For some, saving energy is something that is “nice” to do. Yes, it helps keeps the bills down a bit, but outside of that it’s not all that important. For others, energy conservation is something completely essential. They recognize the damage done to the planet by current means of power generation and know that conservation is crucial. So when you browse through the power saving tips that will follow, keep in mind that these are extreme and most will probably not go this route. But if you’re dedicated to conserving energy, or living off grid and NEED to conserve energy, these tips are for you.
- Goodbye refrigerator and hello converted chest freezer. A refrigerator is a pretty inefficient device, partially due to it’s shape. Every time you open the door, all the cold air will spill out onto the floor. Instead, take a top opening chest freezer and couple that with a temperature controller and you’ve got a super-efficient refrigerator.
- Who needs hot water? Sure, it makes for a more comfortable and relaxing shower, but having hot water uses a lot of electricity. Clothes was better in cold water. Dishes can also be washed with cold water (especially given that modern soaps cut grease just fine). All you need to do is accustom yourself to the cold shower and you’re away.
- Air conditioning uses more electricity than anything else in your home, so any way to avoid using it is beneficial. You could build yourself a, ice and fan powered a/c unit to keep yourself cool (they are actually quite effective) or use regular fans to substitute the a/c. In the really hot summers you may find yourself needing some a/c, but don’t overdo it.
Sure, these tips may not be for everyone, but they will literally cut your electricity usage by over 50%. Couple that with more traditional tips and you’ll be using almost no electricity at all.
If you are at all electrically inclined then you have some knowledge of power surges. If not, then here’s a really quick explanation: a power surge is a sudden rise in current traveling through electrical lines. It could be cause by the appliances currently hooked into that circuit or by external forces (such as lightning).
Now, power surges have the ability to damage appliances by shorting out or even burning out their internal components by exposing them to much more electricity than they were designed to handle. This is where surge protection comes into play. Most people know to plug their computers into a surge protector (those little 6 outlet power strips that come with some surge protection) to keep them protected. But what they don’t know is that those little surge protectors won’t do anything to protect against the bigger and seriously damaging ones.
For that you’ll need a surge protector for house protection in full. But is it really worth it to invest in one? They usually run over $200 and will need to be professionally installed. Is there that much of a risk to justify that kind of purchase?
Well, it depends. The biggest threat comes from lightning, and while there are over 20 million air-to-ground lightning strikes per year in the US, the odds of your home getting hit are slim. Now, realize that if by some stroke of misfortune your home is subjected to a power surge of high magnitude, you’ll be replacing thousands of dollars worth of appliances. Not just that, but if your computer is fried, is that data replaceable?
This is what you need to consider when deciding upon home surge protection. The real question is, “Is it worth it for you?” If yes, then a few hundred dollars now really isn’t all that much to spend for security and peace of mind.
Most appliances today are focused on just doing a specific task without much regard for the electricity that they use. This is just kind of how things work. Sure, there are Energy Star certified ones that try to be more energy efficient, but that’s about as far as they go. But what about some appliances and devices that make saving you electricity and money their primary goal? Well, here’s some that do just that.
- Programmable thermostats are great because they seek to help you make your a/c more efficient. A/C units use more electricity than anything else in your home so this is a great place to focus on. It works by allowing you to fully setup when the a/c turns on and off, and to what temperature so that it works according to your schedule, so the a/c will never get let on accidentally and you can come home to a nice cool home.
- Power savers are another great device. These work to improve the electrical efficiency of your home by collecting electricity that would normally go to waste. Yes, a lot of electricity is drawn but never used (wasted) by many household appliances. The power saver will gather this energy and send it back to your appliances where it will be used. This improves efficiency and lowers cost.
- LED light bulbs are increasing in popularity not only because they use so little electricity, but also because they last many times longer than traditional bulbs. In fact, incandescent bulbs are being phased out in the US so you may as well make the switch now.
These devices make saving electricity a simple task. Best of all, they don’t require you to change the way you use energy, so you can be saving power and money all without really even noticing it!
