Over the past year, Payless Power has provided hundreds of cost-saving tips and energy facts on the blog. As we look forward to the rest of 2018, this week we’re taking some time to highlight our favorite tips and pieces of information we shared during each month in 2017.
Put your charger on a timer
If you’re using a laptop over a desktop computer, put your charger on a timer. Outlet timers make sure devices only come on for a portion of the day when they are needed. Plus, leaving the charger in your laptop degrades your battery over time.
February – Energy-saving tips for renters
Hand wash your dishes
Hand washing your dishes is a quick and easy way to save money. When you use the larger appliances in your home or apartment daily, you will see this reflected in your bill. Only run your dishwasher when it is totally full, and start hand washing.
Start with the outside
While our winters aren’t usually too treacherous, they can still do some damage to your home. Now is the time to walk around your home and take note on any caulking that needs replacing around windows and doors, as well as open windows and doors. Also, don’t forget to replace weather stripping! This will keep your home cool during the warm months.
Contrary to popular thought, closing off A/C vents in unused rooms can do more harm than good. Closed A/C vents can be attributed to leaks in the ductwork. Prevent yourself the headache of having to repair the ducts, and keep the vents open.
Walk or bike whenever possible
Walking or biking is not an option for everyone, but if you are able, we recommend walking or biking to the grocery store or to run your errands. Not only is this better for the environment, but you won’t be spending as much time in your car, running through gasoline!
Play outdoors rather than watching TV or playing on electronic devices
Help kids start a lemonade stand, play on the swings or create a chalk masterpiece on the driveway. The kids will be having a blast and not even realize they are saving energy by not using electronic devices.
Install a water-saving shower head
High-efficiency shower heads reduce the amount of water you use while taking a shower, which also reduces the amount of water your hot water heater has to warm. Installing an efficient shower head, along with taking shorter showers, will help you reduce your overall water use.
August – Saving energy on lighting
Putting your lights on a timer
By setting up a scheduled timer for your lights, you can ensure that your lights are on only when you need them. Timers for lights can be found at home improvement stores for as low as $5. This quick fix will help families with forgetful kids keep their costs under control.
Take advantage of natural sunlight
Natural sunlight will create a more relaxed learning environment compared to the harsh overhead lights that are normally in classrooms. Studies have also shown that natural light keeps people more focused and alert and improves their mood. Plus, keeping the lights off will keep the room cooler during the September heat.
October – Learn all about fossil fuels, nuclear energy, solar energy, wind energy and hydropower
October is National Energy Awareness Month and throughout the month facts about different types of energy were shared with the Payless Power community.
Even among the growing concern over their impact on environment concerns, fossil fuels still account for 66.9 percent of the United States energy that was converted to electricity. However, alternative energy types are growing in popularity. Below is the breakdown of total U.S. Central Station Electricity Generation by type, according to data from the Energy Information Administration:
- Fossil fuels – 66.9 percent
- Nuclear energy – 19.5 percent
- Solar energy – 0.6 percent
- Wind energy – 4.7 percent
- Hydropower – 6.1 percent
November – Save on holiday shopping
Make a budget
Creating a budget is an easy way to relieve some of the stress of holiday shopping. Think realistically about how much your family can afford to spend on gifts for the year and compare that to the list of the people you typically exchange gifts with. Divide up the gift budget and set firm amounts for each family member or friend you are buying for. If it feels like there still isn’t enough cash to go around, revisit your list and decide who on the list would appreciate a handmade gift.
December – Energy-efficient baking during the holidays
Prepare wisely and work efficiently while baking
An easy way to save energy is to pull all of your chilled ingredients out of the refrigerator at one time. The fewer times you open the door to the fridge, the less energy it will take to keep your fridge cold. The exception is for butter – lots of recipes require butter to be softened or to be at room temperature. Both the FDA and USDA have said that if properly covered, butter is safe to leave at room temperature for a few days, and by sitting butter out early you can eliminate the need to use the microwave to soften the butter.