Even if you’re not particularly focused on climate change and reducing your carbon footprint, there’s no denying that large electric bills are a pain. One of the best ways to cut your electricity bill and monthly utilities’ costs is to use the right devices and appliances. Not only do you save money on your bills this way, but you get tax breaks too!
Most household appliances feature an Energy Star rating, which tells you how energy-efficient the product is. If you’ve never quite understood how to save money with Energy Star, read on to learn how it works.
About the Energy Star Campaign
Established in 1992 by the U.S. EPA, the Energy Star program was designed to help people reduce energy consumption and save money. This is primarily done by using products and building techniques that use less energy, in residential and commercial applications alike.
Companies manufacturing Energy Star rated products have to be third-party certified in EPA-recognized labs. Buildings can also earn an Energy Star rating through the same process.
Does It Help Save Money on Your Bill?
Since Energy Star rated products are designed to use less electricity, replacing your household appliances and gadgets with these reduces your energy consumption. Less energy used equals lower electricity bills, both in the short term (i.e. monthly bill) and in the long run (over the lifespan of the products).
Here are some statistics to consider:
- Depending on your location, replacing your old HVAC equipment with Energy Star rated products can knock as much as $115 off your energy bills every year.
- A programmable thermostat set up to match your schedule, running when you’re home and switched off when you’re out, can save you up to $180 annually.
- Installing energy star rated windows offers annual savings of $126–$465 for single-pane windows and $27–$111 for double-paned, clear-glass windows.
- Using energy star qualified TVs, Blu-Ray players, set-top boxes, and home theaters saves up to $280 over the lifetime of these products.
Other Ways to Cut Electricity Bills and Energy Consumption
There are many ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your monthly bills, like:
- Improve Your Insulation – Sealing leaks around your doors or windows and improving your home’s insulation can cut your energy bills by 20%!Start by talking with a RESNET agent to find out the HERS (Home Energy Rating System Index) of your house. This determines the energy efficiency of walls, doors, windows, ceilings, roofs, flooring and ductwork, so you can decide where to invest in more efficient replacements.
- Use a Smart Thermostat – As we mentioned above, a programmable thermostat can reduce your energy bills drastically.For instance, you can set it to kick off after you leave your home for work, and back on when you’re on your way home. If you don’t remember to change the program as needed, consider using a smart thermostat that automatically adapts to changing conditions.
- Upgrade Other Appliances – Right from your dishwasher or washing machine to TVs and ovens, there is an Energy Star rated replacement available to help cut your bills.Consider ‘green’ equipment like wind turbines, solar panels, solar-powered water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, windows, doors and roofs. Factor in the potential tax credits you can get from these items when you’re calculating your savings too!
- Ensure Your HVAC is Efficient – Other than replacing your AC, furnace and other heating or cooling equipment with Energy Star rated units, ensure that your entire HVAC system is in good shape. Regular maintenance, cleaning and servicing can help your systems run efficiently and maximize their performance at the lowest cost.
It may take a while to see the results of upgrading your home, so it’s important to use the tax credits that replacing appliances can bring you. Visit irs.gov and search for form 5695: Residential Energy Credits, so you can claim the tax benefits of refitting your home with Energy Star rated products.
Professional HVAC companies can also help you pick out the right appliances for your home, in addition to repair, maintenance and service for your HVAC. When you’re looking at your next home project to improve energy efficiency, call Service Champions to get the right start!