Slashing Utility Bills Can Help Save the Planet
It's no secret that utility bills continue to rise, prompting a growing call to conserve our planet's precious resources. In the spirit of sustainable living, financial management site Quicken.com has outlined seven clever strategies to trim your electric, gas, and water bills while contributing to environmental preservation:
Unplug Smartly: Appliances with clocks, remotes, and chargers are silent energy drainers even when not in use. By pulling the plug when these devices are idle, you can cut down on the 40% of energy consumed by home electronics when turned off.
Insulate Your Water Heater: If your water heater predates 2004, wrapping it in an insulating jacket can save you about 10%—that's roughly $30 annually—on your water heating bill.
Embrace Cold Washes: Opt for cold water when washing clothes to slash your energy consumption by 50%. Additionally, choose the moisture sensor setting on your dryer instead of the timer to reduce energy use by 15%.
Switch to Low-Flow: Replace outdated shower heads that release up to 5.5 gallons per minute with newer models that go as low as 1.5 gallons per minute. This simple switch can save you 7,300 gallons and $30-$100 per year.
Maximize Load Capacity: Run full loads of both clothes and dishes to maximize energy efficiency. Since most of the energy is used to heat a specific amount of water, running smaller loads results in wasted energy and water. Air-drying dishes can also contribute to additional energy savings.
Upgrade Your Faucets: Consider installing faucet aerators, affordable devices that screw into faucet threading and reduce water flow to 3-4 gallons per minute. These aerators blend water with air, maintaining pressure while lowering water consumption.
Opt for Drip Irrigation: For gardens, installing a drip irrigation system helps retain soil moisture while reducing water loss by 50-60% compared to hand-watering or traditional sprinkler systems.