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Blog Aug 23, 2017

How to Save Electricity

Energy Saving

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Save A Little

When it comes to saving electricity, there are a number of ways to go about conserving. Understandably though, the effect of certain strategies vary, as some practices go a long way in cutting consumption while others are not quite as potent. And just like their effectiveness, the amount of time and energy required to implement these tips varies. In order to save a little bit of energy, there are a wide number of ways to do so and they encompass changes that can be made at home and work alike, with the help of our children, friends, and even pets.

 

Takes Little Work

 

  1. Turn off fans when your pet is home

As long as the temperature of your home is set between 78 and 80 degrees, most pets will be comfortable and safe without a fan. If your pet is crated during the day, consider keeping the crate in the basement or other naturally cooler areas in your home. Closing blinds or drapes will help keep your home cool for your pet.

  • Tagged: Little Savings, Little work

2. Seal windows and doors for tropical pets

Tropical animals such as birds or lizards can’t thrive in a drafty house. Seal windows and doors around your pet’s main habitat to create the perfect climate for them without running up your power usage.

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3. Wash pet bedding in cold water

This will save energy and still get your pet’s bedding and blankets as clean as possible. Pet laundry can also be hung out to dry instead of using the dryer. This will save even more energy and still keep your pets happy and clean!

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4. Use energy saving power strips

Plug your computer, cell phone charger, printer, and TV all into an energy efficient power strip instead of a normal power strip. This will reduce the amount of energy you’re using quickly!

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5. Make sure air vents are not blocked

Ensure that your office’s air conditioning is efficient by making sure that furniture such as bookshelves and file cabinets aren’t blocking air conditioning vents. This will allow for better airflow and more efficient office cooling.

6. Don’t Leave The Door Open

An open door allows for a gradual temperature shift as the warm or cold air generated by your HVAC system begins to escape your home. To counteract this, make sure your children know that doors must be shut immediately after they have been used. Also, lead by example. The more you display to them that is not how the door is to be used, the more likely they’ll be to follow behind you.

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7. Have Disconnected time

While technology is becoming a more and more important part of kids’ lives, they do rely on energy to be powered. To reduce consumption, you can prohibit certain devices from being in your child’s room so they are not using them for extended periods of time unsupervised. You can also set times for devices to be used, which can help you keep your kids off longer.  

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8. Use Alexa

With the integration of artificial intelligence into everyday life, more and more families are beginning to invest in personal assistants like the Google Home and Alexa from Amazon. These gadgets have plenty of neat tricks including the ability to turn devices on and off. All you need is a smart bulb, smart plug, or smart thermostat and your house can be controlled with your voice alone.

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9. Judge Customer Service

The quality of a provider’s customer service may be a litmus test for the reliability of their rates and plan, which play a big role in the amount of saving you could do. Call up a rep, and chat about the services they offer. Are they kind? Do you they explain the terms in a clear, friendly manner? Also, check out online reviews to make sure the company is in good standings with its customers. You want a provider who stands up for you.

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10. Wear warm and comfortable clothing

One of the most effective ways to keep warm in the winter while enjoying a lower electric bill is to dig deep into your closet for the warmest sweaters and the fuzziest slippers. These will keep you warm and prevent you from turning up the heat unnecessarily.

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  1. Turn the house lights off when your decorations are aglow

With so many lights on during the holiday season, it’s hard to think about the fact that there are other lights on besides the decorations. It’s good practice to turn off the lights when decorations are on for the holidays.

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12. Cover Your Windows

Even if you aren’t able to plant anything around your home, you can still create a similar effect by using heavy drapes on all your windows. Since this will help keep a lot of direct rays out, it can reduce the amount of time your air conditioner needs to run.

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13. Garbage Disposal

Use cold water, not hot water, in your garbage disposal. Not only is it recommended that only cold water be run down the drain when the garbage disposal is in use, it also prevents you from incurring the cost of heating the water.

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14. Cover Pans

Cover your pots and pans when you’re boiling water or food in them. This will help to prevent the release of heat, allowing the pan to boil faster and use less energy in the process.

