The Dollars and Sense of Green Living

Depending on your politics, green technology can be an area of contention, but no one is unsure about the potential savings. After an initial investment, energy efficient appliances and fixtures can help you save on your electric bill while increasing the value of your home.

It’s not such a great insight that ditching your old appliances could have a big impact on your utility bill, but you may be surprised how reluctant folks are to upgrade so long as the old gear still works. And there’s good reasons for that— a new fridge or oven can be very expensive. So, if a big change like that is beyond your means right now, consider an alternative.

When considering efficiency in lighting, most people know by now that a CFL bulb is better than an incandescent and that an LED is best, but few stop to consider the energy usage of the fixture itself. Check yours to ensure they have the Energy Star rating (check all your appliances too while you’re at it).

Consider installing ceiling fans. A decent ceiling fan can save you a good deal of money on cooling during the warmer months. According to clean energy financing company Ygrene, the average cost of running your central air is 36 cents per hour, as compared to just 1 cent per hour for a ceiling fan.

Finally, if the cost of replacing a fridge or oven is no obstacle for you, consider installing solar on your home. There are all sorts of different loan programs made available specifically for solar financing and, for now, California is still offering tax incentives to help homeowners make the change. How quickly this investment will begin paying for itself has a lot to do with your average energy consumption, but you’ll see immediate reductions in your electricity bill.

There are many other subtle tweaks you can do yourself around the home that’ll save you pennies here and there. Do it long enough and those pennies may add up to a new vacation fund or even a down payment, so don’t waste any time.

Written by Ian Hanner