If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living in Texas during the summer, it’s that energy bills can be a major pain. Just from past experience it makes sense why our state has one of the five highest electricity bills in the nation. What I didn’t know, however, is that things weren’t always this bad. In the last three years energy bills have risen by an astounding 37%. This can be attributed to the increased use of household appliances and electronic devices (not just the weather). Also, surprisingly, newer houses (year 2000 and later) typically use 2% more energy. So can anything be done to lower these costs? The simple answer is yes, but it may take some habit breaking and some smart use of technology.
In my house, I’m constantly having to turn off lights, appliances, stereos, etc. that my roommates leave on forever. The reason I do this is because through actively regulating how much energy you’re using actually can make a difference in your utility bill. This in combination with lowering the thermostat during winter and turning off the air during summer (when you don’t need it AKA when you’re out of the house) will also be a life-saver for your energy use. Now with smart technologies such as Nest and ADT, you can sync your house thermostat, appliance use and lighting options with your phones, tablets, or computers to change your electricity usage even when you aren’t at home! I’m curious to see how technologies such as these will impact the nation’s average energy bill in the future. We shall see.