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15. Turn Off Burners

Turn off oven burners a few minutes before you finish cooking. The heat that is stored in pan and other cooking equipment will enable your food to still cook, but you’ll save energy in the process.

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16. Turn Off Oven

This is along the same lines of turning off burners to save money. Turn off the oven itself 7 minutes  before you finish cooking. At that point, it will have trapped in enough heat to finish the cooking.

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17. Preheating Food

Only preheat your oven when you absolutely need to. On the instructions of the food you are preparing, it will note whether or not preheating is necessary. This is important because in the event you do not have to, you will be able to save yourself a fair bit of energy.

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18. Broiling

One of the cooking methods that requires the most amount of energy is broiling. Often, food can be cooked in another manner, allowing individuals to forgo the energy required to broil. So, unless you absolutely have to, do not broil your food.

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19. The Fridge & The Sun

Though we are sometimes restricted in where we can move it, one thing to note when determining where you want to put a fridge is that you should keep it out of the sun. When sunlight is able to reach your refrigerator and freezer, they get warmed up. Save yourself some trouble and find a shaded spot for the appliance.

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20. Turn it off when you’re not watching

Okay, let’s get the easy one out of the way.  Just turn it off when you’re not watching the tournament. Switch it to standby if you have a hard time remembering this.

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  1. Keep tabs on the brightness

Usually, the default factory setting is brighter than necessary. Set it to a more appropriate level if that doesn’t interfere with your viewing experience. If your TV has an ambient light sensor, make sure that feature is turned on.

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22. Use the radio screen blanking feature

If you like to listen to the radio through your television when the tournament’s not on, make sure the screen stays blank the entire time by turning on this feature.

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23. Switch to energy-saving mode

What this does is dim the backlight, which cuts the energy used by up to 1/3. You’ll have to change this setting again at night, but hey, when it comes to efficiency, why not go to all lengths?

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24. Keep Your Kids Safe

Many myths of old believe demons love to steal little children. Empower them – and show them how to stay safe with shakable flashlights. No need to buy batteries anymore! And if you’re really obsessed with energy savings, get them shakable LED flashlights.

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25. Vampire Proof Chargers

Remember how vampire energy loss is when you have a fully charged device, or it’s disconnected from the charger – but the charger keeps using energy? This charger completely eliminates that. Now you don’t have to remember to plug into a power strip and turn the whole thing off.

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26. Work from home

It costs less energy to just use electricity to work from home than it does to commute back-and-forth for most workers. Talk to your boss about doing a 4-week trial to see how it goes – and make sure you do your very best, most productive work.

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27. Get together with others to watch your favorite TV shows

Do your neighbors watch the exact same thing you do at the same time? Save energy weekly by watching the show together. You’ll have more fun too because everyone catches different things from the same show.

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28. Close Your Blinds on the Sunny Side

The sun warms up your home and manages to do so by filtering heat in through the window. Often, we use the air conditioning as a means of getting the temperature back down, but that uses energy. Keep it out by simply closing your blinds.

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29. Run Your Ceiling Fan the Right Way

Your ceiling fan should be spinning in reverse during summer. This improves airflow by pulling the cooler air upward and circulating that cool breeze throughout your space.

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Takes Some Work

30. Put 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.

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31. Dust bulbs regularly

Dust buildup on lamps and lightbulbs can keep light from shining through. Aging light bulbs along with dust and dirt buildup can reduce total illumination by 50%, according to Consumer Reports. For the most efficient lighting, make sure to clean and dust lamps and bulbs regularly.

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32. Unplug electronics when you are out of the office

Make sure to unplug devices like computers and printers before a long weekend or a vacation. This will ensure that your office is using the least amount of energy possible while you are away.

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33. Clean Out The Fridge

The refrigerator is one of a small number of appliances within your home that is on all day, every day. With that comes constant energy consumption that is increased when your fridge is unable to optimize circulation within itself, most frequently caused by food clutter. Take the steps towards less energy consumption by cleaning out your refrigerator.

