or ramps down your HVAC systems automatically. These devices are handy for controlling your heater or air conditioner when you are sleeping or when you leave the house.

Programmable thermostats are a great way to reduce the power consumption of older, less efficient devices. Although switching over to energy-efficient appliances is still preferable, smart thermostats are an excellent alternative until you can afford to make the change.

How much can programmable thermostats save you on electrical costs? Estimates place the total annual cost savings at about $180. That’s a pretty hefty amount, especially when added to your other savings. Better still, you could continue to enjoy your heating and cooling systems as usual.

5. Switch to energy-efficient appliances

Switching over to energy-efficient appliances is perhaps the single best way to reduce your electrical consumption. Consider how much electricity your various devices consume. In the average household, that could be as much as 13% of your total bill. Switch over to energy-efficient models to save energy, and that is a huge chunk that you won’t have to worry about at the end of the month.

How can you tell energy-efficient appliances apart from standard models? The clue lies in the “Energy Star” label, which guarantees that it uses less electricity when on and while it is on standby. While these models are more expensive than their traditional counterparts, they will pay for themselves much sooner, given how much they save you on energy costs.

About Blue Sky Insurance Agency

For over 20 years, family owned Blue Sky Insurance Agency has proudly specialized in insurance and tax services for Virginia residents. Our philosophy is simple: “If you can dream it, we can insure it.” We strive to provide value to our clients by establishing and building relationships and focusing on more than just rates. We are dedicated to providing holistic and strategically tailored solutions to protect all of your assets, and to provide peace of mind wherever life takes you. To get in touch with us, fill out a complimentary quote form, or call us at one of our two locations:

North Chesterfield

Phone: (804) 745-4044

PO Box 35674

North Chesterfield, VA, 23235

Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm


Phone: (804) 404-2030

9932 Midlothian Turnpike

Richmond, VA, 23235

Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm