#PGEHome Energy Conservation
You might think that energy costs are not that high here in California, but sadly you would be mistaken. People imagine sunny and warm when they think of California, but we do have extreme weather nonetheless (though not quite as extreme as other areas).
When we relocated to our current home eleven years ago, we knew we would have to make a few changes to our home, since we moved further inland (where it gets extra HOT in the summer and extra COLD in the winter!). It wasn’t very energy efficient when we acquired the house. We felt constant drafts from the single paned windows and it honestly felt like money floating right out the window! One of our first bills in the summer was downright scary (almost $600!), and we knew we were going to have to make some major changes in the future.
At the same time we had our windows done, we had our front door replaced, and right away we made sure that the weather stripping around the door was secure and that no unwelcome drafts were coming in.
One winter day as I was passing through our living room (we are rarely in this room, hence why I probably hadn’t noticed before), I felt a really cold breeze hit me. I realized that the flue on our fireplace was open! I’m not sure how many years it had been open, but I couldn’t believe that we had overlooked something so simple. I immediately closed the flue and also put a large board in front of our fireplace to make sure that drafts weren’t escaping into our house.
In this technological age, most families use an incredible amount of electricity. I have to admit that we are no exception – we use our fair share of electronics. Since I am a blogger, I am obviously online most of the day. I do have a Mac laptop which holds a charge for a long time, so it isn’t plugged in all day long, and when I do disconnect it from the charger, I also unplug the charger from the wall. Another thing I finally got my family to do is unplug phone chargers from the wall. I read somewhere awhile back, that even just leaving phone chargers plugged in when not in use, sucks a lot of energy. We also unplug the toaster, can opener and other kitchen appliances when not in use. Even ceiling fans left on all day draw a lot of energy. Make sure you turn them off, along with the lights, when you leave a room.
If you are considering buying new appliances, there are many way to save – now and in the future, with energy star appliances and rebates.
There are several types of rebates available! Here are a couple of helpful ideas about rebates, from PG & E:
~Make sure you do your research and plan ahead when you go out shopping for appliances. Check the rebate catalog to see what deals are available: http://www.pge.com/myhome/saveenergymoney/rebates/
~Take advantage of the Refrigerator recycling rebate program! I had no idea such a thing existed (but then again we haven’t bought a new refrigerator in a long time!) – for more information, visit http://www.pge.com/recycle/
There are many benefits to conserving energy. In addition to saving money, energy conservation helps because it puts less strain on the grid (thus reducing outages – I really dislike outages!), and less strain on other natural resources (water, etc.). Energy conservation also helps to reduce emissions that can be harmful to the environment.
Would you like help purchasing weatherstripping or other materials to make your home efficient?
Enter to win 1 of 7 $100 Home Depot Cards! The #PGEhome Instagram Photo Challenge Contest runs through November 23rd, so you still have time to enter. Good luck!