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34. Indoor Spotlight

Another interesting holiday lighting tip is to use clip-on plant or aquarium lights to spotlight special holiday arrangements, such as a nativity scene, mantle decorations or gingerbread houses.  These lights are inexpensive and are available at many discount or pet stores.

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35. Rate Fluctuations And Types

Understanding rate types and fluctuations is important, as it allows consumers to narrow down electricity provider choices. This has major implications in regards to the price paid each month. In general, a provider will offer either fixed, variable, or indexed rates. Sometimes they’ll offer all three. Fixed rates are pre-calculated, and stay unchanged for 12–24 months. Although variable or indexed rates may seem cheaper than fixed, they fluctuate frequently with the market and public use index, affecting your bill as the rate dips or rises. Compare all fixed rates, or all variable or indexed rates for a more accurate evaluation.

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36. Triple Track Glass

Install triple-track glass and screen storm windows. Triple track glass combines a screen and two panels, which enables air flow through either the top or bottom portion.

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37. Black & Decker Thermal Leak Detector

Was your water bill a little too high last month? Find the source of the leak with a thermal leak detector. It uses thermal imaging to find where wall surface temperatures vary. It basically works like a stud finder, except it locates leaks hidden inside of walls.

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38. Belkin WeMo Switch + Motion

Are your appliances not in use? This kit controls basically any device you can plug into a wall. Lights, fans, computers, and more can all be controlled from your smartphone. You can schedule when devices turn on or off. You can even tell them to power on or off when they sense your motion.

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39. Close Your Chimney Flue When Not in Use

Who knows? Witches, bats, or gargoyles could get in! Worse yet, they’ll bring with them lots of cold air. Instead of letting all that come in and running up your energy bills, close your chimney flue when not in use. And speaking of the chimney, you can also save yourself some energy by using a wood fire to heat your home from time to time.

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40. Install Low-Flow Water Fixtures

Some legends say water protects you from ghosts and witches. Don’t you remember how the Wicked Witch of the West met the end of her days when Dorothy splashed her? Make sure you use your water as efficiently as possible by auditing all your spigots and faucets for efficient flow. The average home gets around 25-60% savings with low-flow fixtures.

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41. Frost your own windows.

Follow this handy-dandy DIY guide to frosting your windows. It blocks out the sunlight so your home isn’t heated and uses less air conditioning. Your room will also stay warmer in the winter.

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Takes More Work

42. Extra-insulate your home

Check the insulation in your home, from your walls to your pipes, to reduce the need for heating and save money on your electric bill. Wrapping extra insulation around pipes gives your water heater a break from working so hard during the winter months, and it helps keep the pipes from freezing.

  • Tagged: Little Savings, Substantial work

43. Replace your air filter

The key to energy-efficient central air and heating systems is ensuring that the HVAC works properly. One of the ways to do that is making sure that the air filter is clean so that the unit doesn’t work as hard.

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44. Check that your appliances work properly

Appliances that don’t work properly are an energy drain on your home. Be sure to check that all appliances are cleaned, repaired, and working properly. If you prefer to simply replace your appliances, be sure to do so with Energy Star models that focus on efficiency.

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45. Go Green

A key reason why your house may get so hot is if it receives direct summer sun for several or more hours a day. One way to combat this issue is to plant shrubs or even trees around the exterior of your home. The more greenery you have, the more there will be to absorb the sun’s rays.

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46. Array Solar Backpacks

What could you possibly need with a solar backpack? Set it in the sun for a few hours and you can use the energy to charge your smartphone, tablet PC, or laptop.

  • Tagged: Little Savings, Substantial work

 

Saves A Fair Amount

Whether it is our monthly electricity bill or just a desire to push our savings even further, there comes a time in which we realize that we can step up when it comes to reducing electricity usage. Taking the leap from saving a bit of electricity to a fair amount requires a slightly more active approach in regards to our behavior, but the results cannot be denied. And for those who may not be geared toward continued habit adjustments, there are plenty of tools and appliances that can help overcome that and ensure further savings.

