Ahhh, the college years. You’re slowly transitioning from the careless years of high school to that of responsibility.
Every cent counts when you’re in college – that’s money you can use to go out and party!
And if you’re still in the dorms, you might as well prepare yourself for the time you move out and have to pay your own energy costs.
If you’re sharing a house or an apartment with some friends, you’re probably not living in the most up-scale, energy efficient dwelling. So, you could save yourself and your friends a fair amount of money by paying attention to energy efficiency.
Here are some things you can do to reduce your energy bills:
Get Energy Star certified products.
When you purchase a new mini-fridge, television, computer, or anything else electronic, make sure it has the Energy Star label. An Energy-Star television, for example, uses around 25% less energy than one without the label.
Be wary of vampire energy drain.
If you plug your gadgets directly into the wall, they can consume energy even if they’re turned off. That happens also even if they’re not plugged into the charger. Instead, plug them into a power strip. Not only do you save directly on energy, but you increase the life of your devices as well.
Buy CLF or LED lights.
Hopefully you’re not too wild in your living space, and these don’t get broken! If you’re not worried about that, CFL light bulbs present a good, cost-effective alternative to incandescents. LEDs are even better, but it takes more time for their savings to pay off because they typically cost more to purchase.
Turn off stuff you don’t use.
If you see a screensaver running, you should realize it’s time to take action. The same goes for any device sitting in “sleep mode.” These consume less power than leaving your devices on, but they still consume a significant amount of power if they’re never turned off.
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.
When you add up all of these energy savings, especially if you live in an older building, you can save up to a few hundred bucks throughout the year.