Greener is Cheaper: 3 Investments That
Cut Down on Your Electrical Spending
In the middle of one of the most trying times in recent history, a large portion of the American consumer base is starting to realize the value inherent in going green.
Aside from working to avoid a cataclysmic, world-altering disaster in the next few decades, climate-conscious Americans have noted the effects of water and air pollution on their daily lives, and are beginning to seek to become part of the solution and not the problem. While few are willing to radically commit to an all-green lifestyle, as that would be hard to sustain in our current climate without the proper preparation, they’re looking for small ways they can help out, hoping that the cumulative effect of their efforts will have an impact on a planet in crisis.
However, even consumers who don’t know about or care about the quote-on-quote “bigger picture” are starting to realize the value of going green. With a large number of Americans not even being able to pay their electric bill amidst a record-breaking winter, a global pandemic, and utilities continuing to hike their prices, the appeal of conservation has never been greater. The attitude that going green is somehow elitist, or reserved for people who can spend extra money on appliances and utilities, has long been disproven: while some green-energy efforts, including some of those below, do require a level of investment, they tend to pay themselves off in the long run. From low-cost temperature control measures to higher-value investments, like installing solar panels on your property, going green has been proven to help consumers across the board save money and live better, having a positive impact on the climate crisis and their bottom lines.
Sometimes in order to save money, you’ve got to spend money. Here are a few green upgrades that, in time, will pay for themselves.
Energy Star Appliances
The old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” which many Americans who are just scraping by have to live by in order to avoid going broke, doesn’t take into consideration the damage that can be done by appliances that aren’t broken on the surface but don’t use resources efficiently. For example, older model washing machines that don’t use water or power efficiently actually cost you more per load in utility bills than energy star appliances, which are designed to use as little resources as possible to maximize efficiency.
While the initial cost of energy star appliances tends to be weightier than standard model appliances, the price difference between the two isn’t all that severe anymore. Manufacturers are becoming aware that consumers prefer these kinds of appliances over others, and over time, they have become more affordable: realtors and property owners have even begun installing them in properties by default, and if those penny pinchers can afford it, who can’t?
Fictions have been spread for years at the behest of companies that are profiting off of the current status quo: solar power is too expensive, too inaccessible, and the like. However, solar power is becoming more common in U.S. households, and for a good reason: if you choose to hire solar panel installers and hook your home’s power up to a solar energy network, you’ll find that your average monthly power bill is much less expensive than it would be otherwise. This is because solar power utilities work with a renewable resource and tend to charge less than utilities that still use non-renewable resources, like petroleum.
Energy-Star Light Bulbs
You’ll no doubt notice a trend with energy-star products: while they cost a little more than their standard-issue models upfront, they tend to save you a sizable sum of money over time. While some mock the idea of changing out their light bulbs with smart bulbs and paying more for a product that they can get much cheaper, energy-star light bulbs tend to, much like the appliances mentioned above, use much less energy, saving you lots of money on your electric bills.
While big changes like installing solar panels and new appliances might be more appealing to the ego, as the bigger the change, the more considerable the impact, never underestimate how much small changes (and smaller investments) can accomplish.
Remember, there are also plenty of low-cost things you can do to save money on your electric bills: this article was just meant to cover the higher-cost investments that are actually worth putting your money into. While your neighbors struggle with high utility bills, you can rest easy knowing you’ve discovered a way to hack the system and that you’ve invested in a financially secure, environmentally-friendly future.