5 tips on how to easily decrease your energy bills in 2016

There are two methods to decrease/eliminate your energy bills. Either you decrease the amount of energy you use, or you can generate your own energy (portable solar panels). Both methods will be covered below.

On average, the American household spends $110 a month on their electric bill. The tips below can not only help you save energy, but also save you cash.

1) Use efficient light bulbs

More efficient bulbs require 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last 10 times longer! Lighting can account for up to 20-25 percent of your home's energy costs. So switching can reduce your monthly energy bill. And it is easy.
This also reduced the cost of replacing light bulbs and the time spent replacing them! Replacing bulbs is a hassle…especially those high ones…that are impossible to reach…you know what I’m talking about…don’t get me started on light bulbs, I could talk for hours. In fact, here is more information




2) Line Dry your Clothes

According to Project Laundry List, if you dry four loads of laundry in an electric dryer per week, it'll cost you an extra $110 per year. I always hang my clothes to dry and have never had any problems, and enjoy savings on energy.


3) Use Portable Solar Panels

One easy way to decrease your energy bills by a couple of dollars per month is to purchase a portable solar panel. 

The amount you can save each month depends on the size of the portable panels that you purchase and the amount that you use it each month. You can read more about how I use a portable solar panel to charge my phone for free each month here. Best solar charger for cell-phones. As shown in the picture above, the larger ones can also be used for laptops.

I use mine to charge my back-up battery during the day, and then use my back-up battery to charge my cell-phone everyday.

4) Solar Lanterns

How about not using lightbulbs at all! Or at least decreasing the number that you use. Have you heard of solar air lanterns? 
While solar air lanterns are slightly inconvenient to always use inside, you can always charge them by your window, and then use them at night. I admit it is more of a hassle than flicking on a light switch. 
However, they are great on camping trips, reading a book outside on a summer night, power outages at home, or for home BBQ parties in the backyard.

5) Plant Trees!

Plant trees around your house. Trees can shield/insulate your walls, by protecting them from direct sunlight and radiative heat. According to the U.S. Forest Service, 50 million shade trees planted strategically could elminate the need for seven 100 MW power plants in the U.S.

More information about how to strategically plant trees around your house can be found here. Start planting trees if you can! 
Planting trees is easy, but planning where to plant them and upkeep may be difficult. Also, with trees, you can't put solar panels on your roof. The solar panels would have to go in your backyard.

6) Bonus tip! Use power strips intelligently

Finally, decrease the energy suckers in your house! This applies to people and electronics :) Microwaves, TVs, DVD players, etc, constantly suck energy! Simply plug them all up to a power strip and flip the power strip off when you go to bed. 

According to Wang at People Power, even when a plasma TV isn't on, the TV still sucks up 1,400 kilowatt-hours annually, which could mean an extra $150 per year in your pocket if you use a power strip. Some can be set to turn on and off automatically.

Final Remarks on using solar to reduce energy

While the methods above may not seem to significant for saving energy. As the Japanese say,
"塵も積もれば、山となる
Even Dust, When Piled up, Will Become a Mountain."

Basically, if many people make these small simple changes, we can make a big impact on the environment and reduce energy usage.

These ideas also make unique gifts for Christmas or birthdays.

Please share below if you think these tips are helpful.