How to Make Your Home Smart and Energy Efficient
You may not realize it, but at this very moment, youâ€™re probably wasting electricity. Donâ€™t feel too bad though; the fact of the matter is, most people are using more electricity than they need. The home is filled with electronic devices, and keeping track of them all can be a real hassle. Most of us tend not to think about it. After all, what damage can possibly be done by leaving the lights on in a room or setting the thermostat a couple of degrees cooler? Well, more than you probably think.
When it comes to electrical usage, one should think of the age-old economic theory, the Tragedy of the Commons. The principle is simple: Individuals acting rationally and in their own self-interest can actually act against the best interests of the group, by wasting a common resource needed by the collective whole. You may not believe that youâ€™re using an exorbitant amount of electricity, but over time, this usage adds up. And this usage burdens the electrical grid and increases your spending. Thankfully, by being conscious of this fact, you can make changes that benefit your wallet, and the community as well.
Changing your habits:
Lowering your electricity usage is like exercising and eating healthy â€“ the only way to do it is to do it. Plain and simple. If you leave a room, switch off the lights and television; when youâ€™re not at home during the day, set your thermostat at a higher temperature so that youâ€™re not wasting electricity cooling an unoccupied house; and if you have old stereo or multimedia equipment â€“ including DVD players, CD players or computers â€“ unplug them rather than leave them in stand-by mode. Each of these actions can help you save electricity incrementally, all of which can lower your electricity bill. By how much? Well, consider these costs:
- Cost to run 5 incandescent bulbs: 30 cents per day or $110 per year
- Additional cost of running Non-EnergyStar-rated television: $55 per year
- Cost of running multimedia devices in stand-by mode: $67 per year
- Cost of running air conditioning while at work: $200 per season
Simply by changing your electricity usage habits, you can save hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. With that money, you could buy a new EnergyStar-rated TV set, make a car payment, take the family to Disneyland or buy new furniture. Most people, if told they could make an extra $500 simply by switching off lights, adjusting their thermostats and unplugging old DVD players, would probably jump at the opportunity to do so. Well, you can!
Old light bulb image via Shutterstock.
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