Power Savers Corner
Professional home energy audits are more likely to find more ways to reduce energy consumption in your home, but there are several things you can do by yourself to reduce consumption. Performing a do-it-yourself energy audit will help you determine what needs to be done and at what cost. Fortunately, most do-it-yourself fixes are very inexpensive and don’t take much of your time. Before you start your audit, have a pencil and pad of paper on hand so you can write down the list of things that need to be repaired, replaced, or sealed. You’ll find that the list will… Read more.
In this article, we’ll tell you about professional home energy audits, which can identify even more ways to reduce your electricity consumption. Also referred to as professional energy assessments, home energy audits evaluate your home’s energy usage while identifying ways to improve energy consumption in much greater detail that DIY home audits. An energy auditor will do several things, including reviewing your utility bills, conducting a room-to-room walk through, and may conduct a blower door test or a thermographic scan. Making improvements suggested by an energy audit can save you 5% to 30% on your energy bills. How to Find… Read more.
Storm season is approaching, and now is a good time to prepare your home for lengthy power outages and other associated problems. While no one can quite prepare for the devastation that Sandy and other major storms have caused recently, here are ten ways that you can lessen frustration and make the experience more positive. Have your utility’s phone number accessible. The number may be in your cell phone, but we recommend writing it down and putting it on your refrigerator in case you’re not able to charge your cell phone. If you have a land-line, purchase a phone with… Read more.
Economist at the Haas School of Business of the University of California, Berkely recently examined the differences in the use of energy efficient appliances among rented and owner-occupied dwellings. The findings conclude that renters are paying significantly more for electricity than their owner-occupied counterparts. Energy efficient appliances reduce energy cost by reducing electricity consumption. Energy Star appliances, including dishwashers and window air-conditioners, can reduce electricity consumption by 10 to 30%. These appliances have gained a great deal of traction over the past decade as they have become affordable for the average household. Renters, however, often lose out. Using national statistics,… Read more.
According to Ameren, a St. Louis-based electric and gas utility corporation, 75% of the electricity used to power your electronics is consumed when these electronics are turned off but still plugged in. Keeping your cell phone on the charger for 24 hours will only cost you about 1 cent per day, but the larger electronics can certainly make a difference. A 46-inch LCD TV, for example, will cost you $11 per month (about $143 a year) if left off but still plugged in. Considering that most households have multiple TVs, at least one computer, and a myriad of other electronics,… Read more.
According to recent numbers, home electronics take up 15 percent of average household’s electric bill, more than double the percentage (7 percent) ten years ago. Three-quarters of that 15 percent is used by devices that are plugged in but not in use. Based on an average annual bill of $2,350 for the average family, the numbers come down to this: Electricity vampires in the form of not-in-use-but-still-plugged-in electronic devices suck a little over $20 per month out of the wallets of the average U.S. homeowner by way of their electric bills. The key word in that statement is “average.” Depending… Read more.
There may not be a bigger electricity hog in your house than the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system. Changing how and how much you consume conditioned air can have a major impact on your electric bill. Here are some suggestions for way to reduce your electric bill by way of your HVAC unit: Keep your thermostat on the “auto” setting for best economy and humidity control. Adjust temperature settings as needed through the year. Open all the system vents. HVAC units are designed to condition air throughout the entire system. Your central air unit is designed to cool a home when… Read more.
Here are some numbers you might find interesting, if not habit-changing: An electric oven at 350 degrees will use around 2 kilowatt hours in an hour of use. A microwave oven on high running for a comparable cooking time, which is 15 minutes, uses 0.36 kilowatt hour. A slow cooker at 200 degrees running for seven hours draws 0.70 kilowatt hour. If we apply an electric cost of 12 cents per kilowatt hour (around the national average), the big oven costs 24 cents, the microwave costs a little more than four cents (17 percent of the big oven), and the… Read more.
The only way you haven’t heard about compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs is if you live off the grid way out in the wilderness. CFL bulbs are often the first item on any “how to save on your electric bill” list, and for good reason. If CFLs are installed throughout the house, you can cut electricity use by 7 percent, which add up to significant savings on the electric bill over time. CFL bulbs also generate less heat than their incandescent cousins and can prevent greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere–up to two thousand times their weight in greenhouse gases!… Read more.
You have taken the time to compare electricity rates. You have switched your electricity service provider and enrolled in a plan that will result in savings on your electricity bills right off the bat. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are installed in every fixture in the house, and you turn your electronics off when not in use to prevent electricity waste. All your large appliances are Energy Star rated and you’ve weather stripped all doors and windows. In other words, you have done pretty much everything you can to lower electric bills, right? Wrong. Yes, these are all strategies that will… Read more.
POWER SAVERS CORNER
Because the best way to save money on energy costs while also saving the environment is to use LESS power.