One of the most common and ubiquitous uses of electricity is lighting. I mean, when you think of electricity, a light bulb usually comes to mind. And while lighting isn’t the biggest usage of electricity in a common household, things can and should be done to ensure that no energy is wasted in any area. So let’s take a close look as some of the different ways that you can learn how to reduce electric bill costs via lighting.
For starters, get rid of any incandescent bulbs you are still using and finally make the switch to a more efficient type of bulb. Incandescent bulbs are on the way out anyways (they are no longer being manufactured in the US) due to their inefficiency. So you’ll have to switch eventually. CFL bulbs and (better yet) LED bulbs are your main alternatives. Both last longer than typical bulbs and use only a fraction of the electricity.
Next, let’s get some dimmer switches installed. Instead of having two options for lighting (off and full power), you can only use as much light as you need. Dimmer switches are also good for a variety of situations, from not wanting to blind yourself in the middle of the night, to setting the right mood. Just be sure that the bulbs you buy are dimmer compatible.
Now let’s cut out unnecessary usage. During the day, you really shouldn’t have to use much electric lighting at all. Open up the blinds and let the free sunlight in. It will normally be enough to keep your home well lit, even on partly cloudy days. It’s free and wastes no energy at all.
For the last one, it’s something you’ve heard countless times. And that is to turn the lights off when you’re not using them. Some people will carelessly leave lights on after they leave a room. Not only does this waste electricity, but you are also shortening the life of your light bulbs.
Are you, like many other people nowadays, getting sick and tired of paying high electricity bills? If you are, then it’s completely understandable. Electricity bills have been increasing drastically over the last few years with many homeowners paying over 300 dollars a month. It’s not that modern electronics are using that much more electricity, it’s simply that the rates are going up. But what can you do about this? Using less electricity in terms of less lights on doesn’t really make a big difference in your bill and turning off the air conditioner just isn’t an option during the hot summer months. So what does that leave one to do? Is there any other type of solution that doesn’t require one to dramatically change their lifestyle?
The answer is simple: buy and install an electric saver. Never heard of it? Well, here’s a simple explanation of what it is. An electric saver is a device that you can install in your home which basically corrects the way your appliances consume power. Think of it as an efficiency booster. In reality, your appliances draw more power than they actually use, power that you have to pay for. An electric saver will correct this problem and you will only pay for the electricity that you are actually using.
Electric savers have reduced electric bills by as much as 25% in some cases, but most homes will see a decrease of 10 to 20 percent monthly, meaning that the device will pay for itself soon and then begin saving you money each month.
Of course there is much more to learn about these devices but it is definitely worth looking into. Take a few minutes and learn more about these great money-saving devices to see if they are right for you, and start saving money. Learn more at http://electricsaver1200.com/saving-devices
If you want to know how to save money on energy bills, then here's something you should be aware of: right after air conditioning and heating, water heating is the the most costly electrical application in the average home. Consuming about 20% of the energy used in a month, this is a good area to address when trying to save energy at home. Now while some of the various ways to save on water heating do involve conservation of the hot water itself, this isn’t to say that you won’t be able to still use it. The idea is not to use it unnecessarily.
So first thing’s first: ensure you don’t have any leaks. Hot water leaks can be very costly. Consider that with every drop of hot water you use/lose, another drop of cold water goes into your water heater. This will lower the overall temperature of the water inside and another heating cycles will have to be performed. The less hot water gets used, the less heating cycles as cold water isn’t introduced. So fix any leaks.
Now, washing dishes and clothes with hot water is just a waste. With modern dish soaps and laundry detergents, hot water is not a necessity. In fact, certain fabric stains will set in with hot water. So just stick to cold. Also, cold water doesn’t shrink your clothes.
Adding insulation to your water heater is another way to increase its efficiency. You can get the insulating material from a home improvement store, either in sheets or sometimes in a pre made “jacket”. Either way, this will help keep the heat trapped for longer so that less heating cycles are used.
