Ann Bennett - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY / Metropolitan



Posted by Ann Bennett on 10/11/2018

Moving into your first home can mean steeper electric bill than you are used to. All those small differences can feel like they have added up quickly. Or perhaps itís not your first home but you want to start this one off on the right, economical foot.

Hereís your guide to using electricity wisely and start saving on your bill each month.

Cut back on hot water use.

Heating water is expensive. Cut back on how much you spend by taking shorter showers or cooler ones if you like a particularly hot shower. Purchase laundry detergent designed to clean well in cooler temperature water and start running your loads on the cold or warm cycle instead of hot.

Unplug unused electronics.

You might think that when a device is turned off it is no longer using power but if it is still plugged into the wall it is still taking it in. Instead of just switching off corded devices unplug them after use too. Alternatively, plug systems into a power strip to make it easier to manage and not have to unplug five different devices each time you power down. You can also invest in new technology that allows you to create smart outlets. Youíll be able to turn off devices from the other room or even while out of the house. You will also be able to hone in on which electronics are using the most energy and create a plan of action to course correct the problem.

Manage your homeís temperature.

If you have electric heat lowering the temperature by even just a couple of degrees can make a big difference in the long run. Make it even easier to manage and monitor by installing a smart thermostat like Nest. Youíll be able to set up schedules and reminders as well as see actual data to your energy usage.

Itís also wise to invest in smart blinds which can be scheduled to open and close at certain times of the day. Namely, you want them to be closed to keep the afternoon sun out in summers and let in during the winters.

Ditch big energy hogs.

Unplug your second fridge and/or freezer. At the very least do a cost analysis to determine the extra space truly saves you in the long run in comparison to the expense on your electric bill. Hang dry your laundry to really save on energy usage. Install a line outside for fresh, sun-warmed laundry and pick up a rack for those cold and rainy months.

There are a lot of different ways to save on energy each month. Some add up to just a few dollars of savings over the year while others make an impact you can see month to month.





Posted by Ann Bennett on 11/2/2017

Now more than ever itís important to take personal steps to decrease your carbon footprint on the earth. As world leaders make plans to decrease carbon emissions worldwide, the threat of climate change can seem distant and far away. However, we are already seeing the beginning of the devastating effects it will have on the earth and humanity alike.

One of the ways that homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint is to turn to alternate forms of energy production, like wind and solar power. In this article, weíll discuss residential solar power, its benefits to you as a homeowner, and the different options you have available.

Why go solar?

Aside from the vitally important environmental aspect we mentioned above, rooftop solar is becoming increasingly beneficial to homeowners. Not only are many homeowners seeing their electricity bills cut in half, but leasing programs make installing panels a zero-liability issue for homeowners worried about damage to the panels or to their roof.

Solar technology is constantly improving. In the very near future, consumers will be able to move entirely off the grid when it comes to producing electricity for their home.

Teslaís Elon Musk recently announced a fully integrated solar rooftop that he claims will be as affordable if not cheaper than a regular roof. The bonus? The power that Teslaís roofs produce will be able to be stored in an integrated battery.

Aesthetics

Homeowners are often worried about the way their homes will look with solar panels on them, which is a valid concern. Fortunately, new technology has made solar more visually appealing than ever. Soon, homeowners will have the option of choosing between different styles of solar roofs that look like regular shingles.

Alternatively, if you donít want the solar panels at your home at all, there are currently companies that allow homeowners to utilize off-site solar panels for their home. This is ideal if your home isnít in a position to receive much sunlight, or if you just donít want to have to deal with the panels being on your property at all.

Thinking ahead

When considering solar, you also have the future to consider. Not just of the planet, but of your wallet. Solar is an investment. If you plan on paying off your solar panels within 10 years, you could end up with years of free electricity, which adds up.

Similarly, many solar programs offer a guarantee that your rates wonít go up or they will rise slower than standard utility companies. So, even if you canít afford to buy your solar system outright, you can still invest in the long term.

Helping the economy

Fossil fuel defenders often claim the loss of jobs associated with the increase of the renewable energy industries. At the same time, jobs to manufacture, sell, install, and repair solar and wind power are skyrocketing.

Regardless of which option you choose, reducing your carbon footprint is doing your small part to help the environment for your children and grandchildren. And, it can save you a lot of money in the long run too.







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