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The Genius Idea That Just Might Work

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 attic fans and save 30% on heating and cooling costs. Add attic insulation and save 20% more!! Cost to you: $200-500 (for the attic fans) and $0.38 per square foot (for the attic insulation).

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?

  • Michelle aka Applie - Cool post!!

    We have the thermostat, but not exactly like that one.
    We have the attic insulated and we have attic vents, but no fans.
    We have the good refrigerator.
    We have the front load washer.
    We do not have the solar panels. Too many trees, so won’t work for us.

    We are not doing too bad. 😀

    Oh, and we do use those lights and hate them. They burn out faster than the old kind. For us they do. Cost us quit a bit of money to replace them. Too bad these good things cost so much!ReplyCancel

  • Dirkey - Wow, this is an awesome post!!!
    I think we’ll invest in a new fridge and bank the other part. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Christine - Well, we rent so we’ll never be able to conserve as much as I’d like. Finding a rental home within our budget is hard enough…

    BUT I do line dry as much as I can. During the winter… no way. Dryer all the way but when it is warm out, yep! We’re not suppose to have lines out either but I have one of those hide-away lines. I put my clothes up and as soon as they are done, I take the line down and retract it! No one usually is the wiser because I do it when people are at work. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Robin - Hey Miss Lacy! :mrgreen:

    Yes, I agree, very smart things to do for our homes! You do have a very wise husband. 😀

    I began typing out all of my responses and then thought that it might be smarter to blog about it as well as link to your blog. 😀

    I hope you are having a wonderful Saturday! Hugs, RobinReplyCancel

  • HeatherJ - Fabulous list, Lacy & Josh! Wouldn’t “they” just initially freak out if everyone spent his/her money WISELY? I remember some good friends of mine were in a taped interview years ago when Bush Jr. was giving out refund checks, and he asked them what they were planning on spending their “free” money on. They smiled and said they were going to pay off debt. That didn’t go over too well, because it was money not going back into the economy ~ so he frowned on that response and I think they got cut out of the taping.

    Hey… gotta pick your smarty-pants brains: We’re moving very soon, and house hunting will commence any day now. My husband and I are debating on how far to move away from the city. We definitely don’t want a homeowner’s association again, however we are concerned about gas prices and how far we will have to drive/spend on gas per week. It’s very difficult to find a home in the near ‘burbs that doesn’t have a HOA or one that will allow chickens in the city limits. It looks as if you live in the country ~ is it outrageously expensive these days to just do minimal errands? How do you save $$ here? Did you have these concerns when you moved to wherever you are?

    Thanks a bunch,

  • Jacky - Hi Lacy,
    Here in Queenland, we have been having a massive drought, before Christmas, our dam capacity was 18% now its 40. Any way the Govt. implemented strategies, we are encouraged to use 140L of less of water per person per day, they gave all households 4min, shower timers, and for $20 you can get a water audit, that included the instillation of a water saving shower head.
    Before this, we reduced water flow in the shower with some little washer thingy, that cost less than $5 and went in the pipe just before the shower head.
    Heating is not a problem here, but cooling is, many houses use aircon, we don’t, the house is well insulated, and if it gets unbearable we use fans, and remind ourselves how much we are saving.
    Thanks for a great post, i hope all you Americans, use this money well. Your economy does effect us.
    Love Jacky.ReplyCancel

  • Tia Julie - Lacy, I agree, Joshua is a genius. We use a programable thermostat. Last year replaced our heating and cooling unit with a very efficient energy saver and have reduced our electric and propane bills. And yes we received a tax rebate on it. We also have an efficient refrigerator. Because of the drought last year learned a few more water saving techniques, but we were already pretty good with that one anyway. Thank you for keeping our awareness on these important subjects.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - Great list. We are planning to get programable thermostats this winter. We have been slowly switching to florescent bulbs too. We heat our water and our home with an outdoor wood furnace but we are thinking of getting an on demand water heater for in the summer when we don’t need to het the house. We had one in our old house and it was wonderful. Plus…how cool is it to always have HOT water and never wait for the water heater to warm up?? We bought energy saving appliances in our new home too. I’ve been wanting to look into solar and wind power for our home too. Problem is it is not always windy here and in Alaska in the winter there is not much light. I am all too familiar with living off the grid. My hubby and I had a cabin with a generator and batter power. We used a propane fridge & propane lights and did just fine. Kind of miss those simpler days….ReplyCancel

  • Energy Saving Water Heaters - I can’t agree completely on ius Idea That Just Might Work | Razor Family Farms any way you provided here some valid info, i am looking forward to surf more on this…ReplyCancel

  • solar attic fans really work - […] idea that got me all het up in a good way. Buckle your seatbelts because here it is: All of the taxphttp://razorfamilyfarms.com/blog/?p=566Cheap chills: Saving on cooling this summer Contra Costa TimesWhoever wrote the line, “Summertime, […]ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - I’m not at all surprised that so many of my reader-friends are hip to energy-saving! You guys are the best! -LacyReplyCancel

  • ishwar - stumbled across your website while looking out for Solar Panel images. Impressed with presentation. I intend to get
    into the line of solar panels exports to African and Middle east countries from India.Can u please guide me.ReplyCancel

  • Do It Yourself Insulation - I agree with you on the light bulbs. Those coily ones are really long lasting, but my clients aren’t getting much of a savings on solar panels. They are getting good results with radiant barrier spray, though.ReplyCancel

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