Combating Reno’s High Living Costs With Solar
A couple of dollars here and there for eggs, milk, and hygiene essentials seem minuscule, but it adds up. Add rent, transportation and utilities and monthly expenses can easily get higher than the paychecks coming in.
Living from paycheck to paycheck is often blamed on living outside one’s means, but there could be other outside factors at play. The cost of living compared to income makes a huge difference in living circumstances.
If Reno is the only place an individual has lived, the price of living may seem normal. However, the truth is that it is actually more expensive than the national average to live there. In fact, Reno is the 47th most expensive city to live in the United States.
Reno and its Living Costs
When someone moves to a new area there are a lot of different factors that go into play. Whether there are good schools nearby or how far away the home is from shopping centers plays a part. However, one of the biggest determinants is the cost of living.
Some areas are so expensive that it is hard to make ends meet. While other areas are dirt cheap with wages to match.
Finding an area that pays well with low living expenses is hard to find. Unfortunately, Reno is not an exception.
Expense Categories in Reno
Although not everything in Reno is expensive, housing and transportation are. This makes living in the area a little difficult.
Reno is about seven hours from Las Vegas and has a mountain range between it and California. This combination creates a perfect storm for its situation.
Not living close to large cities makes transportation more expensive. And because so many people are moving from California this area is more desirable which increases the value of homes in the area. Unfortunately, the average pay in the area doesn’t match it.
Average Income in Reno
In 2017, the average household income for an American was $60,336. However, Reno’s average household income was $52,106.
This combined with 13 percent higher transportation costs and 7 percent higher housing costs adds up fast. Some try to save by spending less on food and recreational activities. However, housing and transportation are a little harder to skimp on.
This is why finding creative ways to save money is essential to those living in Reno. One way to save money is to conserve electricity.
The Expense of Electricity
Although Reno has pretty reasonable electric rates it still adds up. Everything from the TV, whether on or off, to the phone charging on the nightstand uses electricity.
Although per watt electricity is pretty cheap it takes quite a few watts to power the average home. Think about it, electricity is the power behind our lives.
Without this power source, everything from refrigerators to blow dryers wouldn’t work. The average home uses more than one might guess.
Usage for the Average Reno Home
The average Reno energy bill is $141.84. At 11.05 cents per watt, the average price per watt in Reno, this puts home usage at 1,283 watts in a month.
This could be significantly reduced with a couple of adjustments. In fact, some of these changes are so small that to the untrained eye it would be unnoticeable.
Increasing Energy Efficiency Matters
We all know how well refrigerating the outdoors works. However, many of us are trying to do this without even realizing it.
If a home isn’t sealed, air can escape even from closed doors. Obtaining an energy audit will help determine what needs the most attention.
Another way to decrease electric bills is by replacing light bulbs. Although per bulb LEDs are more expensive, they save quite a bit of money in energy usage.
A more expensive energy saving device, though well worth it, is the smart thermostat. This gadget allows individuals to control their thermostat from their mobile device. It also has energy saving settings.
All of these items help increase energy efficiency. However, None of them compare to the savings that come from installing solar panels.
Using Solar to Save Money in Reno, Nevada
Installing solar not only increases energy efficiency it replaces the energy source. This means that the energy that the home uses is no longer created by fossil fuels.
Although living a carbon-free lifestyle is becoming more popular. Many are overwhelmed by the extra work and money required.
However, when it comes to solar this isn’t the case. Not only does maintenance for solar panels only require a wash or two a year, but it is also cheaper than fossil fuels.
Solar’s Return on Investment
There are a couple of different reasons why solar arrays have such a good return on investment. The first is that there is a federal tax credit that allows people who purchase solar to save up to 30 percent in 2019.
Another reason why purchased solar is a good financial decision is, unlike an electric bill, it isn’t a life long bill. Because solar panels have such a long lifespan it will continue to work for years to come after paid off.
Solar is also a great investment because it optimizes other energy-saving technology. However, it doesn’t have to stop with powering the lights and fridge it can also power your car.
Combining Transportation with Solar
Transportation is one of the most expensive Reno expenditures. Reno transportation costs are 13 percent higher than the national average.
This means that savings in this area will help drastically with living costs. One way to help decrease costs is to invest in an electric vehicle. Not only is the cost to purchase an electric car becoming reasonable, but the savings in gas is immense.
These savings increase when the electricity used to charge these cars comes from the sun. Having a solar array on your home is the perfect way to decrease the cost of living while making a difference.