By now most of you are well versed in the basics of creating a green home. You also know all the basic methods for saving as much energy as possible within your home. But what if you want to do more? We’re well into the new millennium, after all; surely there are new methods of saving energy (and reducing your energy bills) that you can try, right?
There have been some amazing developments in energy savings over the last few years. Here are some of our favorite ways to reduce your home’s carbon footprint and keep more money in your wallet by saving on energy costs.
More and more municipalities are deregulating their energy markets. This is creating a serious demand for affordable and sustainable power. If you live in a deregulated energy market like Alberta, Ontario, California, Texas, Illinois, etc., spend some time looking over your options. Comparative shopping sites like http://www.albertaenergyproviders.com/alberta-gas-providers/alberta/ have made it possible to quickly compare and contrast offerings and rates. Switch to a plan that uses renewable energy if possible.
Switching to a renewable or sustainable energy plan is also a good idea if you live in a regulated energy market, but in regulated markets, subscribers typically pay a small extra fee to opt in to 100% sustainability sourced power plans.
Use Built In Power Management to Save Money
Everybody knows that if a computer sits unused for a certain length of time, it will automatically switch to “sleep” mode to reduce its power consumption. This technology has also been introduced into imaging machines like printers and scanners. Many office places are switching to these imaging machines to save money at work. Try seeking out machines for your home that also have built in power management, like smart TVs and media players, etc.
You can also install smart home security systems that monitor your home’s energy usage. These systems “watch” your house and if they don’t sense any movement within a room for a certain period they will shut off power to that space. You can also program these systems to shut down all but the essential power systems (like those that run the security system, your refrigerator, any built-in monitors for smoke, carbon monoxide, etc.) at certain times of day when you know that nobody will be home.
Upgrade Your HVAC System and Save
Traditionally HVAC systems have administered air conditioning, heat and air filtering to an entire house and individual controls have been minimum. It’s rare to find a house with individual temperature controls within each room. Upgrade your home’s HVAC to VRF HVAC. This is a system that allows you to program individual zones within your home so that people can stay comfortable. Most importantly, VRF HVAC systems only provide power to the zones that are actually running at any given time, which dramatically reduces the amount of power drawn by the system overall.
Everybody knows about vampire energy and that they should unplug their power strips when they don’t need to provide power to the machines plugged into them. Take this one step further and switch your current power strips for plug load control power strips. Plug load control doesn’t just stop vampire power when the device is off, these strips are set up so that each plug draws power independently. Instead of powering an entire strip, the strip draws only as much energy as needed for the items actually plugged into it.
Save Money When You Use the Sun
The installation of solar panels can reduce your energy bills and power draw dramatically. Why not make that power portable? Solar chargers aren’t exactly new, but they can help reduce the power draw of your home a bit further. Popular among campers and travelers, solar chargers can be used to charge mobile devices and, if you opt for the larger cells, laptops and larger devices as well. Use these chargers to keep your mobile devices charged up without drawing power from the municipal supply.
Save Money When You Use Yourself
By now most people have heard of Moberi, the shop in Portland that uses bicycle powered blenders to make its milkshakes and smoothies. Another popular technique is to hook up the treadmills and exercise machines within large gyms and workout centers to create power to reduce the facility’s draw on the municipal supply. Why not apply this technology to your own home and power draw? Set up a walking desk that powers up your laptop. Use your bike to blend your own morning beverage.
These are just some of the new technologies and techniques being used both in the business and the residential worlds to reduce power consumption and, by extension, power costs. What are some of your favorite innovative ways to save energy?