#12: Make a goal of cutting your electric bill by at least 25%.
Today I will share some of the things our family has done to cut our electric bill. You can read a comprehensive list of ideas in my Cutting Utility Costs page, but today I will just share the things we have done–with success–to cut our electric bill.
- Find the places where air can sneak into your home, then make repairs to plug the leaks by
caulking, weather-stripping, and using plastic covers.
- Hold off on the air conditioner as long as possible as we head into warmer weather. Keep the windows open!
- Draw blinds, shades, or drapes to block the sunlight during the hottest part of the day, especially on south- and west-facing windows.
- Set the heating thermostat as low as comfort permits. Each degree above 680 F can add 3
percent to the amount of energy needed for heating.
- Close heating vents and radiator valves in unused rooms. Make sure that drapes, plants, or furniture do not block registers for supply or return air.
- Allow hot foods or liquids to cool off before placing them in the refrigerator. The cooling-off period should not hurt the taste of the food and will reduce the load on the refrigerator.
- Plan ahead and remove all ingredients for each meal at one time. Each time the door of a refrigerator or freezer is opened, its compressor has to run a bit longer to replace the cold air that spills out.
- Expand your family’s menus to include stews and other single-dish meals that can be prepared in a slow cooker. Such meals require far less energy than those calling for the simultaneous use of the oven plus two or three surface units.
- Develop the habit of “lids-on” cooking. Tightly fitted lids help keep heat within pots and pans, permitting the use of lower temperature settings and shorter cooking times.
- Begin cooking on highest heat until liquid begins to boil. Then lower the heat control setting and allow food to simmer until fully cooked.
- Use your microwave oven whenever possible. Microwave ovens draw less than half the power of their conventional counterparts and cook for a much shorter period of time. For example, an item that needs to be cooked in a full-sized oven at 3500 F for one hour will take only 15 minutes to cook in a microwave on the “high” setting.
- Rather than using the oven for preparing small quantities of food, consider cooking in small portable electric appliances such as a frying pan, grill, or toaster oven. On average, these use only about one-third of the electric power of an oven broiler.
- Using a microwave oven can reduce your energy used for cooking by more than 50 percent.
- Letting the water run while shaving or when washing dishes by hand is needless waste. Avoid this by using sink stoppers and dishpans.
- Encourage family members to take showers rather than baths. The average person will use about half as much hot water in a shower as in a bath.
- Lowering you r water heater temperature setting from 1400 F to 1200 F can reduce your water heating energy bill by more than 10 percent.
- Provide “task” lighting (over desks, tool benches, craft tables, etc.) so that work and leisure activities can be done without illuminating entire rooms.
- Some compact fluorescent bulbs can be used with dimmer switches. Check the package to make sure they can be used with dimmers. Where possible, consider using dimmable compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Set the wash temperature selector to cold or warm and the rinse temperature to cold as often as possible. Sort laundry and schedule washes so that a complete job can be done with a few cycles of the machine carrying its full capacity rather than a greater number of cycles with light loads.
- Avoid over-drying. This not only represents a waste of energy but harms fabrics as well.
- Many dryers have settings that allow an automated moisture sensor to reduce the drying time. Dryers with automated moisture sensors may have a buzzer or other sound system to let you know when clothes are dry. Use the sound system to minimize drying time.
- Overall, dishwashers use less water than washing dishes by hand. For a full load of dishes in the dishwasher, washing the same dishes by hand would typically use at least 6 more gallons of hot water.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing a new dishwasher. New criteria went into effect on January 1, 2007, which made ENERGY STAR® units more than 35 percent more efficient than baseline units.
- Many dishwashers have an option for “air drying” or “heated drying.” The “air drying” setting will use less energy.
- Unplug any battery chargers or power adapters when electronics are fully charged or disconnected from the charger.
- Computer screen savers may save screens, but they do not save energy. Make sure that the screen saver does not deactivate your computer’s sleep mode. You can set the computer to operate the screen saver, then go into the sleep mode.
From the booklet, 100 Ways to Improve Your Electric Bill by FirstEngery.
Enjoying this series? Subscribe for my free daily updates so you don’t miss anything!