 

Takes Little Work

  1. Turn lights off

This one may be obvious, but the best way to save on lighting is to make sure you turn off all the lights when you leave a room! This easy task is something everyone in your family can practice to save money.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Little work
  1. Use natural lighting

Open the blinds in your office and use to natural sunlight to light up the room. This will save on electricity, brighten the atmosphere and keep employees awake and upbeat!

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49. Turn Off the Video games and Play Outside

For many children, playing video games is an almost everyday activity. In reality, video game consoles are energy hogs, running up a tab even when you’re not playing them. And while the electric costs are adding up, they’re nothing compared to the bonding time you miss out on with your children. To change that, teach your kids how to have a good time outside.. The quality time and physical activity can help ingrain your kids with healthy habits and can even inspire a love for certain activities and sports. What’s more, they’re not cooped up inside all day running up the electric bill!

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50. Use Fans

Fans are a great alternative to the constant adjustment of a thermostat, as instead of decreasing the temperature within spaces they circulate the cool air around them. This difference requires less energy and can help to lower your electricity bill by as much as 40 percent. The only drawback is that many people (especially kids) fail to understand this and will leave fan running while they are not in the room.

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51. Take Shorter Showers

The amount of water used in a single shower can be a bit surprising as showerheads can run through as much as five gallons of water per minute. Not only does this waste a fair bit of water, the energy needed to heat the water and maintain the temperature can also be quite substantial and add up.  To counteract this, one of the easiest things you can do is reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower. When trying to get your kids in the habit of minimizing their shower time, consider making a game of it. You can set a timer and tell them that the clock is ticking. Just make sure they don’t sacrifice cleanliness for speed!

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52. Wash clothes in cold water

In order to warm the water within washing machines, energy must be burned to help the appliance heat up. Washing clothes in cold water during winter lowers your electric bill by keeping the water heater from working so hard.

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53. Reduce Ventilation Fan Use

While many people use ventilation fans within their bathrooms and kitchens to aerate the space or dispel odors, the practice is not efficient. The fan actually blows away heat and AC, leaving people increasing both and using more electricity in the process. Use kitchen, bath, and all ventilating fans as little as possible.

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54. Adjust Fridge Temperature

Keep the fridge at a temperature of around 38-40 degrees. The freezer should be around 5 degrees. If you have a separate freezer, keep the temp around 0. Only open the door when you need it and close it as soon as you can.

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55. Microwave Over Oven

Use your microwave to cook small meals. It is advantageous because not only does it use less energy than an oven, it does not heat up our homes and prompt us to use more energy to cool them down.

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56. Showers Over Baths

Showers are more efficient on your water usage than baths due to the fact they require less from the water heater. The only caveat is that in order to consume less energy, you have to limit your time in the shower to around 10 minutes.

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57. Low-Flow Showerheads

Make sure your shower has a water-flow controller installed at the showerhead. They constrict the amount of water used with each washing, which saves on energy required to heat water that would likely be wasted. The pressure of these devices can be adjusted so that you don’t even know they’re there.

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58. Turn off, or reduce the heat when you leave for the day

In Spring, you still may need the heat occasionally. Even in very cold temperatures, you can turn the heat off for the day, and it will be reasonably warm when you get home. Then, while you make supper, you can turn the heat on and let your place heat up. Turn it down again at night, and lay in an extra blanket or put on another layer of clothing to stay warm and reduce costs.

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59. Bedol’s Water-Powered Alarm Clock

It doesn’t use one bit of electricity. All that’s used is water – and that’s it. It’s cheap (just $19). All you have to do is fill the tank with water, and then it keeps the time with incredible accuracy for 8-12 weeks. There’s even a built-in memory chip, so that when you change the water, your time will still be spot-on.

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60. Vacuum Refrigerator Coils

Over time, dirt and debris build up on refrigerator coils, minimizing their efficiency and causing them to work harder. By cleaning them, you will save energy and also prolong the life of your refrigerator.

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Takes Some Work

61. Don’t over-light rooms

Over-lighting a room can waste a lot of energy. As a general rule, rooms need 20 lumens of light per square foot, but rooms like offices and kitchens will likely require more. To find out how much light you need in your home, check out Huffington Post’s Lighting Guide to get on your way to energy savings.

