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Owning a house is a lot of work. More appliances, more rooms to heat and cool, more lights to remember to turn off. All this adds up to a whole lot less in your wallet. In fact, In 2015 the Energy Information Administration reported that the average residential monthly electric bill was $114.03. Electricity costs vary widely by location with the average Hawaiian residential consumer spending $187.59 every month on electricity.   

Your electric bill is made up of a combination of energy reliant devices and appliances. Your HVAC unit and refrigerator make up the majority of your charges but smaller things like lights, hair dryers and televisions will begin to add up if you use them a lot. When you own a house you have a lot more flexibility when it comes to lowering your electric bill. With several small modifications or some big investments, you can see years of savings on your electric bill.

When you own a house, one of the best long term money saving investments you can make is proper insulation. You’d be amazed at the amount of heat that is lost in the winter and gained in the summer when your house lacks adequate insulation. Household insulation materials work to combat conductive heat flow keeping you comfortable without having to unnecessarily blast your heater or AC. Insulation can also benefit your hot water heater and pipes. R-8 insulated jackets for hot water heaters can help reduce heat losses by 25-45% saving you 4-9% in heating costs.

Another great option is replacing your older appliances and devices with Energy Star certified ones. An energy star qualified appliance is one that uses 10 to 50 percent less energy than a standard one. Appliances generally make up 20 percent of a household’s energy use. Energy Star appliances save the average consumer $80 per year in energy costs compared to standard household appliances. We’ve included some of Energy Stars’ best picks for 2017.

  • Most efficient 2017:

    • Medium Refrigerator: Frigidaire FFHI1831Q* (447 kWh/yr)

    • 50” Television: Samsung UN50J5500AF (66.3 (kWh/yr)

    • Large Clothes Washer: LG WM9500H*A (120 kWh/yr)

You can also change some habits in order to lower your electric bill. Cutting down on Phantom Load is a great measure to take. Whenever your electrical devices are plugged in an outlet, even if they are turned off, they are still using power that gets charged to your electric bill. 5-10% of residual energy usage is from this standby power that we don’t even notice we’re using. This costs the average household $100 every year. You can use smart power strips to reduce this unnecessary energy usage or you can simply unplug devices that you are not using anymore. Smart strips are a great way to save energy wasted by the devices you use most or the ones that are difficult to disconnect from power.

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