The average U.S. homeowner’s electric bill went up by $5 a month (4.3%) in 2021, the second-largest nominal increase in a decade. And if the current forecast holds, electricity costs will continue to climb in 2022 and beyond.
While it’s impossible for the average homeowner (or renter) to change the cost of energy supply, it is possible to actively manage consumption. By being mindful of common areas of overuse and seeking opportunities to be more energy-efficient, you can save some green while also doing your part to protect the environment.
Help avoid the sticker shock of rising utility costs by looking to these key areas when planning residential projects this Earth Day.
Turn Off the Lights
It may feel old-fashioned, but the simple advice to ‘turn off the light’ when leaving a room still rings true. However, instead of remembering to flip a switch, homeowners today can use technology to ensure lights turn off whenever they’re not needed.
Simple in-wall solutions like our IOS-DSR-WH Occupancy Sensor are quick to install, easy to configure and provide lasting value. They’re a great fit for limited-use spaces like bathrooms, closets, garages and pantries – any space that has sporadic activity but requires reliable lighting.
That said, being thoughtful about keeping lights off doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort or safety. Homeowners and businesses can also benefit from installing Astronomic controls, such as our ST01 In-Wall Time Switch, in nightly scheduled applications like entryways or exterior garage lights. Both Astronomic controls and photocontrols help sync lights with dusk and dawn patterns, ensuring energy is not wasted by lighting up fixtures during daylight hours.
Prioritize LED Fixtures and Controls
When energy-saving LEDs entered the mainstream in the mid-2000s, many homeowners were turned off by their harsh hues and high cost. Today, LED bulbs are widely available, comparable in price to traditional incandescent/CFL bulbs, and are sold in a broad range of hues and styles. More importantly, they use about 75% less energy than traditional lighting options.
To maximize energy-savings and avoid maintenance issues, it’s critical to pair LED bulbs with compatible fixtures and lighting controls. When LED bulbs are paired with lighting controls that are not designed to support them, high inrush transient during startup can damage controls and cause them to stop working prematurely, which results in extra maintenance costs.
High-performance solutions like our ASCEND® Smart In-Wall Timer and NIGHTFOX™ Photocontrols are specifically designed to support LED fixtures and match the long 15+ year lifespan of LED fixtures. By choosing a premium control, homeowners can save money (and headaches) over the long haul.
Protect Energy-Efficient Appliances
There’s never a good time for a washing machine or refrigerator to go on the fritz, but now might be the worst in recent memory. Like electricity and fuel costs, global supply chain issues have increased prices on major appliances while limiting product availability.
If you currently have newer energy-efficient appliances, a modest investment in surge protection can help ensure they don’t break down because of power quality issues. This is because modern appliances and home electronics have built-in circuit boards that can be compromised by unexpected power surge events. Robust solutions like our SMARTGUARD® Whole Home Surge Protection Devices provide lasting wall-to-wall protection and keep energy-efficient appliances operating as they should.
Ready to take advantage of win-win energy savings this Earth Day? Contact your local Intermatic representative or a trusted contractor to get started on new cost-saving energy control projects.