With COVID-19 in the air, we’ve all been spending more time at home, the result of which is a higher energy bill. But every problem has a solution.
Since COVID-19 started its relentless march in 2020, we’ve all been spending much more, if not all of our time at home. The inevitable consequence of the COVID 19-shaped living trend is a higher energy bill. But as in life, once we know the cause of a problem- the solution is usually just around the corner- figuratively speaking. And it can be as simple as spending more time doing energy-free activities and there are plenty of fun ones in Ohio.
What are the biggest users of electricity in your home?
First, you need to learn which devices and appliances are the biggest energy consumers in your household. Then you can take creative action to reduce your energy consumption and consequently, your utility bill.
It’s no secret that air conditioning and heating uses the most energy in a household, making about 46 percent of the average home's energy consumption. Fortunately, the system’s efficiency as well as regular maintenance can make all the difference.
Second largest energy user is the water heater that can consume around up to 13.5 kWh per day. But energy-friendly habits and changes can also make a difference, such as by opting for a shower instead of a bath, installing a solar water heater or insulating pipes.
The so-called energy vampires take account for about 13% of an average home's energy consumption. Ideally, you should own energy-efficient models and maintain them regularly to ensure they are using as minimum energy as possible.
Did you know that overpacking your refrigerator alone can cause it to use more energy?
Washing and drying
These two activities alone take up to about 5% of your home's total energy consumption.
Oven and stove
Using these two for only one hour a day results in 75 kWh and 45 kWh a month. Moreover, using them makes your home warmer and consequently increases the load on your AC.
Believe it or not, lighting uses a significant amount of electricity, accounting for about 9% of a home’s energy consumption.
Electronics including our laptops, televisions, cable boxes, and video game consoles, make up about 4% of a home’s energy usage. Moreover, these devices also use standby power even when they are not in use.
What can you do about it?
It’s not that hard to save energy and gas if you equip your home with modern energy-efficient devices and cultivate energy-saving habits.
Act like a conscious consumer
You need to find the most affordable energy provider in the same way like you would compare prices and terms when making a large purchase. Making a conscious energy choice is a great way to save money and all you have to do is google “energy choice Ohio” and do some research. These days, many sites have a ready list of all Ohio electric rates and energy choices in an ‘AEP apples to apples’ comparison so all you have to do is choose one as others have done the work for you.
Invest in making your home ‘smarter’
Automation and smart homes have many benefits, including saving you money over the long-haul. They can improve your quality of life as they will make your home more convenient and comfortable and ease your schedule. Just imagine being able to turn on the oven 15 min before coming home to avoid waiting for it to pre-heat so you can cook dinner. You might not have an influence over natural gas prices that might vary, but at least you can control your usage. At the very least, invest in ENERGY STAR certified electronics.
Adopt energy-saving habits
Wash only full-loads and with cold water whenever possible. Turn off the lights when you leave the room and use as much natural light as possible, it’ll benefit your health and your wallet at the same time. Don’t overcrowd your refrigerator and keep the items you use most in the easy-to-access areas to avoid having to search for them. Regularly clean and maintain all your appliances.
Being energy- conscious is a way of life and one we should all adopt. We could all benefit from spending more time in nature and learning to have fun in energy-free activities like reading and playing board games which often end up being even more fun and memorable.