Friday, October 1, 2010

Easy Ways to Reduce Your Monthly Electric Bill

1. Always plug any electronics into power strips. Modern smart strips will actually sense which devices are not currently in use and can be safely shut off and will disengage power automatically.

If you're using an older model power strip, remember that when turning off electronics, power down using the power strip to prevent stand-by mode from unnecessarily drawing electricity.


An example of one of the new smart power strips is the $27.88 Smart Strip 7-Outlet Surge Protector



“The SCG Series Smart Strips were designed to simplify your electronic life and enormously cut down on your power expenses on certain electronic devices.

They do it by sensing the current in one outlet, and smartly switching on or off the rest.

The SCG Smart Strips are an outstanding surge protector, which not only blocks out dangerous power surges but "scrubs" your line power for smoother operation and longer life expectancy for anything plugged into it.

As if this wasn't enough, its ergonomic design allows regular plugs to sit right next to large "wall warts", while its 45° angle flat plug resists damaging your wall or your furniture ‐ or accidentally being unplugged. With its recessed power switch, it is next to impossible to switch off accidentally.



2. Turn off your computer and monitor when they are not being used.


3. Use a programmable thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature. It takes more energy to heat a cold room after the heat has been off all day then to maintain a 65° room temperature throughout the day.


4. When washing dishes or laundry use cold water and never use the dishwasher or washing machine unless it contains a full load.


5. Air dry dishes rather than using the heated drying cycle.


6. Make efficient use of available light to reduce heating and lighting costs and utilize passive heating and cooling whenever possible.

  • Passive cooling strategies rely on heat gain avoidance and the use of cross ventilation, evaporation, and thermal mass which stores heat during the day to release it at night.

  • Passive heating and cooling make use of free solar energy and local breezes, they do not cost anything themselves.

  • Day-lighting is a technique that includes using light shelves, top-lighting, clerestory windows, optimized building orientation and room layout to maximize the use of natural light. Natural light has been shown to reduce depression and is easier on the eyes then synthetic light.


7. Next, you can lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.


8. Last, take showers instead of baths.


1 comment:

Sami said...

Do you have data to back up #3?

Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't the heat loss of a house proportional to the temperature difference between inside and outside temperatures?

If this is the case, keeping the temperature inside as close as possible to the outside temperature when nobody's in should minimize the heat losses - in other words, you're better off shutting down the heater (/cooler) if you're not home.

Although, you might lose overall if the heater/cooler is badly designed, and runs exceptionally inefficiently if it's turned on with a large temperature difference.. (i.e., when it has to heat up the house quickly right after it's turned on)