Magnetic Refrigerators
Magnetic Refrigerators
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric have teamed up to create a revolutionary new type of refrigerator that uses magnets to create cold, also known as the magnetocaloric effect (lowering or raising the temperature of the material by changing the magnetic field).
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
The Building Technologies Office is ushering in the next generation of heat pump systems, which warm and cool your home by moving heat from one space to another. A fuel-fired, multi-function residential heat pump that can reduce primary energy consumption by 30 percent.
Clothes Dryers
Clothes Dryers
The same concept behind heat pump technologies that keep your home comfortable can also be used for another important application: drying your clothes. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric are developing a new type of clothes dryer that uses a heat pump cycle to generate hot air needed for drying.
Smarter, More Connected Homes
Smarter, More Connected Homes
We live in an increasingly connected world -- the same is true for our homes. New electronic devices and appliances can now be linked to the Internet to provide real-time data that makes it easier to understand and lower energy use.
Next-Gen Insulation
Next-Gen Insulation
Insulation is one of the most important ways to reduce your home heating and cooling costs. The Industrial Science & Technology Network is developing new foam insulation made with environmentally friendly and advanced composite materials that ensure heat doesn’t escape from the attic, walls and other areas of the home during cold winter months.
Advanced Window Controls
Advanced Window Controls
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pella Windows are working on new highly insulated windows that use sensors and microprocessors to automatically adjust shading based on the amount of available sunlight and the time of day to ensure proper lighting and comfort, saving consumers energy and money.
Reflective Roofing Materials
Reflective Roofing Materials
Cool roofs coated with materials containing specialized pigments reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than standard roofs. Expect these types of roof systems to get even “cooler” due to new fluorescent pigments developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PPG Industries that can reflect nearly four times the amount of sunlight of standard pigments.

Energy-Saving Solutions

From heating and cooling to electronics and appliances, it takes a lot of energy to power our daily lives. Our homes use 37 percent more energy today than they did in 1980. But without energy efficiency -- through technology innovation and federal energy conservation standards -- this number would be a lot higher. In fact, even though our total energy use has grown, our energy use per household is down about 10 percent, despite that our homes are larger and contain more devices.

Save Energy Systems

19 June 2019

How Minimalism Can Help You Lower Your Utility Bills

Our lifestyles are busier than ever, and we have the go-to gadgets to prove it. Smartphones, watches, smart appliances and televisions, speakers, tablets…the list is so extensive that it’s virtually endless. But all those gadgets, smart home appliances and tech...

The post How Minimalism Can Help You Lower Your Utility Bills appeared first on HomeSelfe.


Our lifestyles are busier than ever, and we have the go-to gadgets to prove it. Smartphones, watches, smart appliances and televisions, speakers, tablets…the list is so extensive that it’s virtually endless. But all those gadgets, smart home appliances and tech...

The post How Minimalism Can Help You Lower Your Utility Bills appeared first on HomeSelfe.

Our lifestyles are busier than ever, and we have the go-to gadgets to prove it. Smartphones, watches, smart appliances and televisions, speakers, tablets…the list is so extensive that it’s virtually endless.

But all those gadgets, smart home appliances and tech savvy tablets and phones cost us money each month. Beyond, of course, just the carrier fees or internet charges.

Every gadget, appliance, fixture and screen costs money in electricity…or gas. Everything we plug in, turn on, heat up or cool down costs money. And those dollars add up quickly.

You might be screaming: “how do I lower my utility bills!!???” If your monthly electricity, water or gas bills are slowly sucking the budget dry, the solution is easier than you think.

Cutting costs means minimizing what we use. So it’s time to downsize:

  • Gadget time
  • Television time
  • Water usage
  • Electricity and gas usage

But embrace:

  • The 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle)
  • Sunlight
  • Good habits for kids
  • Off-peak electricity hours (research rates and/or programs with your utility company)
  • Decluttering (start with your bedroom, for example!)

If you’re freaking out and thinking there is NO way you can cut back, you’re probably wrong. Many of us take leisurely showers, plug in our phones throughout the day and waste energy in other ways.

Lowering your bills means making sacrifices. So let’s get cutting!

Electricity Overload

Technology rules our lives. It makes things easier, right? Those tablets, phones, smart watches and fitness trackers keep our lives together.

What did we do before tech took over? Well, we used paper. And pens. We plugged in less…a lot less.

