Sometime last year, my husband and I switched to an alternative energy provider through our electric company. The switch was marketed as a chance to get our energy from a company employing “clean” energy practices. I had visions of windmills.
At some point, however, we realized we were paying twice as much for electricity even though we were using exactly as much as we’d used the previous year — to the kilowatt hour. I’m all for being green, but I hadn’t anticipated how expensive it would be. So last fall, we switched back to our traditional provider. I greeted those lower bills like a long lost friend.
Evidently, green sticker shock isn’t all that uncommon. Consider the case of the average hybrid car owner, who purchases her non-gas-guzzler whilst dreaming of the crazy savings she’ll realize at the gas pump. What she doesn’t realize: Not only is she paying a premium to buy the car, she may also pay more to have it serviced and repaired, because it’s a hybrid. That streamlined miles-per-gallon number may not make up for your lighter wallet.
So what’s a budget-conscious yet green-minded consumer to do? Surely I’m not suggesting that we all just throw our hands in the air and stop trying, right? No, but I am suggesting that there are ways to be environmentally friendly that not only won’t blow your budget — they’ll actually save you cash. Here, I’ve selected 10 green savings tips from experts.