Finally, take a shower instead of a bath when possible. Aside from saving water in general, less hot water used means less energy spent on heating new water. While a bath may be relaxing from time to time, realize that you’re paying for it.
Your electric bill is made up of all of the different ways that you use energy in a given week. Lighting, water heating, appliances, etc all contribute to the overall total. What may surprise you is that about 50% of your bill comes from a single source: air conditioning and heating.
Yep, it’s true. Keeping your home warm or cool costs you half of your total electric bill. So this makes it a prime target for handling in terms of increasing electrical efficiency. Now don’t start thinking that the only way to be more “efficient” is by sweating in the summer and freezing in the winter. There are actually a few more clever ways to save in this area.
The first and foremost is to install a kvar power saver device in your home. Part of the reason that your a/c consumes so much electricity is due to the fact that it draws more power than it really needs. The additional electricity just goes to waste. The device will collect this electricity and give it to your appliances to use, thereby increasing your home’s efficiency.
After that, some basic tips will go a long way. Closing vents leading to unoccupied rooms, keeping your air filter clean, ensuring the fan is set to “on” instead of “auto”, and using ceiling and room fans in addition to raising the temperature just a bit. All of these will help to lower the amount of electricity consumed by the a/c.
As you can see, none of these methods involve you having to completely shut off the a/c or heater. This way you don’t have to suffer, yet can still gain the benefit of increased electrical efficiency.
So give these tips a try and see how much lower your electric bill will go. You may be surprised at just how good of results you can achieve by doing this.
Energy efficiency is key when you’re trying to reduce your electricity bill. So much electricity goes wasted every month that it actually makes up a significant part of your bill. So while some energy-saving strategies rely on using less, let’s instead focus on wasting less.
To give you an idea of what exactly this means, lets’ take a big example: the air conditioner. Did you know that the average central a/c will draw more power than it actually needs to operate? It’s true! The reason behind this is a little bit technical (it’s called power factor in case you want to do further research) but nevertheless, employing a device such as a power save to curtail this waste can alone give you a 15% lower electricity bill.
So what are some other ways to boost efficiency? Let’s have a look:
- Insulate your water heater to reduce the amount of heating cycles needed to keep hot water on supply.
- Get a home energy audit done to check your insulation and also look for air leaks. If problems are found, fixing them will go a long way towards making your home more efficient.
- Only use LED light bulbs as they use a lot less electricity than their incandescent alternatives.
- Wash clothes and dishes with cold water.
- Only buy appliances for your home that are Energy Star certified.
- Get a programmable thermostat for your a/c unit.
- Close vents going to unused rooms.
- Ensure appliances and lights are turned off and unplugged when not in use.
Following those tips will guarantee that you’ll boost your home’s efficiency as well as end up with a much lower electricity bill. So don’t want and start optimizing for efficiency right away. You’ll be doing yourself and the environment a big favor.
As has been discussed previously, there’s certainly more than one reason to push for clean energy generation. For starters, there’s that whole climate change thing. You know, the one about all the CO2 that gets dumped into the environment all the time when we burn fossil fuels to generate electricity which could result in a fatal shift in climate threatening all of Earth’s life as we know it. Yes, that one. There’s also the economical side of things. Clean energy has the potential of being cheaper than fossil fuel based power. Go figure.
Yet there is still another reason to make the switch, and that is that we may not have any other choice as fossil fuels are running out. It was only a matter of time. Fossil fuels came from fossils of prehistoric plants and animals. There were only a finite number of them walking and growing on the planet during history. This means that things like oil and coal are definitely limited, and we’ve been using so much of them that we’re nearing the bottom of the barrel. While efforts to conserve energy will help, they will only stall the inevitable.
Experts predict that within 50 years, we could see the end of the planet’s oils and coal reserves. So we would have to look to sustainable energy sources to pull through. But that will take time. Time to actually build up power plants using clean energy. Time to advance the technology that runs these plants. Time to adjust the current energy infrastructure if needed. Waiting till the last minute will just put us into a crisis. Don’t believe it? Remember the fuel crisis of 1973? Could totally happen again.
