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Simple Things We Can Do To Save Energy

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Simple Things We Can Do To Save Energy, Piggy Bank and Electric cord

Saving energy is not only good for the planet but can also save you money each month. With a couple of simple changes you could reduce your monthly energy bill. This is a guide about simple things we can do to save energy.

Solutions: Simple Things We Can Do To Save Energy

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Article: Simple Ways to Manage Energy Costs

  1. Educate yourself to understand your utility bills and each line item and charge included in your bill. Knowledge can save you money!

  2. Review your monthly bills carefully. Look for unexpected increases in your usage. This could signal a larger problem (water leak, decaying caulk around windows, etc)

  3. Raise your thermostat 2 degrees in the summer and lower it 2 degrees in the winter. Wear a sweater when you're cold

  4. Take advantage of ON-DEMAND conservation if your utility companies offer it. Mine credits my bill $5 during the warmest months ($20 annually) by switching on and off my units with no adverse effect to my homes cooling

  5. UNPLUG anything plugged into an electrical outlet pulls current even when it is turned off. Unplug anything you can when it is not in use!

  6. Yes, your father was right! TURN OFF THE LIGHT when you leave a room. This goes for computers too.

  7. Pay your bill automatically via your checking account. You'll save the price of a stamp each month and never make a late payment. Plus, this is a free service

  8. Take advantage of energy audits if offered by your utility company. They'll suggest ways to reduce your energy consumption. They are generally free

  9. Use high efficiency lighting by replacing your incandescent bulbs with CFL light bulbs

  10. Close blinds and curtains during the hottest part of the day to reduce super heating your home. This works well in the winter months to keep out the cold at night!

  11. When replacing appliances, purchase the most energy efficient you can afford.

  12. Showers use less water than baths

  13. Collect water in a container to water your plants while waiting for the water to heat up for your shower.

  14. Install low flow showerheads.

  15. Employ a timer when taking a shower to reduce the amount of water that goes down the drain.

  16. Reduce the water in your washing machine to match the size of the load. Wash only full loads. Wash in cold water whenever possible.

  17. When possible, allow clothes to air or line dry.

  18. Sign up for the budget plan, if your utility company offers it. The budget plans, bills you a set amount for a set period of time (usually 6 months) calculated from your previous utilization. This helps you avoid a nasty $400 bill when you least expect it. It's easier to budget your energy costs.

These savings tips are not painful and will help your pocketbook while helping the environment.

By skibum1910 from Prospect, KY

Tip: Turn Off Video Games to Save Energy

Video game consoles use a lot of energy, and they waste a lot of energy when not being used. You will save 75% of that energy, if you turn them off when they're not being used. An easy way to do this is to plug one or more of the games into a power strip, and then just turn off the power strip when you're done playing.

Source: Pacific Power

By Lara from Portland, OR

Tip: Save Energy Using Night Lights

I purchased white night lights that have an on/off switch from the dollar store, for all over our house. We find they put out plenty of light. For example in the bathroom, the light is fine to use the bathroom, brush our teeth, get dressed, etc. We then switch them off and use the brighter lights as necessary for combing hair, applying makeup, etc. Another example is in larger rooms, someone reading may use a brighter light to read by, and you could use a night light on the other side of the room where someone is watching TV or just relaxing.

Tip: Air Drying Laundry

I save on utility bills by air-drying virtually ALL of my laundry. In good weather, I use my backyard clothesline (my environmentally friendly solar-powered dryer!). In bad weather, I hang items on a sturdy wooden folding clothes rack I bought at an auction. Most of the folding clothes racks available in stores now are not as sturdy, but they will still work just fine for lightweight items.

My drying rack is in a spare room, but if space is tight in your house, you might want to set up the drying rack in your bathtub or shower, and let clothes dry all day until the tub is needed.

