As energy costs continue to rise, you may be among the millions of Americans who are looking for ways to save electricity around the house. Here are some electricity saving tips that can save you small amounts of money in themselves, but can add up to significant savings when taken altogether.
1. Smart Cooking
Let's start with preparing your meals. If you find yourself getting ready to reheat some leftovers from the night before, consider using your microwave. It will save you as much as 40% in electricity cost and will take considerably less time than heating your leftovers on top of the stove.
If you're only preparing meals for one or two people, use the smaller burners on your stovetop. They use less energy than the big burners, and generally won't take any longer to prepare your meals. If you want to save even more, get a meal started in your crock pot before you head off to work. That way, it will be ready to eat when you get home, and you will have saved a considerable amount of electricity in the process.
2. Smart Climate Control
Setting your thermostat a little lower in the winter and a little higher in the summer can also save significant sums of money. This is especially true if you've going to be out of the house for any length of time during the day. Even a few degrees up or down can save more than $100 a year on heating and cooling costs, according to Alliance to Save Energy calculations.
3. Smart Computer and Cell Phone Use
You don't always have to save huge amounts of energy to see a drop in your electric bill. For instance, just leaving your computer monitor on all the time can cost you nearly $18 a month (approximately 60 cents a day). If you leave your cell phone and battery charger plugged in, you'll pay $1.50 a month for the privilege. That might not seem like much, but small things like that represent a giant energy drain on the country when combined, to the tune of more than $8 billion a year, according to the Alliance to Save Energy.
4. Smart Clothes Washing
Another place to realize significant savings is your washing machine. It used to be that laundry needed to be washed in hot or warm water to kill germs, but with the advances in detergents, most clothes get just as clean and are just as germ-free when washed in cold water. Not heating large quantities of hot water for washing clothes can save you a considerable amount of money each month.
All in all, it won't take a huge effort or sacrifice to save yourself significant amounts of money on your electric bills every month. Look at your lifestyle and the things you use around the house every day. Do they really need to be on all the time? Can you do the various things you do on a daily basis in a different way that will use less electricity? All it takes is a commitment to begin paying attention to the many small energy-draining details that can make a noticeable difference in your overall energy usage.
For more information about the environment and enery savings, go to http://environmentpsychology.com
Jeanette Fisher is the author of real estate and interior design books and the free Residential Design Guide.
Copyright © 2006 Jeanette J. Fisher