So start backing up clean and sustainable energy practices. When it comes time to vote, don’t skip all the “lower” issues. There’s usually clean energy things to vote on. Take the time to inform yourself of these things and help to advance a clean energy future for all generations to come.
Most people nowadays are looking for various ways to reduce their monthly costs. It only takes one look at the state of the economy to understand why. With jobs in short supply, a logical solution to having enough money would be to cut costs. This has lead many to find ways to reduce their electricity bills.
Usually, this involves finding ways to cut back on usage, be it through changing the way one uses electricity, to installing or employing various products that assist in this endeavor. However, clean energy may be exactly what is needed to keep energy on the cheap, for everyone.
Clean energy refers to “alternative” energy sources, like solar, wind and others. They are considered clean because they don’t produce harmful byproducts like other forms of energy generation do. They are also in virtually unlimited supply (the sun’s not going out anytime soon).
The problem lies in current battery technology. As these forms of energy are typically dependent on the weather and other natural (and uncontrollable) circumstances, power generation is variable. Thus, there needs to be a way to effectively store power for days when the weather isn’t so kind.
This is where batteries come in. Right now, they take too long and are too expensive to be a viable solution, but this is changing. Companies like Tesla are making inroads into that field and this may completely open the door to clean energy being the main road taken.
Once the infrastructure is in place, it will be much cheaper to produce energy by these means as the “fuel” is supplied automatically. This means that it will be cheaper on the user end as well.
So let’s hope that future developments come soon, as this could be a way to some financial relief for the many. Until then, we'll have to rely on various means to save electricity at home (such as this one: https://youtube.com/watch?v=ajzRC9gCVQ0
Every now and again, we'll put out an article giving a few tips and tricks for saving money on electricity through reduces usage. Well, if you want to truly be effective at saving power, then you'll need to apply as many tips as possible. So to make things easier, we're listing every tip that we know if right here.
Below, you'll find 25 great tips for keeping energy costs down. Some are season while most will apply all year round. You'll easily be able to save 20% or more on electricity each month, which, if you add it up, will spell out big yearly savings.
So without further introduction, here's the big list of energy saving tips:
1) Clean your A/C filter regularly to keep air clean and the A/C running smoothly.
2) Close vents going to unused rooms to save on heating and cooling.
3) Get a programmable thermostat to really set your a/c up for efficiency.
4) Install an electricity saver in your home to reduce the amount of electrical waste generated by the a/c unit.
5) Set the thermostat up 2° if you can tolerate it in the summer, and down in the winter.
6) Use fans during the summer to save on cooling costs.
7) If you need to only keep one or two rooms warm, use small space heaters instead of the central heating.
8) Turn off lights after use.
9) Use LED bulbs instead of incandescents.
10) Install dimmer switches for your most commonly used lights.
11) Unplug appliances that are not in use.
12) Alternatively, plug them into a smart power strip.
13) Set devices like computers to sleep or hibernate (if not turn off completely) after a period of inactivity.
14) Use the toaster oven or microwave instead of the regular oven.
15) Set your fridge to 40° and freezer to 32° and no lower.
16) Open the blinds to let natural light in to save on lighting.
17) close blinds during the summer to help keep the home cool.
18) In the winter, let sunlight in to warm the house.
19) Wear layers while indoors during the winter so you can set the heat a bit lower.
20) Buy Energy Star appliances.
21) Use a laptop instead of a desktop computer.
22) Unplug phones and their chargers when done charging.
23) Insulate your water heater and connecting pipes.
24) Wash clothes and dishes with cold water.
25) Do large loads of laundry instead of many small ones.
