The Cost of Power
Recently, climate scientists have communicated to the public the necessity of investing in clean, renewable, and efficient energy. As a result, homeowners are now trying to reduce their annual energy costs and carbon footprint by purchasing higher-cost homes, simply because they are more energy efficient, reducing their yearly energy bill by $1,000.
There are many ways one can updating home energy efficiency and lower one’s energy bill. Many homeowners may unknowingly be hurting themselves, and the environment, by failing to follow simple solutions to rising energy costs. For instance, traditional light bulbs, on average, cost an extra $125 per light bulb over the course of the bulb’s life. An easy solution to this hidden cost is to simply switch to an LED light bulb. LED light bulbs are able to utilize energy more efficiently by detecting where light needs to be emitted, as opposed to traditional bulbs, which emit light in all directions.
Before one begins the process of updating home energy efficiency, it is important to undergo a legitimate energy audit. Forgoing an energy audit can lead to the non-detection of chemicals in the air and malfunctioning equipment, two things that make a home unsafe and inefficient. Homeowners should be wary of companies promising large improvements who have no plan to follow through. To prevent being misled, one should select a contractor who is certified by the Building Performance Institute. Building Performance Institute-approved contractors are required to perform an audit before beginning work and after completion. The contractor will perform tests to detect any possible leakage from energy sources such as air conditioners or heaters. These leaks are a common reason homeowners may unknowingly be spending more on energy than necessary. It is paramount that these audits are not done haphazardly in order to ensure the best possible outcome for both efficiency and the safety of the occupant. Properly conducted energy audits keep homeowners safe and help them save money on energy costs in the long run.
Another thing many homeowners fail to notice when it comes to energy efficiency is air leaks. As houses age, it is normal for them to develop leaks and holes in their foundation, walls, ceilings, and roofs. However, these normal aging effects can be very hard on homeowners’ wallets. By ignoring air leaks, homeowners are potentially raising their energy bill by about $400 each year. Furthermore, many homeowners get swindled by window manufacturers who convince customers to pay more for supposed energy efficient windows, when in reality, these windows offer minimal savings on energy bills.
One of the most damaging mistakes energy consumers make is not watching their wattage (BusinessWire). By not keeping track of energy consumption, one is likely to consume approximately 7 percent more energy than is necessary for their lifestyle. Homeowners should consider investing in a user-friendly thermostat, with new advanced technology, that makes managing energy use simple.
Another factor many consumers do not account for is that older appliances use more energy. Homeowners with older washing machines or refrigerators may be paying more for their energy bill than they should be. By keeping a fifteen-year-old refrigerator in use, homeowners increase their energy bill by approximately $60 a year, and older washing machines can run up an energy bill by $130. Instead, one should consider purchasing a newer, energy efficient appliance, to save money in the long run (https://crunchbase.com/organization/stream-energy).
Another common mistake homeowners make is not investing in a hybrid water heater. Without a hybrid water heater, one could be running up their energy bill by $350 a year. Having a standard water heater, which captures warmth from the air, increases energy costs by around 60 percent.
Long-term sustainability is a major concern for energy consumers. Unfortunately, fossil fuels are simply not an option for clients looking for a clean, affordable energy source. Fossil fuels are not only harmful to the planet, but to the wallet as well. Although the upfront costs for renewable energy can be high, the payoffs are long-lasting and beneficial to the earth.
How Stream Energy Can Help
Few companies are making affordability and sustainability part of their mission. However, Stream Energy is working fast and effectively to lower the cost of energy and reduce the negative consequences of fossil fuels on the planet. Founded in 2005, Stream is an innovative company with the goal of making energy consumption direct and efficient. Stream even offers their customers wireless, protective and home services, in addition to clean energy.
Stream offers a variety of energy-efficient tools and plans because they understand that many consumers are unconsciously over-using their electricity.
Stream Energy is working to lower consumers’ energy costs by using a Weekly Energy Report. Because many consumers fail to track their energy usage, Stream has made it easy for customers to view their energy accounts and usage. Stream then shares cost savings tips on their blog, like encouraging customers to unplug their DVR boxes regularly to reduce home energy costs by $130 a year. Customers can put those tips into action and then monitor their effect using the Weekly Energy Report.
In addition to the Weekly Energy Report, Stream offers ‘Your Plan’, which allows customers to choose a usage block that best reflects their average energy consumption, then pay a flat rate each billing cycle as long as they stay within their chosen block.
Stream Energy’s affordability and sustainability efforts has even prompted Market Strategies International to recognize them as one of the top 10 most trusted retail electric providers in Texas. Stream has earned this title by securing proper audits for customers, helping them to avoid the pitfalls of costly problematic energy audits. Overall, investing in clean energy is the way of the future for individuals and energy companies alike.
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