Alaskan homeowners pay a lot for their utilities. The weather is, of course, part of the cause for high energy costs, but so is the network of infrastructure required to supply services to remote areas.
If you feel weak in the knees every time your utility bill arrives, it’s time to take a look at some of these cost saving tips in your Wasilla home.
Appliances – These time-saving appliances have long been a big drain on electricity. While consumption varies, appliances use roughly 20 percent of a home’s total energy.
- Use strip plugs to shut off appliances that consume electricity even when they’re not in use. This makes it easier to switch everything off when not in use.
- Whenever you need a new appliance, look for those with the best Energy Star rating possible. More efficient machines will cost more, but you’ll save in the long run.
- You may be charged lower tariffs for off-peak hours. If that’s the case, run your dish and laundry loads during that time.
Water Heater – Up to 25 percent of your electricity bill might be attributable to your water heater.
- Insulate your heater and as many of the pipes possible.
- Reduce the temperature on your water heater to 120ºF. You won’t notice the difference in your showers; only in your bill.
- Shorter showers, larger loads of laundry, and aerating faucets can all make a difference to your bill.
- Though it’s not necessarily useful in winter, a solar water heater can help you save in summer.
Lighting – Most homes can attribute roughly 15 percent of their energy consumption to artificial light in their home. In Alaska, we certainly need plenty of light in winter, but it’s possible to save half of lighting expenses with just a few adjustments.
- Invest in LED light bulbs and use them in every room, especially the ones used most often.
- Don’t forget to dust bulbs and switch lights off when no one is in the room.
- Smart home lighting may help you save even more, especially if it works hand in hand with your thermostat.
If you’re really concerned about your energy consumption, consider an Energy Audit. The Alaska Energy Authority might subsidize your audit – and the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation may provide you with a rebate for energy-efficient upgrades to your home. Not that’s an incredible way to save some money – and our state’s resources at the same time.