The American lifestyle has adapted to the current global health crisis, and we are seeing some of the financial impact in our utility bills. Children are distance learning at home, adults are working from home full- or part-time. Couples and families are staying in on weekends and canceling or postponing vacations. More time at home since March means increased energy use… and that means higher costs. When computers are running for longer stretches of time, when we’re watching more television, and when our appliances are used more often, it shows in those monthly bills.
There are ways to manage our energy use more efficiently or make the higher cost more affordable.
- If you’re having trouble paying your bills, reach out to your utility companies. Ask to pay the balance in installments. There are also assistance programs for people who need temporary help meeting their heating and electricity costs.
- Being more mindful of turning off lights, appliances, and devices when not in use really will make a difference over the course of a month. Adjusting our daily habits is sometimes harder to do when we don’t leave the house but give it a try!
- Consider using smart technology, Experts say energy-efficient light bulbs, air conditioner units, thermostats and using things like power strips can save you money in the long-term.
In addition to energy costs, we’re also putting some major mileage on our appliances. Dishwashers, ranges and ovens, washers and dryers are used on a daily basis — sometimes even multiple times — versus weekly in some cases. That leads to wear and tear, and the unlucky among us are being forced to replace those appliances that break down from the heavy workload.
That creates yet another pandemic-related challenge. Many items, including household appliances, are difficult to find in stock. Manufacturers are unable to meet production needs for a variety of reasons, such as the overwhelming demand, factory shutdowns, or staff shortages — all of which disrupt the supply chain. You may find yourself needing to be patient and flexible with the brand or style options if you’re looking to purchase a new appliance.
There are savings to be found with new home construction for those looking to move. A major benefit is that the appliances, water heater, and furnace are brand new and often covered by warranties. Reach out to us if you’d like to hear more about what we offer in communities throughout southern New Hampshire.