Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Waste Less Wednesday: Electricity

I normally focus on an actual item that can be reused but this week we are going to talk about reducing the electricity bill by using less of it. Each day, we waste energy without even realizing it but here are a few very easy ways to waste less:

Turn the thermostat down: I know you have heard this one before but it still amazes me how many times I hear "that won't work in my house". The easiest way to change this is to drop the thermostat one degree each week. Because it is such a small change, most people will never notice. We keep our heat on 69, but I'm trying to get it a little lower. If you are cold, simply put another layer on or grab a blanket and snuggle with your significant other. The same theory works in the summer by turning up the A/C one degree at a time. We keep it on 78 most of the summer.

Unplug appliances: When we began living on less a year ago, the first thing I did was go through the house and unplug everything that was not necessary. It still drives my husband crazy that he has to plug in the toaster every time he wants to use it, but it is saving us money. Appliances still use energy when plugged in, even if they are not turned on. Most appliances these days have lights, clocks, etc and those take electricity too.

Turn out the lights: We are lucky in that we live in a house with a lot of natural light. Many days, I never turn on the lights until it gets dark outside. If you are not so lucky, feel free to turn on the lights but turn them off as soon as you leave the room. I make it a habit to turn off all lights when not in use and now my 2 year old is doing the same thing. It amazes me that he has picked up on this but I'm glad he is learning now instead of having to reprogram him later.

Use a fan: In the summer, we wait as long as possible to turn on the A/C and use ceiling fans instead. It really cuts down on our electricity bill. I've been told to turn the fan on in the opposite direction during the winter in order to pull the air up. It is just now getting cold here so I plan on trying that in the near future.

Using these tips, and many others, we have significantly lowered our utility bill. In our area, gas, electric, water, and sewer all come on one bill. Our babysitter lives down the street in a very similar house to ours. She was ecstatic over the nice weather because it dropped her bill to just under $300. Our bill for the same time period was $102. A few changes do make a difference!


Jennifer said...

Great article!!! In the winter we usually keep the thermostat set on 68. We also bought a floor heater and will run that in the room that we are in. It's portable and lightweight and very easy to carry. I'll have to try the turning the blades to draw the air up.

In the summer, we also use the floor fans and keep the temp on 76.

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