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How to Save Money on Electricity

April 23rd, 2009

alternative-energy-solution.jpgElectricity is one utility that most of us can’t live without, but how can we bring the costs down? As well as the incentive to save money during a recession, saving on electricity also means you are helping the environment. Electricity sourced from coal powered stations is nonrenewable and linked to high carbon emissions, so there is more than one reason to turn out the lights. But saving money on electricity requires everyone in the household to help out. Here are a few strategies you can start implementing right away.

In a typical U.S. household, home heating and cooling can account for just over half of a household’s energy use, with the other half being fairly evenly split between appliances and water heating. So make the most of big decisions regarding heating and cooling options if you are at the stage of purchasing, but if that is not possible you can still reduce your overall bills by focusing on appliance use and limiting your use of heating and cooling whenever possible.

1. Turn appliances off at the on/off switch or unplug them rather than leaving them on standby. Also, when an appliance comes to the end of its life, consider seriously whether it needs replacing. When you do buy a new appliance, compare the energy efficiency ratings before making a purchase. Look at the wattage of each product.

2. Think about installing a solar-powered water heating system. Water heating systems are a major user of electricity in the home. If you do keep a traditional electric system in place, be strict on shower frequency and length.

3. Turn lights off when you leave the room, and limit the use of lights during the day wherever possible. Allow natural light in instead. Make sure all fittings use compact fluorescent lights, which use 75% less energy and last about 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

4. Use energy-saving home heating options such as slow combustion wood heating instead of electric heaters. Although natural gas is a fossil fuel, it may be cheaper to power a heating system on gas instead of electricity. Ask whether you really need heating or cooling before you switch something on — dress for the weather first. Ceiling fans use less power than air conditioning systems.

5. The kitchen is a big energy user — consider doing tasks by hand rather than using an appliance where you can, such as chopping and mixing. When using an electric kettle, only use enough water as you need to boil. The bathroom and laundry can also be big areas of electricity consumption — clothes dryers and even hair dryers use a lot of electricity for example, so devise ways to cut back on how often they are used.

6. Make sure your computer is switched off when you are not using it for long periods and is set to energy-saving mode in between those times.

7. Think of fun ways to encourage a reduction in power usage, for example having a night a week where you only use candle light, or a television free night each week with board games or reading and conversation instead.

Once you have built these strategies into your household routine, saving on electricity will be a lot easier. There are also devices available on the market allowing you to monitor your energy usage. Check your utility provider’s rates and shop around to see if you can get a better deal. Ideally, you would use an energy provider that offers renewable energy sources but this may not be cost effective for everyone.

Keep in mind that the biggest electricity users in most households are heating and cooling — so if you can make sure that your house is properly insulated, and find natural ways to release heat in summer and contain it in winter this will make a big difference to your total energy costs.

Lisa Saremel is a freelance writer for Constant Content. Currently she has six articles available with three total sales so far.

One Response to “How to Save Money on Electricity”

  1. comment number 1 by: karthika

    a very good information to explain how to save electricity.

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