If the electricity bill is like a lightning bolt striking your finances, here’s how to cut energy home usage:

  • Don’t leave gadgets plugged in for hours. Charge them during the night (but not ALL night) and during the day (as needed).
  • Turn off all the lights you don’t use.
  • Shut off tablets to save battery life when they aren’t in use.
  • Unplug all appliances not in use
  • Switch light fixtures to LED bulbs (they save energy and last longer!)

But wait! How do you go through the day only charging the phone…sometimes? Those batteries don’t last forever. Especially if you’re snapping photos or watching videos.

Yes, it’s true. Those batteries don’t last forever. But if you use them only as needed, they will last (theoretically) a whole LOT longer.

Minimalism means cutting down that phone and tablet usage. This also may help you embrace a more mindful approach to life. Less time on the phone and other gadgets snapping, texting or surfing means more time to read, talk to friends or engage in other ways.

Living minimally can help you take charge of bad habits. While you save on screen time, you can find other things to enjoy.

How can you lower those bills Use less water!

H2O: Less is More

Some people love a long hot shower. Double whammy for utility bills, though. A long shower uses more water, and turning up the heat means that you have to use either more electricity or gas.

Shorten that shower time. Buy a kitchen timer and set it for a set time. Aim for only a few minutes. Instead of hot water, opt for warm.

You also can save water by installing low-flow shower heads.  If you love a hot bath, switch to a shower instead. Baths use up a lot of water.

Let the Sun In: Go Au Natural

Forget the fake light of bulbs. Go back to nature and embrace the sunlight! Open the curtains to use Mother Nature’s lamp.

If you have houseplants or a vertical garden that loves the sun, be sure to place them in an area where they soak up all those rays. Plus, greenery is great for natural décor!

Reduce, Reuse…Recycle!

Get rid of all that paper, aluminum, glass and plastic waste, but don’t throw it away! Embracing minimalism means recycling anything that can enjoy a second life.

Be sure to research recycling in your area, so you know if there is a pick-up date for items or if you need to drop off recyclables at a specific location. Whatever you do, though, don’t toss out items that can be recycled!

Want to save more landfill space? Create a compost pile in your backyard with decomposing materials from the waste.

And never throw away old clothes. Unwanted clothing and textiles take up much-needed space in landfills. Instead, donate nicer items to a thrift store. Turn stained t-shirts into cleaning cloths. Old towels and blankets also may be donated to animal shelters.

Follow the 3Rs to help the planet and limit waste reduce, reuse...recycle!

Avoid Extreme Temps for the Thermostat

We all have a certain temperature that we love for our home. But even nudging that thermostat down or up a little bit in winter and summer may help save money.

You also may be able to program your unit to run less when you’re away (at work or school), or make your ventilation energy efficient!

And always remember to replace the air filter in your HVAC unit.

Teach Kids Good Habits

For families with kids, teach the importance of conserving energy. Make sure children turn off the faucet when soaping up their hands or brushing their teeth. They also should learn to turn off the lights when they leave a room.

Be Energy Wise When Cleaning Clothes and Dishes

Appliances like our washer/dryer and dishwasher can use a lot of water and electricity (or gas). Run the dishwasher with a full load. And you may even opt to wash clothes and dishes at ‘off-peak’ hours. So what are the more expensive times to run electrical appliances? You can go check with your utility provider to see electricity stats/rates for your area.

Downsizing ‘Stuff’

So what else can you minimize when you’re trying to lighten the load of bills? If you’re a family with multiple kids and multiple gadgets, it might be time to reassess what you really need.

  • Video Game Systems: Do you have multiple game systems? Do you need/use them all? Choose one (or two) at the most. Donate the rest.
  • Tech Gadgets: We’ve already gone over this a bit. However, many of us have multiple gadgets. Some families have LOTS of tablets and smart devices. Choose the ones you really need and use. Older versions might be donated or recycled.
  • Televisions: You don’t need one in every bedroom. Really, downsizing those screens may mean your family spends less time staring at them. Opt for one in the great room/living rooms, one in your master bedroom and maybe one in the basement (if it’s finished and a usable rec space).

Embracing minimalism isn’t just good for saving money on utilities, but it also may help you spend more time and energy on the ‘moment.’ Downsizing screens and opting for energy-saving life habits is easier than you might think. There are so many small habits we can embrace now to save money and live life a little fuller. So look around and see what you can change!

lower my utility bills

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