With the price of everything these days, it is nice to be able to save money in some areas. The cost of utilities can account for a significant portion of the family budget every month, and the two biggest electric users are heat and air conditioning. It is possible to shave a few dollars off your electric bill every month with some easy to implement conservation measures.
1. Check with your electric company and find out if they offer “off peak” hour usage. An off peak hour is a time of day when consumer energy costs are lower. It’s typically when energy demand is at its lowest. If your energy company does offer off peak hour energy hours, you may find out those hours coincide with your schedule. If so, do your heavy cleaning, laundry, and cooking chores then, instead of during more costly hours.
2. When purchasing new appliances, make sure they are energy efficient. One appliance can cut $100 or more off your yearly electric bill. Imagine what a kitchen full of energy efficient appliances will do to your yearly electric bill.
3. Keep refrigerators and freezers out of sunny spots in the kitchen. The warmth will keep the refrigerator in cooling mode and running more often than necessary. Also, make sure there is air space around the appliance to allow for proper air circulation. Be sure to keep the refrigerator closed. Unnecessary opening will just make the refrigerator work harder. Replace the sealing gaskets around the refrigerator and freezer doors periodically to be assured of a tight fit.
4. Only run the dishwasher when it is full, unless it has a setting for small loads. If your dishwasher is an energy efficient model, it may have an efficiency setting, allowing it to use less water for each wash cycle.
5. When you replace light bulbs, use CFL light bulbs. CFL stands for compact fluorescent lamps. They use about 75% less energy and cost a little more than the light bulbs you may be using at present. But in the long run, the savings in electricity will offset the cost of the CFL light bulbs. Consider using LED lights when possible. LED’s are highly efficient.
6. Consider painting the walls in rooms in light colors, and installing light carpet. The rooms will appear lighter, longer. Which means you won’t need as much artificial lighting.
7. Unplug electronic devises when not in use, especially chargers for cell phones and music players. Unplug power strips when not in use, too. An item that is plugged into a power strip will use electricity even when the device is off.
8. Install programmable thermostats and preset the heat and air conditioning to go off at night and when no one is at home or to turn on just before occupants return home. That way the house is not being heated or cooled unnecessarily and off at times when there is no one home.
9. Install insulation in the attic, if there is none, and apply weather stripping around doors and windows. That will keep cold air from seeping in around doors and windows and eliminate, or at least minimize greatly, heat from escaping through the attic.
10. When doing laundry, hang clothes on a clothesline outside to air dry rather than using the dryer all the time. If the weather is not cooperating, dry the clothes on a clothes rack in the house or on an enclosed porch.
11. Instead of using your air conditioner all the time, install ceiling fans. The fans will circulate the air and make the air feel cooler in the warm weather and warm in the cooler weather.
12. Plant shade trees and other vegetation around the perimeter of the house to provide shade and insulation from the cold.
13. When cooking on an electric stove, always boil water in a pot with a cover. An open pot will lose two thirds of the energy. Turn off the stove about 5 minutes before the food is done cooking or turn the oven off about 10 minutes before the food is done cooking. The food will continue cooking even after the cook top and oven are turned off.
Implementing even just a few of these ideas can save you significant amounts over the course of a year.
What can you do to save electricity right now?