We all know at least one benefit of saving electricity and energy, and that is the financial aspect of it. Use less energy and you’ll pay a lower electric bill. Pretty simple. But that’s not necessarily enough to get some people to work on energy conservation. Maybe money isn’t an issue for them, or perhaps their electric bill is already pretty low. But consider this: a lower bill isn’t the only benefit of conserving energy.
So what else is there to it? Well, let’s first understand where our energy (electricity) comes from. Presently, most of the electricity in the world comes from plants that burn coal and other types or fossil fuels. These materials, when burned, release chemicals into the air. None of them are of a beneficial nature, especially not carbon dioxide. While CO2 does occur naturally in the atmosphere, we are adding too much too fast. This has change the chemical composition of the atmosphere thus trapping more of the sun’s energy and heat on the planet’s surface. The end result is global warming.
Some doubt the existence of the phenomena, but this is simply due to choosing to ignore the hard, scientific facts.
If things continue in this way, our planet may look very different in 200 years time than it does today. While that seems like a long way off, remember that in 200 years, our great grandchildren will still be around to have to deal with the situation that we created.
The solution is simple: switch to clean energy production in the very near future and conserve energy until that time. So please realize that even if saving money isn’t a big point of motivation for you, conserving energy is a way that you, yourself, can help the planet for all future generations to come. We all need to find out how can we conserve energy and start doing it. Every little bit helps.
Learning about the different ways to save electricity at home can be a very useful thing. However, it does have it’s limitations. A more complete understanding of the subject would also have to include knowing why and how energy gets wasted in the first place.
While every home may be different, there are a few very common ways that people waste electricity. Some are obvious yet overlooked, while others are so subtle that you would never notice them. So let’s have a look at how electricity frequently gets wasted.
We’ll start with an obvious one: overuse. This one is as simple as leaving the TV or lights on when no one needs them. It is easily handled, just turn off your stuff when you’re done. But it can be found in less obvious settings too. Like how many people leave their computers on all day long?
The next one is a bit less obvious, and that is that even with your appliances switched off, they still (most of them) consume some electricity. This is due to 2 different factors. The first is “phantom charge” where just by being connected to the mains, power is still “dripped” off. The second is due to the fact that the appliance never really turns off. This is especially true of modern appliances, like TV sets and Blu Ray players. You’ll notice that they have little lights on constantly. They never turn off, but go into a “standby” mode. Unplug appliances when not in use to handle this one.
This one is very specific, and that is a dripping faucet. If there’s hot water dripping, it could easily add up to $30 or more a month in wasted electricity. If the water heater is being drained, even slowly, then new, cold water will have to constantly be added. This means the device will have to run many more cycles than normally. Fix the leak.
Finally, there are some appliances that draw more current than they actually need. A/C units are guilty of this. It’s kind of complicated to explain, but there are devices like a powersaver which take care of this problem.
If you’re a business owner, then you know the importance of keeping costs low. This is a vital activity and can make or break an organization. So an area that would be of interest would be learning how to reduce your electric bill.
Now, depending on the type of business you run, this could constitute different things. People in the auto-repair industry use electricity differently than from people in an office type setting. However, there are a few things that any business can employ in order to keep costs low.
The first would be to implement energy-saving rules in the workplace. Rules about turning equipment and lights off after use are a good place to start. How they would be applied would again differ from business to business, but one can easily see how they could be made to work in theirs.
Almost any business uses air conditioning and heating, and that’s where installing a power saver comes in. It will recycle the electricity lost during the normal course of running the a/c and bring up efficiency. In the case of businesses where other types of machines are employed, power savers can help to increase the efficiency of some of those machines as well.
Finally, there is the matter of ensuring that the machines and devices you use are themselves efficient. If you are buying new equipment, you should make sure to see if there are any in that category which run more efficiently than most. This can also make a big difference especially where machines are running constantly.
Saving energy is a great way of keeping costs low without having to sacrifice the quality of service that you give to your customers. It also can be promoted so that those in the community know that your business is committed to saving energy.
Now you know how to reduce your electric bill so you can save in your business.
