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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tips For Cutting the Power Bill

We have so many electronics in our lives that are consuming power. Every where we turn there is a new gadget or appliance that we want and when we use these things we get bigger electric bills. I am amazed at how big my power bill is every month. I have decided that I need to step back and take a look at ways that I can cut these costs.

Something that often gets overlooked in my house is turning off the lights we are not using. It is so simple and yet something that gets overlooked in my house. We need to teach our children to turn off the lights. Make it a habit!

In the evening I like to read. I have been trying to use more task lighting rather than turning on the main room lighting all the time. A simple lamp on the table next to the chair or the bed can conserve electricity.

Get a programmable thermostat. Keep your home at the comfortable temperature when you are home and colder in the winter and warmer in the summer when you are not home. This can help with not only your power bill but your gas bill too.

While we are on the subject of temperature consider living with the settings a little cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer. Once you get used to it a few degrees doesn’t make a big difference

Unplug the items that you are not using frequently. Even if something is not turned on if it plugged in it is drawing power.

We are in the process of changing over our light bulbs to compact fluorescent. We are getting close to having every possible bulb changed over. These bulbs tend to cost a bit more up front but they actually do have an effect of the power bill. They take about 1/3 the power that incandescent bulbs take. Watch the discount bins at your grocery stores. I came upon a bunch of compact florescent bulbs for .99 a package - just because they were changing packaging.

Only open your refrigerator when you have too. Vacuum the coils frequently to remove dust. Keep a list on your fridge/freezer so you know what is inside. Check your owner’s manual to see what the most energy efficient temperature setting is.

Now that the weather is improving consider drying your laundry outside. Only run your clothes washer or dishwasher if it is full. Use a crock pot rather than your oven - just remember to unplug it when you are done.

Initially the savings on your bill may appear small but over the coarse of the year you will notice that the savings really can add up.


Doctor Dragon said...

We knocked 20% off our bill by shutting off the computers at night, changing to flourescent bulbs and using solar powered lamps as "night lights". Those were the only major changes we made. We already had a programmable thermostat and instant hot water off our boiler.

Jane of all trades said...

I have had the unfortunate experience of having to clean up one of the CFBs when it broke and it is NOT fun. I now will not put them in lamps that might get knocked over. I still use them in lights fixtures that are built in though.

Heather said...

Another great one available in Utah right now is energy rebates. An insulation guy came to my door for a free inspection to see if we qualified. (Contact your gas/power companies to see what offers there are in your area.) After rebates it cost me $37 to have my attic insulation re-blown and he estimated it would save me $290 per year on power and heating. The power and gas companies want to do this because if less energy is used here in Utah they can sell that power/gas out of state for between 2-3x as much. Everyone wins. (Well, perhaps not the people out of state buying our energy, but at least its available to them.)


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