Just when we stop running our electric bills up each month by heating our homes, warmer temperatures on the horizon bring with them a whole other set of electricity woes. If you’re lucky, you got a month or two’s relief from the high energy usage of your furnace before it was time to flip on the air conditioner. Regardless, it’s never a bad time to reduce your energy usage. After all, you’ll not only be saving your pocketbook, but the planet, as well.
Unplug Vampire Electronics
Electronic devices including televisions, satellite receivers and computers can be a huge drain on your bank account since they use energy whether or not they’re actually in use. In fact, as much as 75 percent of a home’s energy usage results from these budget suckers, and the EPA estimates more than 100 billion kilowatt hours of electricity are used by idle electronics annually in the United States. Sound steep? It is. That amount of energy costs consumers $10 billion. You can avoid falling victim to vampire electronics by unplugging them when not in use.
Cool Down Your Water
Each year, a hot-water heater set at 140 degrees uses as much as $460 more in electricity costs than the same appliance set at 120 degrees. And it’s not as if you want to jump into a shower that’s 140 degrees, anyway, right? Likewise, as much as 90 percent of the energy required to wash clothes is derived from heating the water, so washing your clothes in cold water can save a significant amount of money and energy.
Schedule Your Energy Usage
Many electric companies designate certain hours as “peak” usage times and bill more per kilowatt hour for electricity used during those times. By contacting your electric company, you can discover its schedule of “peak” times and schedule certain activities, including laundry, showering and cooking, during those times to save money each month on your bill.
While you may be tempted to blast you’re air conditioner during hot days and turn it off during cooler evenings, the erratic use of your unit can actually be costing your more money. Instead, consistently keep your thermostat at a comfortable temperature. It will require less energy than switching it off and back on for bigger blasts of chilly air.
Cook More Food Less Often
Cook several meals at once, thereby heating your oven less frequently. Not only will you save energy, but you can save a bundle on groceries by creating a variety of crockpot freezer meals in advance.