Home Maintenance, Saving Money

How I Save Money On Electricity

Over the past few months, I’ve been working hard to save money on our monthly power bill.  So far, here’s what I’ve done –

I replaced most of the incandescent light bulbs in our house with compact fluorescent light bulbs.  I found a big box of compact fluorescent bulbs on sale at our local hardware store and quickly purchased them.  According to the Energy Star website, compact fluorescent bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.  They also last longer.  I even found some that fit into our recessed lighting, with the curlicue bulb housed inside a standard looking enclosure.  Pretty cool.

I had a professional air conditioner installer inspect and clean our HVAC system.  I had an additional return installed, the unit runs more efficiently, and the house cools and heats much more quickly.

I inspected and made necessary repairs to the caulking around our windows and doors.  I found two or thee places around our house where the original caulking had stripped away.  I repaired those areas.

I added rain gutters to the back of the house and installed a do-it-yourself rain barrel.  I am actually in the process of making another barrel.  A portion of our water, that which waters the yard, comes from an electricity-using pump.  By catching the rain water, I’m able to use it to water the flower beds – thus conserving water and electricity!

I encouraged my kids to turn off the lights when they leave a room.  I have three little kids and they never stay in one room for more than, oh, two minutes.  It’s hard for them to remember to flip the switch, each and every time.  Still, they’re learning, and I’m always mindful to give them a high-five when they do remember.

I installed power-strips for all of our televisions.  We have multiple televisions, and each television is attached to a satellite box, a DVD player, and one is attached to a video game system.  Instead of leaving them on all night draining power, I can hit one switch – and turn of fthe television and anything attached to it.  We do leave the satellite box in the den powered-on, because it’s such a pain to reboot the whole system, each and every day.

I purchased an Energy Star qualified washing machine.  I also bought a new dryer, but there’s no such thing as an Energy Star qualified dryer.  Seriously.  I checked.  By the way, when you are looking to save money while washing clothes, don’t forget to check the cap on your laundry detergent!  You might be over-dosing your machine.

Like I said in the previous post, in 2011, I plan to be more conscious about the amount of time I run the air conditioner.   I’d love to reduce usage by more than 20%.  In fact, I’ll make it one of my goals.

8 thoughts on “How I Save Money On Electricity

  1. I’m still not convinced that CFLs make any appreciable difference in energy use. A year ago my wife and I switched entirely to CFLs. Was unable to see any real difference in our electricity bill .

    They do however seem to last longer.

  2. I would also be interested to see if you notice a difference in your bill. I used to always leave my PC on all the time. I kept reading how it used so much power. The next month I made sure all PCs were off when not in use. There was no difference in my bill. I suppose a lot of little things add up but still.

  3. This isn’t a note about electricity, but since you mentioned the laundry detergent, I want to add a note about dishwasher detergent. I only buy name brand (I really can tell that it works better than the no-name) and I pour it into a lidded container and keep a measuring spoon (tablespoon) inside. I put one LEVEL tablespoon in the closed section and one LEVEL tablespoon in the open section. My dishes look fantastic and the detergent seems to last forever. Guessing at how much doesn’t work–you must use a measuring spoon so you don’t use too much. And if you pour it out, more comes out than you need–thus the container.

  4. We have replaced light bulbs with CFL’s, done the power strip deal with our TV’s, and allowed our home to be warmer in the summer and colder in the winter for several years now. Our electric usage, as compared to other customers of our utility, is always lower than average. It is very incremental as Stephen has suggested but it works! Unfortunately, utility rates are only going to go up…

  5. Thanks for sharing some of these tips. Some months my electricity bill runs really high. This is sure to help whether i follow through with all of the above tips or even a few that dramatically affect our household.

  6. I am a little more parsimonious than the average bear. What I do to save electricity is to actually charge things at work. I use their outlet to charge my computer and cell phone, and sometimes even my rechargeable batteries for later. Even these little things help.

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