If you’re living in the California desert, you know what heat feels like. The temperature alone can cause you to pay a fortune on air conditioning. Add in your other necessities, and a sizable chunk of your income is going to your utility bill. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to cut back on your utility usage and save yourself some money.

Install Solar Panels

In 2018, California led the nation in usage of solar power, with 34% of its power coming from solar panels. Though the initial cost can be rather high, in the long run, solar panels save homeowners massive amounts of money. The “payback period” until solar panels begin to pay for themselves is usually around 5-6 years, with an average saving of over fifty-thousand dollars, over a 25-year period. That’s a lot of savings! Solar panels create and store energy during daylight hours, saving it like a battery for when it is needed in the household. In some instances, “extra” energy can even be sold back to the local utility companies for use in local businesses.  

Reduce Water Usage

In an area where reservoirs are shrinking, being mindful about water is critical. Many local areas already have strictures on not watering grass. Californians, however, still crave lush lawns, and are turning to synthetic grass for beauty without breaking watering laws. Synthetic grass has come a long way in the past few years, now looking lusher and more realistic than ever before. There are also many environmental benefits to using synthetic grass. Toxic pesticides are eliminated from the environment. Grass clippings are the third largest filler of landfills in the United States, and that need is eliminated by using synthetic. The biggest benefit, though, is with lowering water usage. Lawns, on average, require 55 gallons of water yearly. In a desert, more is often required. Being able to cut that amount from your water usage is a great boon to the environment.

Small Changes Make Big Differences

There are also small changes you can make around the house which can add up to large changes over time. Having an automatic thermostat can save homeowners over time on electric or gas bills. Being able to tolerate a slightly higher (or lower, in the winter) temperature can also see a diminished rate. Replacing standard light bulbs with long-lasting, lower wattage LED bulbs will lower electric bills significantly, up to seventy-five dollars per year for most used lights. Even taking slightly shorter showers can save a great deal of water use over the year.

Not every change is right for every family but being responsible is good for your business, family, environment, and wallet! Small changes can add up to larger benefits in your community. Budgeting for large changes while beginning with small ones can help keep your utility bills lower while helping your community.

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