January is the coldest month in most of the country, and with high energy prices, this is the right time to make a New Year’s resolution to save on your utility bill in the coming year. In some parts of the country, your energy prices will peak in mid winter with electric heating or in mid summer with air conditioning. Don’t let those costs get away from you.
1. Make changes that make a big difference
In the Sense app, you can see exactly how much electricity your home is using — in real time — so you can figure out which appliances and devices are hogging energy. Set aside a half hour to take a tour with the Sense app in hand and identify the biggest energy hogs. They may be hiding in plain sight so the key is to know how much electricity each device in your home is really using. Then decide if you can use the device less frequently, turn it off, or replace it with a more efficient model.
Learn how to use the Power Meter feature in the Sense app and check out these articles for tips on the biggest energy hogs:
Real-Time Savings with the Sense Power Meter
How to Identify Your Biggest Energy Costs with Sense
2. Don’t neglect the vampires.
Our research shows that consumer electronics are generally pretty efficient – if you have just a few. The problem is that they use some energy all the time, and the more you have, the more it adds up. In fact, “Always On” power accounts for 23% of the average electric bill, which makes it an opportunity for big savings.
In the Sense app, you’ll see exactly how much of your energy usage is dedicated to Always On devices. Invest in power strips that you can schedule to turn off consumer electronics when not in use. You’ll see your energy usage shrink along with your energy bill.
Learn how to use the Always On feature in the Sense app and check out these articles on reducing your Always On load:
3. Plan ahead
We know it can be tedious to plan for updating your appliances, but it can pay off in big savings. Government energy standards and programs like ENERGY STAR have made major appliances much more efficient over time. Innovations like heat pumps are making a huge difference in heating and cooling costs.
You may feel frugal holding onto old appliances, but the energy costs can outweigh the cost of replacements. Make a list of all your major appliances and heating system elements, including furnaces and hot water heaters. Educate yourself about the most efficient models and plan for the day when you’ll need to buy a replacement.
With a little extra planning, instead of replacing old appliances on the fly with a not-so-great model, you can make sure that your next refrigerator, hot water tank or heating system will be far more efficient and save you money in the long run.
Learn how to use the Home Inventory feature in the Sense app and check out this article on evaluating new appliances:
4. Set realistic goals
This New Year, resolve to stay within your budget. Sense can help! You can set a goal in the Sense app and then let it do the work, tracking your energy usage over the course of the week, month or utility billing cycle. You’ll get alerts if you’re trending over.
Knowledge is power. If your bill is trending high, take steps to winterize your home, change your behavior (without compromising comfort!) and reduce costs.
Learn how to set goals in the Sense app and check out these articles on reducing heating and cooling costs:
These tips are just the start, though. Keep reading the Sense blog for many more ways to curb your energy bills.