Saving the Earth should be everyone’s priority, especially if you can save money while you’re at it. Take measures that will lower your carbon footprint and your spending.
Make Your House Green
The US still gets most of its power from fossil fuels, and one way to reduce your carbon footprint is to use less electricity. The simplest way to do so is by insulating your house. Insulated roofing systems can cut your power consumption by up to 30 percent, whether during summer or winter. You won’t be needing your air conditioning or heating if outside temperatures aren’t affecting the inside of your house.
If your appliances are older than 10 years, it might be time for a change. Newer appliances are required to be more energy efficient. Inverter technology has made freezers, refrigerators, and air-conditioning units greener. You don’t need to have a smart home to manage your electricity use. Just put your appliances on a timer or be more conscientious with their use.
One of the best investments you can make as a homeowner is solar power. Technological advancements in the past decade have made solar panels more efficient as well as more affordable. A typical solar power system can run at optimal capacity (80 percent or more efficiency) for more than 30 years, with most companies guaranteeing the first 20 years. Installing a 6-kW solar energy system will cost around $15,000, but federal and state incentives can cut that amount to $11,000 or even less.
A proper 10-year financial plan should have you spending less than $150 a month on your panels. Note that a 6-kW panel can provide enough power to cover your house’s electrical consumption during the day while sending enough power to the grid to cover your nighttime use. You’ll just be using the savings on your electricity bill to cover the payments for your solar panels. Once you’re done with the payments, you’ll still have 20-30 years of free electricity.
Drive an Electric Car
Electric vehicles (EVs) are nothing to scoff at — not anymore. Saving the earth isn’t the only reason to switch to EVs as electric cars outperform gas-powered cars in almost every aspect of driving except mileage. Electric vehicles drive smoother, accelerate faster, and are generally safer than ordinary cars. Unless you continuously cross state lines in your commute, mileage shouldn’t be a problem with modern electric vehicles.
Newer EVs can travel 200-300 miles on a single charge, which should be enough for your everyday commute. EVs can cost a bit more, but you’ll save on fuel costs. US drivers spend an average of $1,100 a year on fuel but driving an electric car cuts it to $500. It gets better if your home is also solar-powered. Your vehicle won’t be powered by the grid, and charging it will be practically free.
Saving the Earth is priceless but going green has a price tag. Fortunately, you can go green without spending a lot of money, maybe even saving a bit of it in the process.