If you have a friend or family member with an electric vehicle (EV), they’ve probably talked your ear off about how great they are while you pretended to listen, furrowing your eyebrows when they made a particularly interesting point about gas prices or the environment. But now it’s time for you to do some car shopping, and you’re suddenly wishing you’d actually paid attention to that conversation. Luckily, I’m here to fill you in on exactly why it might be a smart idea to jump on the EV bandwagon.
The bottom line is, it has to do with the cost of electrically fueling an EV car. Or, rather, the fact that you can eliminate this cost altogether with a few fairly simple changes at home. Sounds intriguing, right? You’re probably asking yourself, “Is it actually possible to cut out your fuel costs entirely?” Good question. Let’s take a serious look at how you can effectively eliminate the cost of charging your electric car at home through simple changes in your electricity usage.
How Much Electricity Your EV Needs
The fuel costs for EVs are already lower than the cost of fuel for your average gas consuming vehicle. Most Americans drive about 13,476 miles every year. For the sake of argument, and convenience, let’s round that up to an even 15,000.
So what does it cost to charge an electric car at home? Let’s take a look. 15,000 miles, working with the national average of $.12 per kWh, and about 30 kWh of electricity to power the car 100 miles, will cost roughly $540. Some quick math shows us that in order to recoup those costs, you’d need to shed about $45 from your electric bill each month. Doable? Yes – just five 100 watt light bulbs left on for a year equals nearly the amount of energy it takes to power your electric car for those 15,000 miles. So, what else can you do in your home to slash that $45 off your bill each month?
Conservation Tips to Cut Your Electric Bill
In the scenario above, those bulbs would have to be left on constantly for an entire year, but you almost certainly have other appliances that are used inefficiently as well: lights that stay on for too long each day, or electronics that you never unplug. Those are all significant sources of energy consumption that can be abused. So, here are some easy, quick ways to lower your usage:
- Wash your laundry in cold water. This switch alone can save you over $200 throughout the course of a year. As an added bonus, cold water does less damage to your clothes over their lifetime since heat can cause the colors in garments to break down, as well as cause shrinkage. That’s why there are plenty of die-hard fans of line drying out there as well. Which, by the way, can also cut your electric bill by nearly $200 dollars, depending on how many times a week you run your dryer.
- Install a smart thermostat. Do you like turning your AC on in the summer? Then now’s the time to invest in a programmable thermostat so you aren’t cooling an empty house for hours on end. It will pay for itself within a year or two and, after that, the EPA estimates it can save you an average of $180 on your electric bill yearly.
- Replace old lights with LED bulbs. At this point, just about everyone knows that LED bulbs last longer and are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, or even compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Making the switch can make a huge difference in your energy consumption. LED’s last 50,000 hours, which is more than 40 times the normal lifespan of an incandescent bulb, and use about 75% less energy. The ceiling fan directly above me as I write this article has three lights in it. And guess what? I’ve got LEDs in all three sockets.
Can you see how close many of us already are to offsetting those fuel costs? And that was for an above average estimate of how much you’ll be driving. But what do you do if you’re already an energy-saving maverick?
But I’m Already Doing All of That!
Okay, if you’re considering an electric car, chances are you’re already energy conscious at home. So what benefits are you getting from that electric car purchase if you’ve got the leanest, greenest house on the block? You could free yourself from an unpredictable cost in your life—rising energy prices.
If your household is anything like mine, you have a monthly budget that you plan out. Certain unexpected expenses occur but, for the most part, you’re flying on autopilot. Now imagine completely getting rid of the cost of gas, which is a fluctuating cost, and one that can often trend upward. Your electricity usage may increase some, sure, but if you have a fixed rate for your electricity, you’re protected from price spikes and upward trends in the energy market.
Think about it. How nice would it be to have your fuel costs bundled into the cost of your electric bill? Instead of budgeting for your household bills, and then adding to that the constantly changing price of gas, you can easily calculate total expenses for the month because the price of fuel won’t fluctuate, only your usage. Now you’re the one in control!
At Liberty Power, we offer fixed rate products—including renewable energy—that give you power over your electric bill. You’re the one in the driver’s seat when you plug your electric vehicle into the charger each night. Contact us today to learn more about how you can take back control of your energy costs with a retail energy supplier.
Photo Credit: The NRMA