Reducing the amount of electricity you use is not just easier on the wallet, it’s good for the environment. Electricity creates pollution. Every
time you flip a switch you are polluting the environment because most plants burn coal or fossil fuels in order to create electricity. With that in mind let’s consider some ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint while reducing our monthly electricity expense.
- Visit your electricity provider’s website or telephone them and find out if they offer energy audits. In some cases for free or a nominal fee they will come out, install some energy-saving items and give you advice on other ways your household can save even more on your monthly bill.
- Ask about a monthly payment plan. Not a money saver but if you live on a fixed income it’s nice to pay a fixed amount. You won’t have to worry about the huge fluctuation in costs that sometimes come with seasonal temperature changes.
- Find out when your off-peak hours are and then do your laundry, use your dishwasher etc. during those hours.
- If you made a deposit on your electricity when you first set up your service contact your electricity provider and find out if you can have it refunded to you. In some cases, after a specified period of timely payments, you can get the deposit back.
- Change your light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) They are more expensive but don’t worry I’ll tell you when there’s a good deal on them. They use 75% less energy than regular light bulbs and last up to ten times longer. There’s actually an interesting savings calculator you can use to estimate your annual savings for making this one switch.
- Check your windows for air leaks and repair them. If a lit candle flickers when you put it next to the door window you’ve got a leak. You can repair the leak by replacing the weather stripping. You can purchase a peel and stick roll of it at most home improvement stores.
- Get into the habit of unplugging items when not in use. Items that are plugged in use electricity even when they aren’t being used. When you go on vacation unplug almost everything in your home.
- Use a toaster oven for cooking smaller items. They use 30% to 50% less energy than a conventional oven.
- When using your stove top and oven to cook during the summer months use the exhaust fan in the summer to draw cooking heat out of your home.
- Clean out your dryer’s lint filter every time you use it and clean out the exhaust hose at least once a year. You’ll save money and reduceyour fire risk as well.
- Turn your hot water heater down a few degrees. If it’s hot enough to burn you when turn it on it’s too hot. Especially important if you have small children in your home.
- Use space heaters in the rooms you use most often then turn down your thermostat.
- Close the vents and doors of unused or underused rooms.
Even a few small steps can add up on a monthly basis. What can it hurt to give some of them a try? You might just be surprised by the savings when you open next month’s bill.