Forget about going out and buying new light bulbs for all your fixtures, or about replacing all of your appliances with more efficient ones. If you’re looking for an inexpensive and most importantly, effective way of lowering electricity bills, then there’s really only one thing that you need to check out.
And that is an electric saver. It’s a simple device that once installed in your home, will recycle the electricity that gets wasted by your various appliances, thus increasing efficiency and lowering costs.
First thing’s first: how does it work?
The short answer is by collecting the electricity that many of your appliances are wasting. You see, certain appliances (like air conditioning units) draw power at a different rate than the power is supplied. This causes some of the electricity to get wasted. It then just sits in your home’s wiring until it converts into heat and is lost. An electric saver will collect this electricity and store it for a very short time (1/60th of a second) before sending it out to be used by your other appliances.
The long answer involves electrical concepts like “line loss” and “power factor” and would be better explained elsewhere, but the concept remains the same.
Ok, so how much can it save you?
This number will vary depending on factors like how big your home is, how much electricity the various appliances use, etc. But a fair average is about a 15% reduction of home energy bills. Some report more, and a small few report less, but this is the average savings.
So what’s needed to get it to work? Does it require changes in usage?
No, you can use your appliances in the exact same way you already are. Once the electric saver is installed, you don’t have to do anything else. It will automatically draw in the wasted electricity and then send it back out for use.
There’s always more than one way to get a job done, and sometimes, one way is much easier than the other. The same is true about saving money on electricity. There are many different ways to go about doing it, but there are a few that make it super easy.
Let’s take a simple example: lighting. You could install dimmer switches for your most often used lights, change the bulb wattages, constantly remember to turn them off, etc. Or, you could just get LED bulbs and not have to worry about it. See? There’s an easy way and a hard way.
In addition to LED lights (which use way less energy than standard incandescent bulbs), what are some more examples of easy ways to save energy at home? Glad you asked, as we are about to go over a few more of them.
Let’s look at your air conditioner. It eats up about 50% of the electricity that you consume in a given month. Finding a way to reduce that one would impact your bill quite significantly. So you have the option of raising the temperature a couple of degrees (if that is still tolerable). You could also use a fan and skip the a/c altogether if it’s not too hot outside. Only thing is that both of these solutions leave you slightly uncomfortable. The easy way is to install a power saver in your home. It will make your a/c (and other appliances) run more efficiently and can knock 10% to 20% off of your electricity bill each month making it a great way to be saving money on electricity.
How about water heating? It also consumes a hefty bit of your monthly electricity. You could take fast showers and only wash clothes with cold water (not too bad an idea mind you), or you could just get your water heater proper insulation so that the water stays hotter for longer.
You have probably heard about Energy Star before, or at least seen the logo on various appliances and other electronic devices. Ok, you probably understood it to mean that the product was somehow more energy efficient. Well, that’s partially true. But let’s take a few steps back and see if we can’t clarify this breed of devices and appliances. First we’ll need to know what Energy Star is anyways?
Well, energystar.gov defines it as:
“ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency.”
Ok, cool.So they are about energy efficiency. But what does it take to get their seal of approval or quality as an energy saving device? Are devices bearing that logo really energy efficient?
They actually are. How much more efficient depends on what kind of product it is. There is no blanket rule of “10% more efficient” or anything like that as each type of product is different. There are actually over 70 categories of products that Energy Star covers, from refrigerators to computers to windows to washing machines. So how much more efficient will depend on the category. But to give an example, let’s look a refrigerators. In order to be Energy Star certified, they need to be 9 to 10 percent more efficient than minimum energy standards dictate.
So, are Energy Star products worth buying?
Absolutely. They are more efficient than anything else out there, and especially in the case of long-term appliances (like refrigerators) the user can actually get a return on their purchase after a few years of use making them great energy saving devices. They usually are priced comparatively to the non Energy Star equivalents so if you’re in the market, you may as well get the more efficient model.
