How to Lower Energy Costs
We’re constantly reminded of the need to save energy aren’t we? Reducing our energy (and with it our individual carbon footprints) can not only mean that we are helping to save the planet for future generations, but it can also help us to save a little of our hard earned cash. Yes, it really does make sound economic sense to cut back on our energy use and lower energy costs.
How to Lower Energy Costs
So how do we do it? The fact is that there are hundreds of ways which we can utilize to help us reduce our energy consumption, and many of them are really easy to do, it’s just a case of thinking about what you’re doing, and very often simply “switching off”.
Right, let’s start with some of the easy ones:
Switch off the lights when you leave a room – some peoples houses are lit as brightly as a Christmas tree from the going down of the sun until everybody is in bed, it really isn’t necessary to leave all of the lights on, switch off if you’re not in the room and take the first step towards saving a packet.
Switch your light bulbs - by switching to low energy lightbulbs you can really reduce the amount of energy you use, so if you’re having trouble retraining the rest of the family to switch off the lights, at least let low energy bulbs do their bit for the environment and your pocket.
Dishwashers – are brilliant aren’t they, they do all of the hard work for you without your hands going all wrinkly, and although many of us would sooner part company with our left hands than our dishwashers, you shouldn’t use it until it’s full. Don’t just put it on so that your favorite coffee cup will be clean for later, wait until you have a full load.
Washing machines – ditto the dishwashers. Only use them on a full load, or if you have a half load setting use it when necessary, and then switch down the temperature a little. Modern washing powders have the power to remove even the toughest grass and chocolate stains at 40 degrees (allegedly) so turn down the heat and reduce your energy costs.
Drying clothes- do you remember what that whirly thing is for in the middle of your lawn, or why you hung a line between the cherry tree and the corner of the garage? Yes, it was so that you could hang out your laundry to dry naturally in the sun and blow gently in the breeze. I know it’s easier to transfer a load from the washer to the dryer and not even venture outside to have your clothes lovely and fluffy, soft and dry, but just think of how much you could save by letting your clothes dry naturally. Go on, get the sun on your face for five minutes and hang out your laundry to dry. Solar and wind power at its best.
Energy Saving Replacements – now nobody is suggesting that you replace all of your white goods with the new energy efficient makes and models, that would be a bit of false economy, but you might be surprised at just how energy efficient many of the modern products are these days. When you do need a new refrigerator, washing machine or stove, do bear that in mind.
Pull the Plug- how many things do you have on standby around your house, which are plugged in and using up valuable energy while they are doing nothing at all. Go on, take a look, I dare you. Televisions (notice the plural, you probably have three or four at least), DVD players, games consoles, music centers, computers (yes, your emails will still be waiting for you when you switch it on again), printers, battery chargers, cell phone chargers – go on, count them. Now then I know that it’s really simple to turn the television to standby with the remote, and it is completely inconvenient to have to stand up and pull out a plug or switch it off at the electricity source, but hey, it only takes a second, you’ll get used to it. Three simple steps, 1. stand up, 2. walk towards the television, 3. bend down and switch it off/pull out the plug (ok, you might get away with calling it four if you want to be really awkward). Do you know what, up to 10% of the electricity which is used in your house is by things using it up on standby, just in case – yep, stuff you’re not even using.
Check suppliers – now that you’ve seriously reduced your consumption of energy, you need to make sure that you’re not paying over the odds for the amount that you do use. Some people can save up to around 15% per month by simply switching suppliers (wow, add that to the 10% you can save by unplugging your “standbys” and we’re really making progress).
Time of Use Plans – are becoming more and more popular, whereby you pay less for the electricity which you use in off-peak hours. It’s certainly worth asking your energy supplier whether they have any plans which might be beneficial to you.
Learn more about what you do to lower energy costs.