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15 Fast Ways to Reduce Utility Costs and Conserve Energy

Updated on November 9, 2017
vocalcoach profile image

Conserving energy in the home for ecological and economical purposes has become a daily habit with the author. Here, Audrey shares her tips

Conserve energy and save on utility bills
Conserve energy and save on utility bills | Source

Introduction

Most of us are creatures of habit, especially when it comes to routine actions. When was the last time you hit on a great idea and said to yourself, “Now why didn’t I think of that?” This may be your immediate reaction to some of the tips listed below. If so - feel free to share these ideas with others.

We should all be doing our best to save and conserve energy. Both ecologically and economically energy conservation is a major issue these days.

Follow these 15 simple tips and save on your energy bills while helping the environment.

Save money by using small electric appliances

Use electric frying pan to save energy
Use electric frying pan to save energy | Source
A crock pot will save you energy and money.
A crock pot will save you energy and money. | Source

Use Less Energy in the Kitchen With These Tips

1. Fit the pot or pan to the burner. A small pot or pan on a large element wastes heat, and a large pot on a small element is inefficient.

2. Whenever practical, use small cooking appliances such as an electric frying pan, instead of your stove. These small units are energy-efficient and throw less heat into your kitchen.

3. To conserve energy when using the stovetop units on an electric range, turn off burners a short time before cooking is complete. With electric burners, the cooking process often continues for as long as 5 minutes after the burner is turned off.

4. You’ll use less energy when cooking if you cook with as little water as possible because small amounts heat more quickly.

Tips for saving energy while cooking

To save even more energy, boil water with the lid on.
To save even more energy, boil water with the lid on. | Source

Put a Lid On It

5. Here's a good energy-saving tip. When boiling water put a lid on the pan. Water boils faster this way and saves energy.

6. Want to save on heat cost? Don’t turn on an element or burner until the pot or pan is on the stove. If you’re going to simmer turn down the heat as soon as the liquid reaches the boiling stage. Adjust the setting just enough to keep the contents boiling. A higher setting wastes energy.

7. Keep the bottom of the pans clean because a layer of soot will decrease heating efficiency on any type of stove. Shiny pans are particularly efficient on an electric range.

Energy-SavingTips When Using The Oven

8. To save energy when using the oven, don’t preheat it unless required. If you must preheat, put the food in as soon as the oven reaches the desired temperature. Cook as many items as possible at one time. Also, if you have a double oven, use the smaller one whenever possible.

9. Each time you open the oven door a great deal of heat escapes, so conserve energy by minimizing the number of times you peek at the food inside. Especially in the summer months, this applies as it puts an added strain on your air conditioner. Use the oven light to check the food as much as possible.

10. A self-cleaning oven will use less energy if you start the cleaning cycler right after cooking, when the oven will already be on its way to the high temperature needed for cleaning.

11. Keep oven racks clear. Don’t lay foil on the racks and stagger multiple pans to improve air flow. Avoid peeking into the oven as you cook. On an electric burner or in the oven turn off the heat just before the cooking is finished to prevent overcooking.

Clean Your Oven With Soda

How to Conserve Refrigerator Energy

12. To conserve refrigerator and/or freezer energy by minimizing loss of cold air, plan ahead and put in or take out as many items as possible each time you open the refrigerator.

13. Make sure your refrigerator is standing level. If it is’nt, it may be working harder than necessary, therefore using more energy.

14. To test the gasket on your refrigerator, close the door on a dollar bill. If the bill pulls out easily, the gasket needs replacing.

15. A good way to keep your freezer from expending too much energy is to put it at the lowest setting that keeps ice cream firm. If your ice cream is rock-hard, the setting is unnecessarily high.

What Else Can I do to Save Energy in my Home?

As we learn to use less energy in our home we can take pride in knowing that we are taking action to help maintain a cleaner environment. Every little bit helps. We need a clean environment for healthy living. Check out these additional ways you can do your part:

  • Turn off any unnecessary lights when leaving a room, even if only for a short period of time.
  • Speaking of lights - replace your incandescent lights with compact fluorescent bulbs which use about 1/4 the energy or use LED bulbs as these us 75% less energy.
  • Install low-flush toilets and low-volume faucets. You'll save plenty on your water bill.
  • Clean the dust out of all vents periodically including those on your television.
  • Turn off the water faucet while brushing your teeth, shaving, etc.
  • Close fireplace damper during the summer. This will keep the cold air from escaping.
  • Turn off portable heaters when you leave a room.


Choose the Right Power Strip

All power strips are not the same. I didn't realize this. In the past I simply looked for the best price or the number of outlets. I know better now and I'm reducing my electric bill and using a power strip that turns off my electronics automatically.

I replaced my conventional power strip with an advanced power strip (APS). According to energy.gov the APS is designed primarily for home entertainment centers and home office areas. This is where there are typically many consumer electronics plugged into a power strip. They work by preventing electronics from drawing power when they are off or not being used.

