So in just 180.2 hours of use, I’ve made up for the cost of a bulb. Anything after that is pure savings compared to if I still had an incandescent bulb in its place. Sure, a hardly-used guest room might see limited use over its lifetime, so I still think your point has merit, but CFLs really should be considered for the majority of lightbulbs in the home.
Your electric water heater draws more electricity than almost anything else in your house. Take advantage of most electric companies' off-peak reduced rates by putting your electric heater on a timer that turns off at 6:00 a.m., for example, and clicks back on at 6:00 p.m. Most heaters are big enough and have enough insulation to maintain adequate hot water throughout the day without being switched on. But for those occasions when you want to take a leisurely midday bath, just press a button and it instantly turns the water heater back on.
According to LG Electronics, who makes washers and driers (among other things), "heating the water in the wash drum accounts for about 90% of the energy your machine uses." While most of us know that washing our clothing on the cold water setting will reduce energy costs, the amount was higher than I expected. I've always washed my clothing on cold out of pure laziness—because cold water won't cause colors to run quite so easily and that means you don't have to separate lights and darks. On top of saving energy, using a cold wash reduces the amount of work you have to do.
"Vampire" electronics, like computers and cell phone chargers, continue to draw power even when turned off, so unplug them. Many modern electronics operate in "sleep" mode when turned off; this is a low power setting that allows the device to turn on and be used quickly. Unplugging these devices eliminates this unneeded power drain. You may want to plug such devices into a single power strip, which can then be turned off or unplugged, making disconnecting multiple electronics easier. Some power strips also continue to draw power when turned off, but it's still easier to pull out the single plug of the power strip rather than each individual device.
I turn off my heat/air when I leave the house (as long as it isn’t below freezing) and turn it back on when I get home. I usually have the air on 72 and use the ceiling fans when it is over 90 and humid outside. My house is usually 10 degrees cooler due to all the trees (I have several 100+ year old trees outside and about 100 in the backyard) around the house. All my neighbors taught me since they have done this for years even when bills weren’t as high as now. Don’t forget to reduce, reuse and recycle. We need to strive for 95% recycling like Europe.
To keep prices competitive, Washington diversifies its energy portfolio. The greatest contributor is hydroelectric power, which generates close to 7,700 gigawatts per hour (GWh) annually. Other significant sources of electricity are nuclear (812 GWh), natural gas (290 GWh) and coal (192 GWh). Renewables, which account for 912 GWh, include wind, solar and geothermal. As a result, the state offers electricity at a 35 percent discount from the national average.
$30 a piece? Yikes. Are you buying the super-duper high allergen blocking filters? I’ve heard from a friend in the HVAC business that cheap air filters are just as good as more expensive filters, and that the expensive filters sometimes are too restrictive for your system. They seem to work fine for me, butm y family also doesn’t have serious allergies.
Energy discounts are important, but that’s not to suggest that the energy provider with the biggest headline discount offer will always work out to be the cheapest, because this is quite often not the case at all. Red Energy typically offers modest discounts, but with lower base rates, is often one of the most competitive overall. This is helped by the fact that its discount applies to your entire bill, not just usage charges. This is another point to consider when comparing offers.
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You can also use the unit's I-Feel remote control for straightforward AC operation. This remote is quite nifty in and of itself, as it boasts an I-Feel temperature sensor. The sensor keeps tabs on the temperature in its vicinity, and sends this information back to your AC unit (which ostensibly, is a bit further away), automatically telling it to either crank it up a notch or perhaps turn it down. I found this feature to be particularly useful, as the Hi-Smart effectively intuitively adjusted itself without my having to interfere — again, allowing me live my peak lazy lifestyle.
Fixed-rate, long-term (contract) plans provide stability in electricity rates. If market energy costs suddenly trend upward where you live, you can rest assured that you won’t have to pay more out of pocket. However, if you want to switch to a different, lower-cost plan before the end of the contract term, you’ll likely have to pay a cancellation or early termination fee.
Prices for any single class of electricity customer can vary by time-of-day called TOU or time of use or by the capacity or nature of the supply circuit (e.g., 5 kW, 12 kW, 18 kW, 24 kW are typical in some of the large developed countries); for industrial customers, single-phase vs. 3-phase, etc. Prices are usually highest for commercial and residential consumers because of the additional costs associated with stepping down their distribution voltage. The price of power for industrial customers is relatively the same as the wholesale price of electricity, because they consume more power at higher voltages. Supplying electricity at transmission-level high voltages is more efficient, and therefore less expensive.
Even when you think an appliance or device is turned off, the power may still be on if it is plugged in. This is especially true with equipment that has a transformer (that small black cube on the end of the cord). If your outlets aren't easily accessible, plug small appliances, such as your radio, electric razor, battery charger, etc., into a power strip. Then all you have to do is flick a switch when you aren't using them. Of course, if you are dealing with devices that you program, such as VCRs or radios with clocks, unplugging them may require more work than the savings is worth.
I’m going to go ahead and start with the most obvious — the most effective way to lower your electric bill is very likely by going solar. Sure, you have to pay for those solar panels, but they are cheaper (in the long run) than electricity. The average household that goes solar is likely to save tens of thousands of dollars over the course of their solar panel system’s lifetime.