Here are some possible ways to save on energy and money on the electric bill.
- Shut off lights when not in a room.
- Shut off a television when you are done watching a program and going to another activity.
- Shut down the computer when not in use.
- Try to make sure the furnace and air conditioner are well tuned. Use the air conditioner only when the house gets really humid.
- Try to turn the temperature down a little in the winter for heat and up a little in the summer for cooling.
- Install very good windows into the home. This can mean windows with good seals and UV light filters.
- Replace an old washer and dryer (over 20 years old) with a front-loading washer and new dryer. The savings in electric usage, water usage, and drying time is well worth the update.
- Keep counter-top appliances unplugged in the kitchen when not in use.
- Try to make sure that the refrigerator and freezer stays well-stocked so that it is not cooling vacant space.
- If you are baking something small, use a toaster oven instead of the regular oven.
Ask the electric company to read the meter instead of estimating usage. This is especially important if you are living in a new home and the electric company is basing their bill on a prior occupants usage. If you use less than the prior resident you will be charged extra until someone comes out and reads the meter and then adjusts the bill. This could take months to correct. You also do not want to be hit with a really large bill, when you thought the bills were accurate and they were undercharging you.
Here is the one area that I splurge on when it comes to saving energy: While I could use more energy efficient bulbs, I do splurge in this area. We live in a region that is very overcast most of the time. In the winter many people suffer from depression because of the loss of sun light. I use plant light bulbs or full-spectrum light bulbs in lamps and overhead can lights. The depression has not been a problem since we made this change and I find that the larger bulbs in canned lights heat the room and I can shut off the heat ducts where these are placed in the house.
All in all be aware of what takes energy and think of how you can use things efficiently or possibly shut it down when not in use. In some cases, it could do more harm than good to shut something down in between uses. Always check with your owner's manual to make sure the electrical item does not need to be on.