Can Tech Lower Your Power Bills And Go Green? (infographic)

For any household, the last thing we want to worry about are the necessities. Yet one in five families has had to go without basic necessities just to make room in the budget for energy bills. As overall costs of electricity continue to grow across the board and will likely continue on this incline well into 2020, getting control over our energy needs, usage, and waste is more important than ever - the economy, environment, and not to mention our wallets, may depend on it.

These general rising costs of energy are indicative of a few issues - an uncertainty of both the future of the economy and the future of the environment. The global majority, more than four in five people, believe that all energy should be sourced from renewables - one in four believe that its individuals that should take the lead on energy issues. At the end of the day, we can’t eliminate our necessity for energy and as a result, it’s up to us to make positive changes to face this responsibility. For decades, solar panels have been at the forefront of sustainable energy and today they become more affordable than ever. Though some areas are better suited for harnessing solar energy than others, nearly have of the solar energy potential int he United States comes from low to middle-income households. If every one of those homes were to install solar panels for energy usage, 75% of all residential energy consumption could come from clean, renewable solar sources.

Again, solar panels aren’t for every rooftop, and though installation of systems is more affordable than ever, it does remain out of the price range for many families. Standard systems start at around $13k and take on average 20 years to start paying for itself - not everyone is ready and willing to make this investment. Grid alternatives, shared energy resources, and leasing options open more opportunities for families struggling with energy bills as forward-thinkers take the energy question one step further. Some experts have suggested the value of deregulated energy markets, effectively eliminating the cash-throttling hold of energy providers. In this market, consumers may have the opportunity to shop around for the best deal, take advantage of a choice of renewable sources without having to invest in personal home solar panels, and keep prices as well as customer service competitive.
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Extreme solutions aside, many Americans are looking for solutions for the meantime. While we are constantly skimping on our own necessities from groceries to gasoline just to pay an energy bill, we often overlook easy and sometimes obvious ways to save. In the United States, three out of 20 households receives a disconnection of service notice every year. This is particularly concerning when we consider that around 63% of our energy usage comes from necessities. For one in ten, this may lead to a decision to dial the thermostat back and keep indoor climate control at uncomfortable and potentially unsafe temperatures. Even as our energy necessities take up the majority of our usage and subsequent bills, it’s the luxuries that may be leading to needless waste. Kitchen appliances like toaster ovens and coffee makers or entertainment devices like TVs and gaming consoles may be demanding a higher chunk of energy than we may realize. Yet even when not in use, these devices and countless others could be draining precious resources and racking up a high bill in the process. Leaky faucets, incandescent light bulbs, and drafty windows may serve as some of the worst offenders for energy efficiency and by the end of the year could end up adding hundreds onto annual costs.

Energy costs may continue to increase even beyond what we can control, but here’s how to take back the power, so to speak, in the face of economic and environmental stress, detailed in this infographic.

Go Green And Lower Energy Bills - Infographic

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