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.
Educate yourself to understand your utility bills and each line item and charge included in your bill. Knowledge can save you money!
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)
Raise your thermostat 2 degrees in the summer and lower it 2 degrees in the winter. Wear a sweater when you're cold
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
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!
Yes, your father was right! TURN OFF THE LIGHT when you leave a room. This goes for computers too.
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
Take advantage of energy audits if offered by your utility company. They'll suggest ways to reduce your energy consumption. They are generally free
Use high efficiency lighting by replacing your incandescent bulbs with CFL light bulbs
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!
When replacing appliances, purchase the most energy efficient you can afford.
Showers use less water than baths
Collect water in a container to water your plants while waiting for the water to heat up for your shower.
Install low flow showerheads.
Employ a timer when taking a shower to reduce the amount of water that goes down the drain.
Reduce the water in your washing machine to match the size of the load. Wash only full loads. Wash in cold water whenever possible.
When possible, allow clothes to air or line dry.
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.
How I save energy in my home is really easy. I start with the fridge since it is one of the items in the home that uses the most energy. When I take a jug of milk out, I replace it with another filled with water. A full fridge will not run as much as one that is half full to nearly empty.
I use what hot water I plan for the day such as bathing and washing dishes and then I turn the breaker for the hot water heater off, after allowing the water to reheat. Since I have it wrapped in a blanket, it will stay hot for me to use the next day. On the third day, I turn the breaker back on to heat water again.
One day a week, I do all of my basic cooking for the week. That keeps the oven and stove from being used each day. Plus, it cuts down on heat in the house during the summer. Reheating it only takes a minute using the microwave.
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.
If you seldom use your computer's peripherals, save money by plugging those devices into a separate plug-strip that you can switch 'on and off'. Even if you have your devices turned off, those little transformers are still drawing watts if plugged in. A separate plug strip (for those peripherals) turned 'off' will save you some money not a tremendous amount, but still savings. Just switch it on when you need to use one of the items.
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.
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.
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
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.
Duh forgot to compare the LED bulbs :-) In the bathroom we replaced 8 123 watt CFL's 8*13watts is 104 watts or $12.29 in E per year. Previously we had 8 60watt bulbs in there or $56.76 per year in E (again 2 hours a day)
The led bulbs consume 18 watts (and I have it BRIGHTER than the CFL made it) so $2.12 per year. Saving over Incans is just shy of $55
Cost to install the LED bulbs? 12 bulbs $15 per 3 pack 4 packs that's $60 in bulbs. so they pay for themselves in just over a year and the will last DECADES easily. If they die before I die they were just incorrectly built :-) and that's in a bathroom at 2 hours a day usage! even faster in normal 4 hours day average rooms and even faster in say kitchens etc..
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 mont, it adds up!
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. . .
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.
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.
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.)