Ways to Save Electricity and Money
How do you save money on electricity without renovating your house? If someone says, “Help me to save money,” utilities are the largest category after taxes, rent and food. So what can you tell them to do to save on their electric bills and utility bills? How can we save money while lowering electricity consumption without having to buy new appliances?
Extending the Life of Your Electronics While Saving Electricity
- Are you charging your electronics every night? Do they need to be? Can you switch to a pattern of charging them every other night? You'll use less electricity while preserving the devices' battery life. Waiting until the battery is low to recharge the device also avoids over-charging it.
- Don't forget to unplug the recharger so that it doesn't continue to draw power even when it isn't recharging anything.
- Decrease your computing demands. Can you lower the clock speed on your computer, reducing its computing speed and thus energy consumption? Or switch from graphics intensive modes to conventional views so that the computer doesn't burn as much power to allow you to play a game.
- Don't use your big screen TV for your games.
- Uninstall software applications for distributed computing from their computers, since these applications rely on your computer's CPU for processing, burning more electricity in the process.
- Don't let your kids leave the TV on for background noise. Teach them to turn it off the moment they get up and start to walk away. This will extend the life of high end electronics like big screen TVs. Teach them how to entertain themselves without gadgets like - gasp! - reading a book. You'll appreciate it when the power is out for an extended period of time and the kids can't imagine reading without using your iPad's batteries up.
Tips to Save Electricity
- Review your electric bill. Does your utility provider reward shifted electricity consumption? For example, could you save money if you waited to run the dishwasher and washing machine after 10 PM? If you used your appliances early in the morning, generally before 6 AM, could you save money on your power bill?
- Talk to your utility company. Could you get a credit on your electric bill if you agree to an energy audit or energy conservation training course? Could you receive a gift card or electric bill credit if you agree to receive emails with conservation of energy tips?
- Try using a fan or swamp cooler before you turn on the air conditioner. They use less power than your air conditioner.
- Do not cook food at a higher temperature than necessary or longer than required. Combine cooking tasks where possible, such as cooking a roast and oven simultaneously. Use an oven light to keep an eye on the food instead of opening the door to check on it.
- Change the air filters in your air conditioner so it doesn't have to work so hard.
- Give your kids an LED book light for reading at night instead of using overhead lights in their rooms.
- Close off unused rooms to reduce the cost of heating and cooling them. Can you close off the basement or sun room and shut off the vents to those rooms?
- Install a dog door instead of opening the door to constantly let your pet in and out.
- Set up a clothes line to dry your clothes outside. You can use a cord hung across the living room or hangers under wire shelves in a laundry room to accomplish the same savings in the winter.
- Lay towels out to dry after using them so that they do not need to be laundered as often.
- Listen to talk radio instead of watching the news each evening. As an added benefit, you'll stay informed while you can do housework or work out.
- Take items out of the dryer after running for about ten minutes. Hang warm but damp items on hangers to air dry. You'll often avoid the need to iron them and run the dryer less.
- Place drapes and blinds in all the windows to add insulation without the high cost of new, triple-pane windows.
- Keep cold packs and bags of ice in your freezer. This will help keep it cold in case of a power outage, save time and energy when you need these cold items in a hurry, and the ice will provide an emergency source of water if the power is out for a very long period of time. And having a freezer that is full will help the unit use less electricity to stay cold.
- Consider upgrading your appliances to energy efficient models when you need to replace a broken appliance. Don't forget to apply for any rebates from the manufacturer, any energy saving incentive programs and your utility company.