With the pandemic at an all-time high, it’s expected that everyone will be encouraged to stay home and stay safe for a good portion of 2021, or at the very least until Covid-19 vaccines are fully rolled out. That means energy consumption will increase significantly while being at home. And, as expected, there will be a rise in the cost of energy by as much as 3.7% (eia.gov) in the Pacific region. Southern California residents need to prepare themselves for much higher electricity bills in the coming months.
Homeowners who already own solar panels don’t need to worry about high utility bills but there are still plenty of practical ways to save money (see below). But, for those who don’t have a solar power system should definitely check out the many cost-saving benefits this type of renewable energy provides. If you want to know more about the basics of solar systems, check our previous blog on the nuts and bolts of solar. Saving each month by significantly reducing or completely eliminating the high cost of electricity is just one of the many advantages of having solar panels. Other benefits include increasing property value, reducing dependency for power from the utility company, as well as helping to reduce greenhouse gases that get emitted into the atmosphere due to burning of fossil fuels to create power.
The biggest money-saving homeowners (as well as businesses) can easily take advantage of is the 26% Federal Tax Credit from the government for the purchase of a solar energy system. If your home qualifies, 26 percent of the cost of your solar panels purchase can be claimed against your tax liability so check with your accountant how that may work for you. It’s a significant saving! You can read more about it on seia.org article. This works of course for a purchase of a solar system, not a lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). To find out more, talk to a Solar Power Supply consultant for details.
Now onto more ways of saving money.
12 PRACTICAL WAYS TO SAVE MONEY
There are plenty of ways to save money that aren’t difficult to accomplish. You just need to be diligent in the practice. Once you start doing it, you’ll realize how much and how easy it is to save more money.
- TURN OFF UNNECESSARY DEVICES OR APPLIANCES – Whether you have a solar power system or not, it’s a good habit to turn off devices or appliances while not in use. Devices and appliances on idle still eat up electricity and by fully turning them off or unplugging them completely will save you money. It’s also good for any device to be turned off. The components inside your electronic devices have a lifespan too so shutting them off completely when not in use will help make them last longer.
- MAKE HOME COOKED MEALS – It’s a known fact that meals prepared at home taste better, are healthier, and saves significantly more money. Cooking at home cost a fraction of what you’ll spend compared to ordering out. It’s also fun to experiment and to discover new types of food by looking up new recipes on the Internet and cooking them up at home.
- EAT LEFT OVERS – There are many reasons why you have a refrigerator and one of them is to keep leftover food edible for a much longer period of time. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating a meal you prepared or bought from a few days ago, and many times it’s even better tasting than the time you first had it. Think about this. No figuring out what to eat, no prep, and another meal you don’t have to spend money for. That’s a win, win, and win situation and more money left in the bank. Plus, it’s another meal that doesn’t end up at the landfill.
- REFINANCING YOUR HOUSE – For those who qualify for refinancing their home, today’s rates are in the 2% range. It’s simply unheard off. Talk about a bag full of money you can save each month that adds up to possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars by the end of the loan term. And, if you take equity out for, hmm, maybe solar panels, Solar Power Supply can take off an additional 10% for that type of cash payment.
- LESS SHOPPING FOR UNNECESSARY ITEMS – Yes, Amazon can deliver almost anything you purchase from them but do you really need all the things you buy? Everyone loves to impulse buy, but if you think before you buy, you’ll quickly realize that more than half of what you purchase are actually unnecessary. Save more money with the simple philosophy of purchasing the “needs” and less with the “wants.”
- BUY GENERIC – When you do buy stuff, does it really need to be a name brand? This goes for many things from food to apparel. Shoes are shoes, and if they’re comfortable and looks good, who cares what the brand is. The mark up on name brand items are ridiculously high so going generic helps keep money in your wallet.
- CANCEL MEMBERSHIPS, CREDIT CARDS, AND SUBSCRIPTIONS – There’s probably a handful of memberships and subscriptions you have that hasn’t been used for ages. Multiple credit cards, gym memberships or magazine subscriptions eat up on your budget each month if they’re not utilized. Get rid of them. Consolidate to a couple of credit cards. Small changes like these make big differences to your bottom line.
- CUT THE CABLE CORD – More and more people are cutting the cord. Today, there are plenty of ways to get your entertainment including YouTube, Google, Roku, Hulu, and more. Doing away with cable will give you a sense of relief and significantly save you from those high cable bills. In fact, you’ll quickly realize you didn’t need that many channels to keep you entertained.
- USE LED LIGHTS – If you still have conventional incandescent light bulbs, it’s time to change them to LED lights. LED bulbs consume 80-90% less energy so when you forget to turn those lights off, it’s not so harsh on the pocket book. Here’s an extra tip for additional savings; purchase LED lights at the dollar store instead of buying them from the big box retailers like Home Depot and Lowes. Regardless of where you get them, LED lights will save you on costly electric bills.
- CHECK OUT NEW DEALS – Companies are always sending out new deals to attract new customers but many of their promos can also be applied to existing customers. You just need to ask. Cell phone companies for instance consistently advertise new programs with big discounts. Call and see if there’s a new promotion that better fits your usage and budget. Most companies would rather switch you to their lower priced programs than to lose you completely to their competitors. And, when it comes to deals on a solar system, don’t forget to call Solar Power Supply for the latest deals.
- DO IT YOURSELF (DIY) – There’s always something to do or things that go wrong when owning a home but you don’t always need to call a professional to fix them. All it takes is a little bit of research to find ways to fix just about anything. Leaky faucets, noisy toilets, falling fences, etc. can all be done by you which can save a ton of money on labor costs. Plus, the experience of doing it yourself is very fulfilling. Get in there with your wrench and hammer and DIY that issue!
- FIND AND FIX LEAKS – Talk about money going down the drain, leaks can be very costly to homeowners. This doesn’t just pertain to water either. If you’re seeing anomalies in your bill(s), investigate the source. Check bathrooms, irrigation systems, and seals on windows and doors and see if there are any issues with drips and drafts. Most of us don’t pay attention to these simple-to-fix issues, and many only discover these problems months and sometimes years later. Finding and fixing leaks will help keep money from flying out of your pocket.