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62. Install dimmers on your lights

Installing dimmers on your lights is an easy DIY project you can knock out to help save energy on lighting. Turn up the power if you need more light for focused activities like reading or writing, or turn lights all the way down to create a relaxing vibe. For detailed instructions and more information, check out this dimmer switch tutorial from Home Depot.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Moderate work

63. Make sure your fish tank is energy-efficient

Since a filtering fish tank is always running and using energy, make sure yours is as efficient as possible and use LED lights. Keeping your tank clean will also help it run more efficiently.

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64. Use LED Lights for Your Decorations

LEDs are an incredibly efficient lighting alternative that is almost like using no electricity at all. These lights use about half as much electricity as their fluorescent, incandescent, and even halogen-based substitutes, guaranteeing you big savings. The usual lifespan of an LED is around 30,000-50,000 hours, dwarfing the typical incandescent bulb’s 1,000 hour lifetime. As incandescent and other types of bulbs are gradually phased out, it is important to teach your kids about LEDs versus CFLs. You can even talk about the “old days” and the advantages LEDs have over incandescent lights.

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65. Take Family Walks

This tip is a great way to get out of the house and spend some time with the family. It doesn’t have to be multiple times a week or long in duration, (a quick walk around the neighborhood is fine), but taking a family walk will give you and your loved ones a relaxing break while also briefly reducing the energy used within your home.

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66. Check doors and windows for leaks

It is absolutely essential to check your doors and windows for leaks, openings, and broken seals. Caulking, weatherstripping or replacing seals on your windows and doors as necessary keeps cold air from coming in or hot air from escaping and keeps you from spending unnecessary money.

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67. Put your Christmas lights on a timer

Rather than leaving the Christmas lights on all night, save money on electricity by simply putting the tree lights on a timer, so they turn on and off at the same time each day. It’s convenient and you won’t have to worry about too much electricity being used.

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68. Go fiber-optic this season

From trees to lights, it is certainly trendy to go fiber-optic. However, did you know that fiber-optics save time and money when it comes to holiday lighting? They can light the entire house with minimal equipment and use.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Moderate work

69. Decorate your house with candles

Candles are pretty, inexpensive and trendy decorations for the home for Christmas. Decorate your house with candles and start a new trend among families while viably saving money on electricity.

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70. Find and Fix Leaks

Leaks around windows or other areas of your house can cause cold air to continuously flow outside. This makes it harder for the house to cool down and requires your air conditioner to keep running. There are two ways to remedy this problem. The most comprehensive option is to hire an inspector to do a blower door test and identify all leaks throughout your house. If you prefer to do the work yourself, the other option is for you to feel around electrical sockets, light switches, doors, windows and baseboards for leaks. When you find one, use caulking or foam to seal it.

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71. Thawing Food

Thaw your frozen foods before you cook them. Using the warm air temperature instead of your electric energy will mean that less electricity has to be used in preparation and that the cook time is shortened.

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72. Buy a new television

Okay, so this could be the perfect time to justify the purchase of a new television to your spouse. For example, a LED TV is 20-25% more efficient than the typical LCD or plasma. One Clean Technica article claims a 400% difference in energy usage between the most and least efficient 37 inch TVs! Even if you have a newer one, it may not be energy efficient at all…

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73. Look for OLED technology

It’s still somewhat new to the market, so you might have a hard time finding an OLED TV. But, they do exist, and they’re even more efficient than LED televisions.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Moderate work

74. WakaWaka Solar-Powered Smartphone Charger

Solar panels are a little too costly for a Father’s Day gift. But, this solar charger is the next best thing. In just under two hours, it can fully charge a smartphone battery. What dad wouldn’t love the chance to move a little farther off the power grid?

