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How to Save Money on Electricity Part II

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LOHAS Conference – Relaxation

Saving money on electricity is something that everyone should do, not only for their own pocketbooks, but also for environmental reasons. If you and everyone around you uses less electricity then your local supplier will use less fuel, make less pollution, and will be less likely to require additional power plants to be built.

My previous article looked at ways of reducing the amount of wasted electricity we consume, while this article will focus on increasing efficiency. In addition to reducing power consumption be turning off things we aren’t using, we can save a lot of money by using less electricity to do the same things we do today. Here are some examples of how you can increase electrical efficiency at home:

Replace burned out light bulbs with power-saving halogen or compact fluorescent lights. These light bulbs save around 80% compared to incandescent bulbs, which is like replacing 5 bulbs with just one. In addition, many of the changes made to these bulbs over the past couple of years make them less objectionable. For instance, they warm up more quickly, flicker less, and are usually safe to use with dimmer switches. Lastly, they put out less heat than their predecessors, making them safer as well. Unless you have a large wad of cash at hand, it does not make a lot of sense to replace all your bulbs at once, but you should definitely replace all burned out bulbs with the new power-saving variety.
Dimmer switches are a great opportunity to save money, especially in rooms or hallways that only sometimes require full illumination. For other times when you only need a little light, you can turn down the power and still be able to see.
Old appliances are often huge wasters of energy. Refrigerators, freezers, ovens, washing machines, dryers, microwaves, water heaters, dishwashers — all of these have become more efficient in recent years, so if you have any old ones you might be able to save money by replacing them. You should be able to calculate the annual savings by looking at the current and new machines’ power consumption per hour, then multiplying by the number of hours used, and then multiplying by the price of power consumption. If the annual savings is more than the interest payments on the cost of the appliance, then it makes sense to buy it, even on credit. In addition, a lot of utility companies will give you credit on your power bill when you replace old equipment.

There are many other devices that can be replaced with more efficient ones, but these are the main ones as they are the ones we use nearly every day. The beauty of saving money by increasing efficiency is that we really don’t have to change our lifestyle to accomplish it, and everybody wins.

For more ideas on saving money on electricity, check out my blog, as well as my other articles in this category.

Erik Christensen