January 10th is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day.  This annual observation was originally created by the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance as a way to build awareness and highlight the ways everyone can cut their energy costs.  These practices are good for the environment and good for your wallet! Some require an investment up front, and others are simply habits that can easily be changed to realize savings in reduced energy bills.  Here are a few suggestions:

Ditch the Incandescent Light Bulbs

It’s difficult to find old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs in the store these days.  According to energy.gov, the compact florescent light (CFL) and light emitting diodes (LED) bulbs stocking the shelves last 3-25 times longer than traditional bulbs and use 25% to 80% less energy.  Plus, you won’t have to get out a ladder to change bulbs as often!

Upgrade Your Appliances

If your appliances are outdated, consider upgrading to Energy Star qualified appliances.  As with many energy-efficient options, these appliances may cost a little more up front, but will save you money in the long run through reduced energy costs. Energystar.gov offers comprehensive information on qualifying heating and cooling systems, along with a wide variety of appliances and electronics.  You may also qualify for a rebate or tax credit by replacing old systems or appliances with energy efficient models.

Battle the energy vampires daily! No, we’re not talking about that narcissistic friend or co-worker who leaves you emotionally drained – we’re talking electronics.  Anything that remains in “standby” mode, “sleep” mode or has a lighted display can suck up energy even while it’s not in use.  Turn off computers and monitors while not in use, unplug small appliances, game systems and phone chargers, or use power strips with one on/off control to power down several things at once.

Upgrade to a programmable thermostat.  There’s no point in heating or cooling an empty house while the family is at work and school.  This small investment can offer big returns on reduced heating and cooling costs.  If you don’t want to purchase a new thermostat, get in the habit of changing the settings before you leave in the morning, when you get home and before bed.

Save Energy Associated with Your Pool

If you’re a pool owner, using a Solar Breeze NX can significantly reduce the run time for your pool pump.  Just one swimming pool’s pump usage can result in 4.5 Mega Watts of energy a year, which is very costly and not environmentally friendly. What you may not realize is that in sun-belt states, the pool pump is often the second largest consumer of electricity in the home, after the air conditioning and heating system. Solar Breeze NX uses solar power to effectively skim the pool and clear debris so pool owners can cut their pump’s running time by one-half to two-thirds! Find out more here.

Join us in celebrating National Cut Your Energy Costs Day by making one small change! We’d love to hear your suggestions – leave a comment below to share your energy saving solutions.