Slash Your Electric Bill to Save Money and the ecosystem

Slash Your Electric Bill to Save Money and the ecosystem




I am one of those people who was under the false impression that I was doing a decent job of being environmentally conscious.

I recycle; donate usable items I no longer want instead of tossing them in the trash; have cut way back on my gasoline usage by planning my trips, walking, biking, or just staying home; cut back on my water usage; compost; grow my own vegetables; and have planted a associate of fruit trees this spring with the hope to have my own fruits to can within the next 5 years. And, already though I have air conditioning I use it as little as possible and instead open my windows to take advantage of Mother Natures air conditioning, the breeze.

I was feeling pretty smug and confident that I was doing my proportion.

Then I took an ecological footprint quiz at myfootprint.org and found that already with the efforts I have made, it would nevertheless take 7.46 planets to sustain life if everyone lives the way I do. It was a wake up call for me to do a lot more.

So I decided to focus on one area at a time with my electric usage being the first thing I am concentrating on because I know my household uses way too much.

My efforts are working. After one month, my electric bill has gone down by 40 percent already though I have had my air conditioning (which uses electricity) on part of the time.

Here is everything I did to slash my electrical usage. Check to see if there are things listed you are not doing. If not, then implement them to lower your electrical bill. It is good for your pocketbook and good for the ecosystem.

LIGHTS OUT

I no longer leave the porch light on at night and I always turn off lights when I leave a room. I had thought I was pretty good at turning off lights but I really was not. It is easy to forget if a person is not diligent about it.

TURN OFF THE TELEVISION

I used to have the habit of leaving the television on already if I was not watching, for the noise. Now I am learning to enjoy the quiet. And, I am less likely to sit down and watch television now. I read more and use more time outside.

UNPLUG THE CHARGERS

I did not realize that my cell phone and battery chargers were using electricity already when I was not charging my phones and recharging batteries. Now I unplug them when I am not using them.

NO MORE SLEEP MODE

I no longer put my home copier, laptop computer, printer or desktop computer and monitor on sleep or energy saving mode. When I am not using them I turn them off.

UNPLUG ALL AROUND THE HOUSE

Any plug that feels warm to the touch is drawing electricity already if the item is not being used, such as small appliances and space heaters. I now make liberal use of strength strips for items I do not want to have to unplug all the time, like my blender, computer, and television since they nevertheless draw a small amount of electricity already when they are turned off. It is much easier to turn a strength strip off and on than to walk around unplugging things and then plugging them back in later. Yeah, maybe it is laziness but I know that I will not crawl behind the television every day to unplug it or crawl under the computer desk to unplug the computer every day, but I will flip the switch on a conveniently placed strength strip.

DITCH THE CLOTHES DRYER

Clothes will last longer if they are air dried, plus it is much easier to treat stains that regular washing may have missed on clothes that were air dried versus ones dried in a dryer. I am lucky enough to have an outdoor clothesline that I use in the summer, but I plan to air dry clothes inside during the winter too. My sister in law has been doing it for 20 years and she has 6 kids plus a complete time job. As a bonus, the drying racks double as clothes hangers when there is not time to get the clothes folded and put away. That does not work with clothes left in the dryer. They quickly turn into a wrinkled mess if not folded or hung up.

UNPLUG THE additional FRIDGE

We have always had a second refrigerator just to keep beverages cold, mostly beer. Now, instead of regularly keeping a whole case cold, which we only need once a year, we just keep a associate of cans cold in our regular fridge.

The things listed above are steps I have already taken, but I know I can do more and want to do more. I like having a small electric bill! Below is a list of more steps I plan to take.

CHANGE TO COMPACT FLUORESCENT BULBS

I currently only have a few compact fluorescent bulbs because of their large size, but manufacturers have been coming out with a bigger selection of sizes, so I no longer have any excuse to not swap out all my bulbs. But I am doing it slowly and only change them when the old bulbs burn out. I think it is wasteful to switch out perfectly good bulbs and to toss them in a landfill, no matter what kind of bulb it is.

BUY ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES

Do not toss perfectly good appliances though because that creates a landfill problem.

USE LOW FLOW SHOWER HEADS AND TOILETS

WASH CLOTHES IN COLD WATER

I already do this but I have a gas water heater and not an electric one so this does not save me any money on my electric bill but I have found my clothes come just as clean in cold water as in warm or hot. The only change I have made is to switch to a detergent formulated for cold water washing.

USE THE MICROWAVE INSTEAD OF THE OVEN OR STOVE

CLEAN AND REPLACE FILTERS REGULARLY

This includes filters humidifiers, vacuum cleaners, furnaces, air cleaners, dryers, and range exhaust hoods.

RUN THE CLOTHES WASHER AND DISHWASHER ONLY WHEN complete




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