With my traditional power strip my devices were drawing energy even when they were not being used. This was costing me money and wasting electricity. At that particular time of my life I was completely in the dark as far as power strips are concerned. Yet I prided myself on saving energy, recycling, and doing my part to keep our planet clean.

A variety of advanced power strips are available depending on your individual needs.

Layer Your Clothing for Warmth and Style

Layering not only keeps you warm - it's the latest in fashion.
Layering not only keeps you warm - it's the latest in fashion. | Source

In Conclusion

Every small change we make to conserve energy will ultimately make a big difference. Begin with small changes like turning off the lights when you leave a room or putting a lid on a pot to boil water. Before long these small actions will become a habit.

Perhaps it's time for a lifestyle change. Do we really need to take a hot bath or a long hot shower wasting water and energy? Have you tried layering instead of turning up the heat? I find that two thin layers of clothing are warmer and lighter then one thick layer. I also keep my fleece-lined vest handy to warm me up in place of using the heater.

I do hope you'll try these 15 tips for saving energy. Do you have some handy tips to share? Please add your ideas to the comment section below and thanks!


“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall

Let me know which tips you'll go with

Which of these energy-saving tips will you be following?

See results

© 2010 Audrey Hunt

Comments

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    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi Audrey!

      I'm pleased to hear that you liked my hub. And, gee, I see that you've shared this. A big thanks to you!

      mary615

      Baking soda sprinkled all over the oven (let it sit for a while) really does the trick for me. Sometimes I add a squeeze of lemon or vinegar on stubborn spots.

      Thanks Mary.

      Pollyanna Jones

      How nice to find you here! Thanks for the great advice about using the slow cooker. This is a good addition to this hub for saving energy. Others will benefit from reading your comments. I know I have. :)

    • Pollyanna Jones profile image

      Pollyanna Jones 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Some great tips here! We also use a slow cooker. In the morning before I go to work, I add all of the ingredients, then leave it going. By the time I get home I have a tasty meal that is made with a fraction of the energy that the oven would use. Meat cooked in it just melts in the mouth, you can't beat it for tenderness. I love to use it for stews best of all, but there is plenty that you can cook in these appliances.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      I'm all for saving energy in any way possible. Thanks for these tips! I'll try baking soda in the oven from now on.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Useful and practical Audrey!!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      bravewarrior - Sounds like you have it all under control. It's surprising how much you can save on energy by sticking to some of these tips. Glad you like the baking soda/water for oven cleaning. Sending you a 'happy hug' ~ Audrey

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Audrey, these are great tips. I currently use most of them with the exception of utilizing electric cooking utensils. The only electrics I have are the toaster and coffee maker. I love the baking soda/water tip for cleaning the oven. It's so much more environmentally friendly in addition to eliminating chemicals from roiling around your foods as the bake or roast.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Ruchira - Thanks for finding these tips useful. Take care, my friend.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      CrisSp - Awesome comments! Glad to hear your refrigerator gasket passed the dollar bill test :) Thanks for the vote, pinning and sharing!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      jenbeach21 - I'm glad you found this information useful. I remember years ago when I, too constantly closed the frig door behind my kids :) Thanks for the vote up and for sharing.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      The Reminder - Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my hub. I appreciate the vote up!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      jpcmc - I agree. Any reason to stock the freezer with ice cream works for me :) So happy you came by. Thanks!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Useful tips.

      Thanks :)

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Awesome hub! Don't we all need to know this info. I just learned something new today-"shiny pans are particularly efficient on an electric range." -- make sense if you think of the heat conductor.

      Lol, you also got me up my butt to test the gasket on our refrigerator while reading this and closing the door on a dollar bill. Well, happy to note, it passed the test and the ref is still on great shape and condition.

      Up, pinning and sharing.

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Really great information. I am constantly closing the refrigerator door behind my children. Shared and voted up!

    • The Reminder profile image

      The Reminder 5 years ago from Canada

      For a second I read Put a ring on it instead of put a lid on it. Useful and interesting hub. Voted up!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Great tips. I love the ice cream test :) Here's another reason to buy ice cream. LOL

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      vocalcoach, these are excellent tips. A lot of these tips I had no idea about, but this hub will make me more conscience about saving energy going forward. I will definitely pin this.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      rebeccamealey - Thanks so much. Really appreciate the vote and sharing!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      These are energy saving tips that are so doable and easy. Great job! Voted useful and shared!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Sharkye11 - Thanks for the tip about pre-heating. Good to know that. Love your comments. Have a great day!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great tips! I always wondered about the pan/burner size issue. I always match the pan to the burner size because it bugs me to see a small pan on a huge burner. Aesthetics, ya know! But now I know it is also energy-saving. Awesome.

