As more research pours in about the state of climate change, people across the country are looking for any and all ways to conserve energy in an effort to protect the environment. We take care to turn the lights out when we leave the room, take shorter showers and invest in smart home devices that automatically save energy. But there’s one thing you may have missed.
Your utility bill can be a fantastic resource for reducing energy use and even cutting down on pollution. Here are a few ways that your utility bill can be used to protect the environment.
The first thing you should do is opt to go paperless if you haven’t already. Going paperless means your utility bill won’t be sent through the mail. Instead, it will be uploaded to your account online and can be emailed. You’ll see all of the same information while reducing your eco-footprint.
Forgoing the paper version of your bill means fewer trees are cut down, less machine power is needed to create bills, less ink is used and there’s one less item needing to be shipped. All-around there’s a lot less pollution when you nix the paper bills.
Check Energy Usage Every Month
When you log on to your account to look at your utility bill online you’ll also find a few handy tools. Online utility bills are interactive. You can see energy use for the current month as well as the past 6-12 months.
You’ll want to pay attention to the overall energy use as well as how the bill charges break down. For example, if you have both gas and electricity through a single supplier there should be information telling you the charges for each one. It’s important to monitor your monthly energy use to make sure everything looks normal and you are hitting energy use goals.
Look for Trends in the Energy Use Data
When you are analyzing your energy use, look for trends. Do you tend to use more energy during a certain time of year? Does energy use spike for a few hours every day? Are you noticing a steady increase in energy use or just a high electric bill during the summer?
The data that’s collected by your energy company tells a story and can provide valuable insight into how you can reduce consumption. Some suppliers get very detailed with the data. It’s possible to drill down to see which hour in a month you used the most electricity and which appliances are the biggest energy hogs. If you notice that your peak energy use is around the same day/time every month you can look into what’s going on during that time period and find ways to decrease energy use.
If you are making a conscious effort to conserve energy trends in the monthly usage data can tell you how big of a difference it’s had. Ideally, you want to see the amount of energy use go down month after month. Just be careful to look at the kilowatt-hours and therms used not the rate, which can fluctuate on some plans.
Compare Green Energy Plans
Your utility bill will also provide information about your current energy plan. This information can be used to compare your existing plan with available green energy plans that use power produced by renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels.
You’ll want to compare the rate along with how energy is produced. Also, look for other indicators that your plan supports environmentally-friendly measures. For instance, your supplier may include environmental protection in its corporate social responsibility initiatives. Or a portion of the profits may be used to fund clean energy projects.
You may have to do some research online, but your utility bill is a good starting point for finding a green energy plan that fits your lifestyle, budget, and environmental protection goals.
Ready to switch to a green energy plan? Verde Energy offers green energy plans for residential and commercial customers in six states across the northeast. Check to see is there’s a green Verde Energy plan available in your area!