Editor’s Note: We originally published a blog on this topic at the beginning of 2016. We’re refreshing the blog to incorporate new themes in energy efficiency and give you new ideas for becoming more energy efficient this year.
It’s a new year and it’s the perfect time to commit to making positive changes in your life. We figured, while a better diet or exercise regimen is a good fallback, why not resolve to be more energy efficient?
Here are some simple and easy ways to make changes this year:
1. Upgrade your lighting
Just like most other appliances and home devices, lightbulbs are getting smarter and smarter. Taking constant control of your lighting, having a bulb that adjusts to the time of day, being able to set a schedule for your lighting, plus the added bonus of energy efficient LED can help you reduce the amount of electricity you consume each day. Some models require that you have a HUB (like an Amazon Echo or a Wink) to bridge your light bulb with your device, but there are many models that simply require a Wi-Fi connection.
Not sure which one to buy? Check out the PC World’s review of 2017’s best smart lightbulbs.
2. Upgrade your thermostat
Increasing the efficiency of your home’s overall heating and cooling through targeted temperature control allows you to reduce the wear and tear on the systems and units themselves since they won’t have to work as hard to keep you comfortable. A more efficient climate control program for your home reduces the amount of energy you’re using throughout the year, increasing your savings.
If you’re in the market for a new thermostat, we created a tool to help you decide which thermostat is best for you and your home.
3. Use less
Before you mess with the thermostat, switch on that light, think about if you could do something else that doesn’t use electricity. Go ahead and get creative with using less energy: weekly candlelit dinners; well-placed mirrors to reflect daylight into interior spaces; late-night laundry sessions. Try biking to the store, unplugging chargers, or shutting your lights off earlier in the evenings. The possibilities are endless! The key is to be mindful about your usage.
4. Stay up to date on energy news
The energy industry is changing each and every day. Whether it’s a new way to generate energy, or another company committing to renewable energy sources, there is always something interesting going on. There are great resources, like Energy.gov, the EIA, or your local utility commission website that can provide great information about the industry.
5. Make a choice
If you live in a deregulated (competitive) market, you have energy ‘choice’, or the ability to choose an energy supplier for your electricity and natural gas. A supplier gives you the ability to control your energy plan with options like “green” energy, which attributes a portion or your total consumption to renewable methods of generation.
We’re here to help.
Whatever steps you take to become more energy efficient, we want to help you make better energy decisions in 2017. Through natural gas, electricity, home protection, solar, and compressed natural gas vehicle stations, IGS can give you the tools for a better energy future.