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.





Posted by Ann Bennett on 7/30/2017

One of the first places we think to cut back on to conserve energy and save money is electricity. However, there are a lot of everyday habits we often overlook that not only keep more money in our wallets in the long run but are also cheap to do! Below are a few cheap and easy habits you can make a part of your everyday routine that lower your electricity usage in the home: Start with the basics†- Iím sure youíre all too familiar with this one from when you were a child, or perhaps you say them to your own child: turn off the lights when the room is not in use. You can take this a step further by unplugging an appliance or device when it is not in use. Electronics can actually use electricity even when powered down but still plugged in. An easy way to to do this is by plugging your items into a power strip so that when they are not in use you can simply flip off their power supply with one easy motion. Bright idea - CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs use less energy to provide light than traditional incandescent bulbs. This is because incandescent bulbs need to first heat up the filament which becomes so hot it glows white and thus provides light. CFLís produces significantly less heat and thatís what makes it much more effective than traditional bulbs. So while opting for CFL bulbs is a pricier purchase up front over incandescent ones you will save money over time as they not only save energy but have a longer lifespan as well. Summertime Saving - When itís warm out opting to hang dry clothes instead of putting them in the dryer can save in the long run. Most of the energy used when washing clothes is actually used from the electric dryer. Skipping the air conditioner, a big energy hog, in favor of fans is another great way to cut your electric bill and conserve energy. Wintertime Saving - Turning down the thermostat by two degrees from your desired temperature can make such a big difference over the colder months. Remember to dress warmly during the cold months, even inside, and you can keep your home at a lower temperature while saving electricity and conserving energy. Further lowering the thermostat while you are out of the home will also save you in the long run. Adding insulation around water pipes, and even your hot water heater if itís an older model, will help save on the energy it takes to heat up your hot water. Whether you implement one of these ideas or all of them you will be making an impact on the environment, and your wallet, by conserving energy and therefore lowering your carbon footprint. And when you can do both at the same time on the cheap, thatís something to feel good about!




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