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Moderate work

75. Use Outdoor Solar Lighting

Dracula hates the light! Keep him at bay with solar lighting. Oh, and if you go the solar route, you only use the sun’s energy to keep this lighting working too. You can use it to light your pathways, hallways, or for security purposes, or on freestanding lamp posts.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Moderate work

76. Make your own AC unit

Now here’s the thing – you don’t have to be MacGyver (points to you if you get the reference there) to make it happen. All you need is an investment of $30, a fan, a bucket, and a few hours to make your own AC system. Check out this YouTube video to see how it’s done.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Moderate work

Takes More Work

 

77. Weather Stripping The Attic

Use weather stripping on your attic door to prevent air leaks. Not only do leaks allow air to escape your home, they also enable it to enter as well, throwing off the temperature. Instead of incurring costs to treat the effects of it, stop it at the source.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Substantial work

78. Caulking and Weather Stripping

Caulk and weather strip your windows and doors. This is just as important as doing so in your attic because the effect of escaping air will be felt even more. As a result, failing to caulk and weather strip will likely cost you a greater amount as your try to use your thermostat to adjust the temperature.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Substantial work

79. Cool, Light-Colored Roofing

You know how white T-shirts reflect more sunlight and don’t get nearly as hot as black ones? The same idea applies to your home’s roofing. Some companies are offering roofing materials lighter in color, although some innovations are making darker materials that reflect heat back well.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Substantial work

80. Structured Insulated Panels

SIPs have a layer of foam insulation place between pieces of plywood. Some people don’t like them because of their looks, but it is possible to install siding, brick, or stone onto the panels. They’re quite astonishing in their energy-saving ability – which can be up to 50% over homes built with traditional materials.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Substantial work

81. Composite Lumber

This lumber, used in place of its treated counterpart, is a 50-50 mix of wood and waste plastics. It’s also more durable and less toxic than treated lumber. It’s more expensive, but because it uses recycled plastic bags and other plastics, it saves a ton of energy.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Substantial work

82. Low Emissivity Windows

Although they cost 10-15% more than clear glass windows, they reduce heat flow through their glass by 50%, reducing your heating costs by 10-20%.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Substantial work

83. The Vacuum Insulation Panel

This provides up to seven times the insulation protection over other available products. They’re not ready for residential use yet because they’re very difficult to install, but the National Association of Home Builders is working with Dow Chemical to make these panels available for insulating attics.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Substantial work

84. Close Off that Attic

If you have pull-down stairs, you can buy an “attic tent.” It does cost at least $200 or so though. You could also go the cheaper route, which involves buying foam installation pads ($7), attaching them to the back of the hatch, and then applying weather stripping tape ($3) along the edges of your attic panel.

  • Tagged: Moderate Savings, Substantial work

 

Saves A Lot

For those hoping to save electricity, often the goal is to reduce usage by as much as possible. Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of easy ways to go about doing this and they can be done across contexts to ensure substantial savings. While some strategies will have to be carried out gradually, over time the cumulative effect of implementing these changes will have a lasting impact on the amount you have to pay each month. If your goal is to put a large chunk of change back into your pocket, take a look at these tips and figure out which could work for you.

Takes Little Work

  1. Open A Window

In the warmer months when your home begins to heat up, its natural to switch on the A/C and allow it to cool back down. The only problem with this is that it often means running it for long periods of time to achieve a reasonable temperature. This requires a lot of energy and along with the cost it incurs, may not be the most efficient way to cool off your home. Opening up windows can allow cool gusts of wind to naturally reduce the temperature in your home and is especially effective at night.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Little work

86. Consider a prepaid electric bill plan

One option not often discussed is the possibility of switching from a long-term contract to a prepaid service plan with an electric company that gives you the option to pay only for the electricity you use. This will keep you from paying for energy that is not being used and it will also give you an idea of what your energy consumption is so that you can better plan and budget for the winter months.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Little work

87. Use a programmable thermostat

By resisting the urge to turn up the heat and turning your thermostat down, you can reduce your energy consumption and lower your electric bill. With a programmable thermostat, you simply program the temperature according to time of day without the need for adjusting it manually.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Little work

88. Lower the temperature on the water heater

Lowering the temperature a few degrees on your water heater can surprisingly shave some money off your electric bill. In addition, if you’re going on a winter vacation, turning off the water heater while you’re gone is another way you can save money.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Little work