Once the clothes have air-dried, I toss them in the dryer for about 5 minutes to "fluff" and soften, using a dryer sheet -- I use the same dryer sheet for multiple loads. Even if the clothes are still a little wet when you have to take them off the rack, you have reduced the amount of time they will need in the dryer. Every little bit helps!

By Becki in Indiana

Tip: Unplug Appliances To Save Energy

Saving money from your electrical bills by simply unplugging your appliances or turning off your surgers, especially if you have a digital TV. Turning off your surger that the digital TV is plugged into will save your TV life too. If you have your electrical switches in a convenient place, you can switch off your switches like your stove and heater. We save over $20.00 a month when we do all the above.

By

Article: Busting the Money Myths Your Mother Told You

Boy Putting Quarter in Piggy BankSometimes it's okay not to listen to your mother. You can wear white any time of the year and leaving your air conditioner running when you're not home doesn't save money. Mom doesn't always have it right. Many of the old myths about home savings had some original validity, but in today's homes the myths are just wasting your money. Mom's two favorite adages focus on heating and cooling.

Myth #1: It takes more energy to reheat/cool a house than to keep it warm/cool all day.

Mom's wrong on this one. In fact, Mom's been wrong for a long time. In 1978 L. W. Nelson and J. W. MacArthur wrote a research paper entitled "Energy Savings through Thermostat Setbacks." The paper concluded that the average home in the average climate saved 1% of its energy for every Fahrenheit degree that it lowered its heat for eight consecutive hours. People have been lowering their thermostats for more than three decades and savings hundreds of dollars as they do it, despite what Mom says.

If you have a programmable thermostat, then you know the feeling of sudden warmth when the heat "kicks on" in the morning after being lowered all evening. It feels as if the furnace is working double duty to heat the room, therefore, it must be using more fuel. This sensory logic is faulty. As the thermostat allowed the house to cool at night it did so gradually, and your body adapted to the cooler temperature. Upon reheating, it demanded a quick warming of the room which resulted in a sudden burst of heat that your body wasn't prepared for, causing a faulty belief that the temperature is higher.

The same applies to air conditioning. Air conditioners exchange warm air for cool air on a continuing basis. How long does it take for the room to warm when the air turns off? By running the air conditioning while you're away you're keeping an empty room comfortable. However, when returning to a hot home people don't feel as if they've cooled down as they wait for the gradual exchange of the air in the room. Instead of waiting for the room to cool again, they'd rather pay extra cooling costs to keep the empty room cold and to walk into a refreshing climate the moment they arrive at home.

Myth #2: Washing your clothes in hot water keeps them germ and stain free.

There's some merit to Mom's advice here. Hot water eliminates bacteria and can loosen dirt and stains. Clothes dryers, stain boosters, and bleach do the same for less. If your goal is to eliminate germs, hot water isn't the superhero of disinfectants. It works for most germs, as do the high heat settings of the clothes dryer that you're probably going to use anyway. The best way to eliminate bacteria is to add an antibacterial agent to the wash or to use liquid bleach in your white loads. Both of these cost less than the energy needed to heat hot water or to run a dryer at its highest temperature.

If stain removal is the goal, then hot water will do a better job on a soiled load than warm water. However, regain the cost of the hot water by rinsing the load in cold water. The rinse cycle temperature has nothing to do with the cleaning ability of clothes. If only a few items are stained, try applying a stain removal product to the affected area and wash in warm water instead. There's no savings if the load is broken into a smaller heavily stained load that is washed in hot water and a smaller lightly stained load that is washed in warm; you're using more water and electric to complete both loads than one hot water load. Also, when choosing your water temperature, keep in mind that water cools as it reaches the washer. The hot water that you paid to heat in your hot water heater will be somewhere between hot and warm when it reaches your clothes.

By Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

Tip: Tips for Saving on Energy Costs

Even though fuel prices have dropped a bit, I still save as much as I can. I live in a hilly area. Whenever I can, I put my car in neutral and coast. I seem to be saving a few gallons every month, it adds up!