      I've also learned that pre-heating is very rarely necessary. I pre-heat cast iron skillets for corn bread. That's it. All the other food cooks just as well without it. Voting and sharing!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      jessica - I'm so glad to see you here and love your nice comments. Thanks so much!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      TasticAdvisor - I'm with you and the convection oven. Thanks for adding this great tip. It really is a huge money saver.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      fpherj48 - Hahaha! I'll work on this! :-) Too funny!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      alocsin = Why thank you so much for your comment and vote. I use the "lid on the pan" to boil water all the time. It's one of my favorites.

    • jessicasol profile image

      jessicasol 6 years ago

      I appreciate your nice hub. Thanks for sharing the great energy saving tips hub with us.

      Thumbs up :)

    • TasticAdvisor profile image

      TasticAdvisor 6 years ago from Rochester

      Thanks for the great energy saving tips. I remembered the dollar bill trick from somewhere else, but had forgotten it until I read it here. I also use a small counter-top convection oven whenever possible to avoid having to heat up the entire regular size oven for something small.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      vocal coach....positively super-saver hub...I'm all for anything and everything that helps us to save, conserve & incorporate......Oh, as long as you're handing out helpful tips....Can you SAVE ME from the Kitchen, in GENERAL??? please?

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Some of these are so simple and yet I didn't know about them like putting the lid on the pot, cleaning the bottom of the pan and the dollar test. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Micky you are so supportive. I always know when I write a hub, my Micky will always be there with a comment to encourage me. Thank you :)

      Tina V - I like your timer idea very much. Thank you for adding yet another good tip for saving energy!

      firman afandi - So very pleased to see you here. Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

    • firman afandi profile image

      firman afandi 7 years ago

      great tips.. nice hub

    • TINA V profile image

      TINA V 7 years ago

      This is a useful hub. You've shared practical tips to save energy and money. I usually use a timer whenever I cook or bake in the oven. In this way, I could minimize opening it to save heat energy.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Judicastro - Thank you, my friend for finding these tips useful. I pray that the New Year will bring you good health, prosperity and more love than your sweet heart can hold. :-)

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi Dim - How nice to see you. I always light up with a smile when you stop by and leave me a comment. Hope your life is a joy and that you are thriving. :-)

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      drbj - Yes! So glad I have the opportunity to share a few helpful hints on saving energy. Great. Thank you, dear drbj. :-)

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      hello, hello - it is always so nice to see you. Thank you for taking time to read my hub. How wonderful that these tips have helped you save a little energy. Have an amazing day, for you are an amazing lady!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Fiddleman - You are so kind to comment on my small contribution here. Thank you!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      acaetnna - Sometimes we forget just a few easy and simple changes can save energy. I like your comments. Thanks

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Amber - I thank you for rating my hub up. I think we all need to save energy anyway we can. Glad you liked these tips. Thanks and the best to you.

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 7 years ago

      Hi Audrey

      A hub full of sound practical energy saving tips which will help anyone who reads it. Rated up!

      Amber:)

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Betty - Every little bit helps. Glad you could use these tips. Thank you my friend!

    • Betty Reid profile image

      Betty Reid 7 years ago from Texas

      Great tips! I was wondering how to save my own energy in the kitchen ;)

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Shane Belceto - I know just what you mean. Had my oven door more than I really needed as I check ed the turkey - it was so cold and feeling the heat from the oven felt so good (not to mention the wonderful aroma). Thanks to you Shane. Oh, I love your "Expect Miracles" - very powerful!

    • Shane Belceto profile image

      Shane Belceto 7 years ago from WA USA

      Good tips and yes some are a flat forhead moment for me smiles. Except number 2 at the top at some points need some of that heat to get into the kitchen so we can move about enough to finish the cooking lol

      ~Expect Miracles

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      msorensson - I am always happy to get tips for saving energy. Glad you liked them. Thank you Melinda, dear lady!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Awesomely useful! God bless my Dear!

    • acaetnna profile image

      acaetnna 7 years ago from Guildford

      This is such useful information - thank you.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Anything that has to do with cooking or energy saving, has to be a no-brainer for me, so I thank you, Audrey, for these so easy to understand tips. :)

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 7 years ago from Great Britain

      Wow ! so many good ideas. Thank you.

    • Judicastro profile image

      Judicastro 7 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

      Very good tips audrey dear. Thanks for taking the time to share.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Veru good advice and I learned a few tips.

    • profile image

      Fiddleman 7 years ago

      Great ideas and great ways to save energy and money

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      All wonderful suggestions, vocalcoach. Thank you for all of them. Much appreciated!!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      RunAbstract - Thank you for being the first to comment on my hub. It really is the little steps we take each day that make a big difference in saving energy. Eager to begin reading your hubs. Again...I thank you.

    • RunAbstract profile image

      RunAbstract 7 years ago from USA

      Very good tips. It's the little things that add up! So glad you shared this great information! Thanks!

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