Having trouble “adulting”? Many young adults (read: recent college grads out in the work world for the first time without a school or parent safety net) have a hard time when faced with a problem they’ve never encountered before. You may remember your parents dealing with bills and broken appliances, but you never gave them a second thought because you didn’t need to. Well, now that you’re on your own, we have some answers to common adulting questions about saving energy and saving money.
A: Yes! Heating and cooling are the largest contributors to your energy bill, so making a change here is one of the biggest moves you can make to save money on your energy bills. Turn your air conditioning up (or your heat down) 7-10 degrees during the day to save 10 percent on your monthly bills. Use a programmable or smart thermostat to make this process automatic.
A: No. Your parents may have told you that many electronics and appliances (ones that have a glowing light all the time) consume electricity even when they’re turned off. This is called vampire energy because the machines are sucking energy even though you’re not using them. However, newer electronics are required to use 1 watt or less in standby mode, so you’re not wasting much energy or money at all by leaving your chargers plugged in all the time.
A: You need to figure out a few things for any appliance you buy:
No matter how big or small, how fancy or simple you go, make sure you choose an appliance that’s Energy Star rated. Products with the blue Energy Star label meet rigorous performance and efficiency standards, so they are your best bet for saving energy and money.
A: Buying food at the grocery is cheaper than always eating out. But buying food then not eating it is a waste of resources and money, so have a plan when you go to the grocery. You can start small, such as planning to eat breakfast at home rather than stopping at the drive-thru for a breakfast sandwich. Or you can make dinner, then plan on taking the leftovers for lunch the next day. Making your own food is also healthier, as you’ll know exactly what goes into the meal you’re eating.
A: Try these 10 tips to save energy that won’t cost you a penny!