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Buying energy efficient items for your household doesn't always guarantee you will save money. Here are two situations where you may want to think twice before shelling out a bunch of dough that won’t pay you back…..
1. Windows – Windows are the #1 thing on which I see people “going broke to save money”. Companies selling new windows promise hundreds of dollars in saved utility bills. While this may be true, there are two big problems with this. First, these companies don’t know what your utility bills are. If you have a $25 electric bill each month, you won’t be saving hundreds of dollars each year in utility bills as your bills are barely a few hundred for the year as is. You can’t possibly save that much since your bill is already at a low level. Second, new windows often cost over $10,000. You will need an awful lot of savings to recoup that initial investment. Do the real math before making this purchase, not the window seller’s math. Always be careful taking advice from somebody who has a vested interest in the outcome.
2. Appliances – You can spend $5,000-$10,000 getting the latest & greatest energy efficient appliances for your home. While you normally save a lot more on your utility bills with this purchase than you do the windows mentioned above, the same principal still holds: do the math before making this purchase solely to save on your bills. It may take longer than you think to recoup your investment. Also, take a look at more reasonably priced appliances without all the bells & whistles as they may still achieve the same energy efficiency.
Ultimately, if you are spending thousands on an item to save energy, you must do the math first to avoid making a big financial mistake. I always say you must take your time and do triple the research with items costing over $500. The decisions you make on these higher priced items will often make or break your finances. Don’t fall trap to justifying the purchase of these luxury items because they are “saving you money”. If you have the money and want the nicer items, go for it…you earned it! Just be sure you are being honest with your purchase!