Finance

Keeping Energy Costs Low

Ok, I’ll admit that this is where it pays to live alone.  I can easily control how much electricity is used and there are fewer gadgets that need charging.

My electric company has a tool on their website and it compares my electricity usage with my neighbors.  I was quite surprised to see just how much of a difference there is.

Energy

Trick #1: Power strips with individual switches.  I have these everywhere in my house. And where I don’t have these, there are regular power strips that can be shut off as needed.  Everything is plugged into a power strip – TV, stereo, DVD player, toaster, microwave, laptop, and all the chargers for my mobile devices.

Before I leave for work in the morning, I make sure all the switches are turned off.  The same happens before I go to bed.

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Trick #2: Timers. I hate walking into a dark house. My living room light is on a timer so the light comes on at the same time as my alarm in the morning and it goes off shortly after I leave for work.  It comes back on just as I should be getting home from work and goes off about an hour after I go to bed.

My internet is also on a timer.  Why have everything running while I’m sleeping? It’s not going to be used and only wastes electricity. Timers ensure that these are shut off since I’m likely to forget about them and accidentally leave them on.

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Trick #3: If you have central air, you should be cleaning the condenser on a regular basis to ensure air can easily flow through the unit.  A dirty condenser has to work much harder, causing more electricity to be used.  A garden hose is the best way to clean it, but for those of us without, a pump sprayer works as well. I hadn’t cleaned mine in the 3 years since it was installed and noticed a substantial reduction in energy this summer, even though I had it on almost every day.

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Your energy company’s website should also have a list of suggestions so be sure to check it out if you’re looking to save money without sacrificing quality of life.

What energy saving tricks to you use?