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What are some cheap and efficient alternative power options that will lower my electricity costs in my condo?

Updated on February 19, 2009

I've been working on reducing our energy bills as well and have discovered some really simple ways that really help.

I don't know how old your fridge is, but ours was about fifteen years old. We replaced it with a new energy star rated one and our electric bill dropped by about 20 percent! I know a fridge is a big investment, but it's worth thinking about. This is also true of other appliances like washers, dryers, dishwashers and microwaves.

Unplug appliances when they're not in use. I was amazed to learn that they draw power even when you're not using them. We put our TV, CD player, VHS and cable box on a surge protector power strip and turn the whole thing off during the day. Also unplug coffee makers, toasters, can openers, etc. This is also a better way to avoid the danger of electrical fires.

Replace your light bulbs with energy efficient ones and use a reading lamp instead of an overhead light fixture that has lots of bulbs.

We put a motion sensor switch on our basement lights. I was forever going down there (when our washer/dryer was down there) and coming up with my arms full and didn't turn off the lights. The motion sensor automatically turns the lights off after five minutes after you leave. My daughter put one in their bathrooms and it really lowered their energy bill because the kids kept forgetting to turn the light/fan combos off.

Use motion sensor lights outside. We have floodlights front and back for security, but the only go on when there is movement in the yard, so don't stay on all night.

This one may sound strange, but eat more raw foods. I'm also trying to eat healthier and have been eating more salad and fresh fruit meals. I cool a turkey breast or roast a chicken and use it for several meals during the week. I've also started eating grains like Quinoa and Brown Rice that take a lot less energy to cook than meat. Raw seeds also provide a lot of nutrients and require no cooking. Use a crock pot or bake several items (like a chicken and potatoes, carrots, etc.) at the same time.

I hope these help!


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    • bitsdawg profile image

      bitsdawg 9 years ago

      You should close drapes in rooms you are not using just as you would turn off the lights. I like to open the drapes when I sit in my living room during a sunny summer day, but I close them when I leave so the AC doesn't have to work so hard.

      You can also find plans for inexpensive solar and wind systems (wind probably wouldn't work in a condo) to supplement your grid power. I am going to try one of the solar projects since I live in the sun belt.

    • C.S.Alexis profile image

      C.S.Alexis 9 years ago from NW Indiana

      Unplugging things that are not being used and watching the use of lighting has dropped our electric bill also. We heard about the plugs drawing elec. even when they are not in use and did it as a test. Our bill dropped about $15 per mo. over a 3 mo. avg. We unplugged 12 plugs that is about $1. ea.

    • WeddingConsultant profile image

      WeddingConsultant 9 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Pat, yes these do help, thank you for answering the request. I never would have thought to unplug appliances when they're not in use.