As you may know, my husband is just the greatest guy. If you are sick of hearing how great he is then move on now, friends, because he came up with an idea that got me all het up (in a good way). Buckle your seatbelts because here it is:
All of the taxpayers in the US are coming into some free money as our government’s way of feeding a sickly consumer-based economy. Josh announced that the government should just install every household with one solar panel each year instead of forking over money for us to blow at the mall. Of course, the powers that be are not as intelligent or as farseeing as my beloved husband but you, my darling readers, are WAY (Did I say WAY? I meant WAY, WAY, WAY!) better than that. So why not take some of that glorious rebate and try one or more of these energy and cost saving ideas? Seriously. Remember that in our society — your money is your vote. Show our government that your priorities have nothing to do with getting glammed up or buying crazy-expensive televisions. You have always had the power — now you have the money.
Installing and using a programmable thermostat can save up to 33% on heating and cooling costs annually. Guess what? That also prevents enough CO2 emissions to remove 600 cars from the road each year. Cost to you: about $40.
Replace all of the light bulbs in your house with compact flourescent lights consume 75% less electricity and last 10,000 hours (compare to 1500). Also, incandescent light bulbs operate at 350 degrees Fahrenheit whereas CFLs only heat to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to go even farther — use the new LED bulbs. Cost to you: about $45 (could vary because I have no clue how many light bulbs you have in your house)
Install low-flow shower heads and faucets. These little bits of genius can reduce your water bills by 50% and reduce your energy costs (heating the water) by 50%. That’s HUGE!! It’s not only an affordable fix but incredibly easy to do. Cost to you: $60-$80
Install a tankless water heater. Why? Because even though you aren’t using hot water 24/7 — you are paying to heat water all day long, every single day. That means your water heater is spending your money for you. Generally 20% of your power bill is generated from running your water heater — that adds up to at least $450 each year. The average water heater must be replaced every 10-13 years (this means more expense: gas to get to Lowes, cost to remove and dispose of the water heater, doctor’s bills to repair your husband’s back after he hauled it out of the truck, etc.). Tankless water heaters last 20 years or more. Cost to you: about $1000.
Get an Energy-Efficient Refrigerator. Using more energy than any single appliance in your house… meet your pocketbook’s worst enemy. We’re talking about a sixth of all the electricity in your home goes to run your fridge. Today’s energy-saving refrigerators use 60 percent less electricity on average than the old models. The decrease in greenhouse gas emissions over the life of all the GE ENERGY STAR® qualified refrigerators that were sold in 2005 is equivalent to eliminating more than 71,000 cars from US roads for an entire year. Cost to you: $800-$1,200 or so.
Front load washer and dryer. The truth is that you could probably skip the dryer altogether but we know that the average household has a dryer that is in use almost as much as the tv (another costly appliance — don’t even get me started…). Also, evil Homeowners Associations dislike clotheslines. Think about this: most American households do 400 loads of wash each year using 40 gallons of water per load. That’s 160,000 gallons of water each year! Today’s energy saving washers reduce your energy use as much as 70% and reduce the amount of detergent needed for each load. Guess how much that old dryer is costing you… try $1, 530 before it conks out on you. Upgrade your washer and dryer to front-load, energy-saving models. Cost to you: $2,000
Get solar panels. You really want the last laugh? Purchase solar panels using your rebate check and some savings and then have the government fork over more money to you while you sit pretty with a reduced or eliminated power bill. There’s a 30% tax credit, cash rebates out the kazoo, and it ups the value of your home. Solar panels usually pay for themselves by the second year. Cost to you: $3-6,000 including standard product rebates and tax credits but not including your tax rebate.
Just think of all the money you’ll have to pay off credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and more! So what do you think? Is he a genius or what?