While many Americans are truly suffering from job losses, health related expenses, and the stress of working at home while trying to help children navigate Zoom school, our economy is becoming more divided. For those who can work from home and aren’t eating out, traveling, and shopping as they used to, while getting a $1200/adult & $500/child coronavirus “bonus,” now is the time to put those extra funds to work. If you haven’t already donated to your local food pantry, crisis center, political candidates, etc., consider upgrading your home’s (and vehicle’s) energy efficiency.
Another factor to consider is how low interest rates are on savings accounts and money funds: less than 1%. Better to put that money to use in energy savings.
Now is a great time to upgrade major home appliances to the most energy efficient models of refrigerators, washer-dryers, furnaces, and hot water heaters. Start with the most energy intensive appliances and those that are oldest.
“Heating appliances consume the most energy, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.”
“In total, these appliances consume about 46% of a home’s electricity. Specifically, air conditioning uses about 17% of your home’s energy, space heating an additional 15%, and water heating uses 14%.” https://www.beupp.com/articles/home-appliances-power-breakdown/
The balance between heating an air conditioning obviously depends on where you live.
Consider a tankless hot water heater: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/heat-and-cool/water-heating/tankless-or-demand-type-water-heaters
Other benefits of tankless water heaters beside saving energy are: no need to secure a large tank to a firm upright to prevent disaster during an earthquake and think about the outcome when an aging water heater leaks… especially if you are away fromh ome when it happens.
“Because heating and cooling is a huge source of energy consumption, replacing an inefficient furnace or air conditioning unit will save the most energy and money. When purchasing new appliances, you can compare their energy efficiency by checking the yellow tag that displays the appliance’s energy rating.” https://www.wisegeek.com/which-home-appliances-use-the-most-energy.htm
With more and more hybrid and electric vehicles coming to the market and expanded charging stations, now is a good time to upgrade to a more energy efficient vehicle.
Best electric cars of 2020 and 2021: also includes plug-in hybrids: https://www.edmunds.com/electric-car/
Best Electric Cars for 2020 (USN&WR): https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/best-electric-cars
Of course, if you are getting an electric vehicle, you should first invest in roof top solar panels so you aren’t burning coal.
Source: Financial Planning for Women