89. Use appliances strategically

Using your appliances strategically can be very helpful when striving to lower your electric bill. For instance, drying loads of clothing consecutively rather than waiting between loads minimizes energy consumption because the unit remains warmer longer.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Little work

90. Lower the thermostat in your home

There is more electricity and power being used every time you turn the heater or A/C on or off. That is why, to save money on electricity, you should take the time to lower your thermostat temperature setting and watch how much more you will save on electricity.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Little work

91. Take A Family Bike Ride

Getting into a routine that gets you out of the house is a great way to reduce the electricity you use. One fun thing to consider as you feel out your routine is a family bike ride after dinner. The warmth of the early evening in the summer makes it a perfect time to avoid the sweltering heat but savor the temperature, and biking is a great activity for keeping active and exploring.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Little work

92. Get Into Reading

Reading is a great way to start cutting into your spending as cracking open a book provides a nice alternative to engaging in energy use. Not only will it save you from having to charge or power any devices, reading can be done almost anywhere. That means that you don’t even need to use the lights in your home as you can step outside and get sucked into a story. Even better, reading enables you to power down the majority of your home and save a bundle in the process.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Little work

93. Turn off all electronics before leaving on holiday trips

If you’re going on vacation for the next month or so, be sure to turn off all lights and unplug all devices that may pull electricity even when not in use, such as computers, televisions, charging devices, etc.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Little work

94. Have a Professional HVAC Inspection

You should do this before winter and summer. HVAC pros can not only get you fine-tuned for energy efficiency, but they can perform preventative maintenance that saves you on future repairs too. It’s well worth the minimal investment you pay.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Little work

Takes Some Work

95. Stop paying for Vampire energy

Sorry to say it, but energy vampires suck your energy 365 ¼ days per year. We’re referring to appliances you leave plugged in. It’s called the phantom load or vampire power and it refers to electricity consumed by devices that have been turned off but remain plugged in. Though the phantom load does have its benefits like allowing for quick and easy power-up, as well as maintaining certain settings that you have programmed into devices, some findings suggest that it makes up roughly 10% of your energy bill each month. Put a stake in vampire power by teaching your children that even the small things count and review with them which devices should remain plugged in and which can be unplugged.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Moderate work
  1. Teach Them when they’re Young

Sometimes the key to getting your kids to save energy lies not in changing behavior down the road, but rather guiding it from a very early age. This may be difficult when we as adults momentarily show bad energy usage habits and when it is so easy to forget how observant toddlers and young children are. By engaging in wise energy habits and then by repeating them in front of your children, you help to make them habitual for your youngsters.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Moderate work

97. Buy Energy Star Devices

Energy Star devices were designed to be energy-efficient products that both save consumers money over time and mitigate the damage done to the environment by harmful energy alternatives. They range from appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers to computers and televisions. Savings vary from device to device but over the course of their lifetimes, most Energy Star devices have been estimated to save users a few hundred dollars, a nice bonus to the positive environmental footprint they maintain.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Moderate work

98. Cook all of your holiday goodies in one day

Appliances use so much electric power; one way you can definitely save money on electricity is to do all of your holiday baking and cooking in one day. Using appliances can be costly, and choosing a day for all of the special baking and cooking reduces the amount of electricity used over time.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Moderate work

 

Takes More Work

99. Change Your Bulbs

Whenever a bulb around your house burns out, don’t put another standard bulb in its place. Instead, replace it with a compact fluorescent bulb. Ronnie Kweller, spokeswoman for the Alliance to Save Energy, estimates that each upgraded CFL bulb can help you save around $50 throughout its long lifespan.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Substantial work

100. Schedule your own power outage

What would you do if the power suddenly went out for 4-6 hours? Pretend that actually is happening to you. Play board games with your family, hide’n’seek with the children, or whatever fun activities come to mind. It may take some getting used to, but the longer you can go without power the more you can save.

  • Tagged: Substantial Savings, Substantial work

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