You may have noticed an increase in your electric bill over the last few years and wondered just why you’re paying more than before. While some of it may be attributable to increased usage (we are, after all, becoming more and more dependent on electricity with every advancing year) that is not the whole story to your high electric bill.
It all boils down to how your power is produced. If you live in an area where coal and other fossil fuels are what’s used to generate power, then much of your cost is determined by the price of crude oil as well as availability. Fossil fuels are not in infinite supply and as various supplies of coal and oil are used up, scarcity will determine the price. Now factor in the fact that the transportation of those fuels also has a cost dependent on the fuel cost itself and you can see how this can escalate.
This is one of the reasons (not the only reason, mind you) that we as a species need to look to clean and sustainable sources of energy. Imagine solar power. We will NEVER run out of sunlight. There won’t be a constant back and forth of supply and demand. Consider wind power. Again, not something that we are going to run out of. Even if you don’t buy into the idea of global climate change, just for reasons of cost alone, clean energy should be something that is universally supported.
So what can be done about one's high electric bill? Well, going out and installing solar panels on your home isn’t exactly very cost-effective at this point. What you can do is reduce your usage by eliminating electrical waste. I’m talking about more than just turning off lights. There are plenty of appliances that waste electricity (a/c units, pool pumps, refrigerators, etc.) and getting rid of that waste can really put a dent into your bill.
When you look at a particularly high electric bill, sometimes you may wonder where exactly all the electricity is going. Most people have quite a selection of electrical appliances and devices in their home and so it can be hard to just know automatically which ones are consuming the most.
Is it your electronics? Not by a long shot. Devices like phones, tablets and computers don't take up all that much electricity and all of these combined make up less than 5% of your bill. Most are designed to be energy efficient anyways and tend to be the most modern of all of your appliances.
Are your kitchen appliances taking up the largest portion of your bill? Well, not really. They do consume a good amount of power, about 13%, but still don't come close to being the biggest source of electrical expenditure. Of course, this figure may be more if you are using a lot of old and inefficient appliances.
Is the lion's share of electricity going to your lighting? Wrong again. Lighting typically makes up about 12% of your overall electric bill. Of course this will vary from home to home depending on how many lights you have and use all at once. You can reduce this amount though, by switching to LED bulbs and using dimmer switches where possible.
Ok, so where is the majority of your electricity going? To cooling/heating and water heating. These make up about 60% of your bill. To give a personal example, I had a leaky faucet that was only leaking hot water. Though only a slight drip, it was enough to DOUBLE my apartment's electric bill. Same goes for heating and cooling. Setting your a/c up by just a couple of degrees can really make a big difference in your total monthly bill.
So now that you know where the energy is going, you know what area to "attack" to really get some results if you're trying to lower your high electric bill.
Electricity bills have gotten higher than ever, but that doesn’t mean that one needs to be paying a high bill. There’s loads of ways that energy costs can be kept down, many of which are inexpensive, a few of which are free, and one of which will actually pay for itself and then some.
Here’s some inexpensive methods to save on electric bill costs:
Buy a programmable thermostat for your A/C so that you can set it to automatically turn off at certain times so you don’t run the risk of leaving it on all day by accident.
Install dimmer switches so that you can use only the exact amount of light you need (not to mention be able to have romantic lighting).
When buying a new appliance, spend a little more and get one that is Energy Star certified. It will use much less energy than the standard fare.
Switch to LED light bulbs instead of using incandescent ones. They use about 20% of the energy.
The free methods are as follows:
Unplugging appliances after use may sound a bit tedious, but there’s no cheaper way to get rid of “phantom charge”, which is the electricity used by appliances even when they are off.
The most obvious way of saving energy is to just remember to turn things off after use.
Computers and other smart devices can be set to automatically turn off (or at least to a low-power mode) after some time of inactivity.
Closing A/C vents in unused rooms and spaces helps save on cooling costs.
Setting your A/C a couple of degrees higher may not make a bit difference in comfort, but can really help to reduce your monthly bill.