Here in CT, heating season is right around the corner! In my home, I have a programmable thermostat to save on heat during the times I don't need it. I also have a wood stove which I use every day during heating season. I throw on a log when I get home from work, and keep a fire burning until I go to bed. It really keeps the furnace from coming on very often. I get most of my wood for free.

I keep any rooms I don't use closed off so they don't take any of the heat. In A/C season, I do the same. This way, my home is comfortable, but I am saving fuel as well!

By Kathy

Article: Simple Tips to Save Electricity

Simple Tips to Save Electricity

Simple Tips to Save Electricity

With the end of many states' electric rate freezes, the cost of electricity is rising at an alarming rate. Even if you're still protected under a frozen rate, it's not a bad idea to alter habits now. With a few simple changes each day, electric usage can be lowered throughout the year.

Turn Off the Lights!

Your father told you, and your grandfather told him before that, but it's this simple - turn off the lights. When exiting a room, turn off the light. Leave one low watt bulb burning when you're not home for security, not the ceiling light. Don't forget the often ignored basement and garage lights which are left on for hours at a time while working outside. Make it a habit to turn the light off when leaving the room. When a bulb's off it's not burning energy. Contrary to the old wives tale, it does not cost more energy to turn on a bulb than to leave it burning.

Evaluate Your Lighting Needs

Light pollution is a growing problem across the world, and decorative lights are a large part of that problem. Security measures are important, but does the entire front facade of your home need to be illuminated throughout the night? One or two walkway lights should provide enough safety. Look around at your routine lighting situation and decide what's unimportant and then flick those switches. Backyard spotlights need only to be turned on when someone is actually in the back yard. Other decorative lighting such as pond or pool lights can be saved for parties.

Similarly, reinvest in nightlights that are light-metered. It's only a watt of energy, but to leave a nightlight on during the day is wasting that watt. Allow them to turn on when needed, and leave them off otherwise.

Small Appliances

Throughout the day, dozens of appliances spin that electric meter outside the home. Are we using all of these throughout the day? Timed coffee makers which keep the leftover pot warm for one or two hours after brewing are often left running after we've gone to work - turn them off before leaving. Likewise, baby monitors transmit throughout the day when no one is home or the baby is out of bed. Turn them on and off when needed. Are small, occasionally used items left on between uses? They all require electricity to keep the ready light lit between uses.

Do a Sweep

Do an entire property sweep with a notebook and pen in hand. Walk through each room of the house and really take the time to look around. Note items which are on and using electric. Then, move to the outside and do another sweep. Do a return sweep at another time of day to see if anything was missed. Then, with list in hand begin to highlight those items which can be shut off. In the long run you will notice a drop in your electric usage and a change in your electric habits.

By Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

Tip: Change Your HVAC Filter Monthly

The best thing you can do to reduce your cooling costs and protect your HVAC system is change your filter monthly. A dirty filter increases the energy needed to cool air, and it can damage equipment. Make it a point to change the filter when the month changes. Buy filters in bulk and label them by month to keep track, or buy one that is washable and reuse.

Source: My local TV Guide.

By Cinnamon from British Columbia

Tip: Earth Friendly Laundry

I just read this on "Earth Easy", great tips:

Line-drying your clothes will:

  • lower your utility bill
  • prevent shrinkage
  • prevent static cling
  • help clothing last longer
Washing your clothes with cold water will:
  • reduce energy costs 80 - 90%
  • be gentler on your clothing
  • have less impact on the environment

Tip: Energy Saving Window Covers

To save on high gas bills, I replaced the curtains on the Northwest side of my home with black 3 mil paper. The paper absorbs the heat from the sun and prevents the leaking of warm air inside to the outside. My solar project worked! Many of my neighbors gas bills went up 30%-50% we had a big increase in CCFs but mine decreased $5-$10 compared to the previous cheaper year! The black 3 mil paper cost less than $5 and easily paid itself back in less than a month! I will definitely be doing this again this fall!