Now for the one that can give you a serious return:
Install an electric saver device in your home. It will work to recycle and reuse the electricity that gets wasted by many of your household appliances (the A/C included) to boost your home’s overall efficiency. It can save you 15% or more on your energy bill and literally pays for itself in a matter of months. After that, it’s all money in the bank. It literally is one of the most effective ways to save on electric bill costs.
Article originally posted at http://venturebeat.com/2012/04/03/facebook-social-energy/
Facebook has joined forces with energy efficiency startup Opower and the National Resources Defense Council to release a social energy application that encourages people to track, and ultimately reduce, energy use in the home.
The simple application invites Facebook members to log in and automatically track monthly energy use by connecting the app to their utility account. The friendly, non-threatening conservation-themed app encourages competition, highlights rankings among friends and groups, provides national benchmarks, and offers energy-saving tips.
“People can connect their utility account directly to the app to track progress and share energy saving accomplishments with friends,” Facebook said in a memo on the news.
The social network estimates that it can reach 20 million households at launch, although not all utility providers (SDG&E, for one) are supported.
Facebook’s app partner, Opower, has been in the business of consumerizing energy use data since 2007. The Arlington, VA-based company has raised upwards of $65 million in venture funding, including a $50 million round from Accel and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
We appreciate the gesture, but we’re not yet sold on the idea of Facebook and gamification tactics making a sizable dent in energy use. We’re open to being proven wrong, of course. What say you, Dear Reader?
"I’m also issuing a new goal for America: Let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years," Obama said. The White House's fact sheet went even further, laying out a proposal to double the energy efficiency of the entire U.S. economy over that time frame.
So how, exactly, would this plan work? One clue is to look at the Alliance to Save Energy's big report (pdf) on how to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030. The report notes that the U.S. economy is far less energy-efficient than many other industrialized nations, including Japan, France and Germany. Boosting efficiency could save money and curtail the carbon emissions that are warming the planet.
But that raises an obvious question: If efficiency is so wonderful, why don't consumers and businesses already do more of it? Why does the government need to step in? The report lists a whole slew of barriers getting in the way of efficiency, from poor information about its benefits to actual structural hurdles (such as the fact that landlords often have little incentive to buy efficient appliances for tenants).
To that end, the report recommends a slew of steps policymakers could take. The Obama administration can do some of this on its own. For instance, the Department of Energy already has the authority to tighten efficiency standards for household appliances. And the White House can ask states to improve their energy productivity as a condition of federal grants — sort of like how "Race to the Top" for education works.
Yet many of the other recommendations would require Congress. For example, the report calls for lawmakers to revamp the tax code to reward efficient technologies and to boost R&D spending. The report envisions governments at all levels spending $9 billion per year. Given that Congress is deadlocked right now, that might be tough.
In theory, doubling the energy productivity of the U.S. economy by 2030 would be a massive shift. The Rhodium Group estimates that doing so could cut U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions by one-third — getting the country a major step of the way toward its climate goals. Oil imports would dwindle to 7 percent. Energy use and economic growth would no longer move in lockstep:
Of course, that's the optimistic view. Some economists are more skeptical that there's a massive free lunch just sitting around. In a recent NBER paper, Hunt Allcott and Michael Greenstone tried to calculate the size of the "energy efficiency gap" — the amount of waste in the economy that would be economically efficient for the government to tackle. Their estimates found that the gap might be smaller than many experts think.
There's also a question about whether more efficiency would really cut greenhouse-gas emissions 33 percent. After all, if we can heat our homes and power our appliances more cheaply, won't we just use more energy? This is known as the "rebound effect" and it's a subject to much debate. (See David Roberts for a terrific primer.) The Rhodium Group report assumes the rebound effect is small — about 5 to 10 percent. If the effect is bigger, the climate benefits will be smaller.
That said, energy efficiency is an aspect of energy policy that often gets ignored. And if policymakers are trying to find novel ways to tackle climate change, this is one area to explore further.