By Amylucille from Fremont, OH

Tip: Turn the Temp Down on Your Hot Water Heater

To help keep gas and electricity bills down, slow down your water when you take a shower. For some reason we think we need it on all the way. You can also turn your hot water tank down some till winter is over.

By April from Buffalo, NY

Tip: Turn Off Electronic Devices That You Are Not Using

In your office, while not using your equipment (ex. fax machine, scanner, printer, etc.) keep these items turned off or in "sleep" mode, until ready to use and turn off immediately after each use. You'll save yourself several dollars a year on your power bill, plus extending the life of each machine.

By Terri

Editor's Note: Some appliances draw power as long as they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. You can use a power consumption counter to determine how much power appliances are using on and off. We purchased one called "Kill A WATT" and have been trying it out on various appliances.

Tip: Energy Piggy Bank

I got tired of finding unneeded lights on so we developed a penalty piggy bank for offenders in the family. Every time someone leaves a light on (that they no longer need,) and another family member notices, they have to put a nickel in the piggy bank (I have young children, you could use a dime, a quarter or whatever penalty you want.)

For the littlest member of the family, I gave him permission to turn off the light switches if they are on and no one is using them. Through this, we have increased the energy awareness in our household and I find far fewer lights left on. Because they have to pay it from their allowance, they seem to get the point a lot quicker.

By Selena

Tip: Save on Electricity and Have Fun

Turn off the TV, computer and Xbox and pull out the board games for entertainment at least 2 times a week. Not only saves electricity but creates memorable experiences.

By Holly Dawson

Tip: Save Energy With Fluorescent

Fluorescent tubes use as little as one fifth the energy of incandescent bulbs. This can add up to big energy savings over the course of a year.

Tip: Simple Things We Can Do To Save Energy

We can make sure our tires are fully inflated, reducing gas consumption by 2 percent.

We can slow down to 65 miles per hour, reducing highway gas consumption by 15 percent

We can stop idling our cars in drive-through windows and school carpool lanes.

We can carpool for driving children to school, shopping, or going to work.

We can try to cut out extra trips by doing better planning for our errands and shopping.

We can turn off lights when they are not being used.

We can help conserve fuel by turning thermostats down.

We can weather-strip doors and windows.

We can buy energy-efficient fluorescent lightbulbs.

We can unplug cell phone chargers and hair dryers when not in use.

We can turn off our computers and printers when not in use.

We can research what appliances take energy even when they are not operating and turn off their power strip or unplug them when not in use.

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Questions

Here are questions related to Simple Things We Can Do To Save Energy.

Question: The Cost Of Leaving Things Plugged In

Keeping our electric bill down is continually a challenge. We have had over 30 days over 100 this year. I keep a folder to store any tips I find in magazines. While cleaning the folder out last week, I came across a great article I would like to share about high tech's hidden cost. This is average annual energy cost for each item.

  • (TV smaller than 40 inches) Plasma TV, $48.25
  • TV accessories, Digital video recorder/TIVO $39.71
  • Digital cable, $26.15. Computers, Desktop, $27.90
  • Computer accessories, CRT computer monitor, $8.97
  • Modem, $5.47
These are just a select few of the items listed and the amount it costs to keep them plugged into your home outlet for a year. They noted electronic devices account for 10 to 15 percent of all electricity used in American homes. You can lower your energy consumption by plugging most of your electronics into a power strip and turning off when they're not in use. I found this article very helpful. I now turn my computer off when it is not in use. I also do not keep my cell phone charger plugged into the bathroom outlet when not charging my cell phone. I unplug my TV when we are not watching it. All of my appliances which do not have a clock, I unplug when not in use. All the little things can add up to wasted energy and higher utility bills.

Source: This article I clipped was in Real Simple Magazine the April 2008 issue.

By Bobbie from Rockwall, TX


Most Recent Answer

By Michelle09/29/2009

Bobbie,

How much would you say you've saved in electric since unplugging?

Thanks!
Michelle