The News Today

Get the news now.

Easy Energy Conservation Tips

Turn off and Un-plug. Really, it works.

I read a story about a woman who cut her energy bill by more than 75% just by unplugging appliances and other energy using items in her home when they were not in use. After taking an inventory of items that could be turned off and/or unplugged, I started doing it too. The idea came to the woman when she read any article on: keuze Helper. She is Dutch.

I started by grouping items that could be turned off and plugged them into power strips. In my media room, I used one power strip for the TV, the DVD, the Receiver which controls our surround sound, and my kids' game system. When we are not in there using those items, the power cord is switched off. I have to leave the satellite system turned on, so it's plugged directly into the wall.

In my home office, I unplug the printer and it's wireless router and leave it unplugged until I am ready to use it, which turns out, isn't very often. My laptop computer and all my "periphials", (my extra monitor and the speakers), are plugged into a power strip that is only turned on when I am using it. Same goes for my office TV and DVD player, unplugged when not in use. Things I have to leave on, like the internet router and wireless system router are plugged into their own power strip.

In our bedrooms, the TV's and DVD players are also plugged into power cords that are turned off during the day. By turned off I mean the power cord itself is turned off. If it is plugged into a plug that is easily reachable, then it is also unplugged.

In the kitchen, I unplug the toaster and the coffee pot when they are not being used. Yes, the coffee pot has a clock, but since it is only on for about 20 minutes each morning, it doesn't bother me that the time is not correct.

All of our cell phones, iPods and personal electronics are plugged into power strips during the night and during the day, the power strips are turned off and unplugged.

I have a hand held vacuum that sits, plugged in, waiting to be used. I now leave it unplugged as it will hold a charge for quite some time. I use it as necessary and when it starts running low I will plug it in to charge for about a half a day.

I've changed about 2/3rds of all our light bulbs to CFL's, inside and outside. No outside lights are left on overnight, no matter how dark it is!

I am extra careful to check for lights being left on during the day, especially the kids rooms and closets.

Taking all these steps lowered our electricity bill by 65% from the previous "plugged in" month. And it lowered it 80% from the previous year. The annual difference came from the changes made to our thermostat. You see, last year we were "newbie's" to the area and kept our thermostat settings the same as where we had them when we lived someplace else. As we have acclimated to this different climate, we've been able to adjust the thermostat.

What really surprised, and kind of upset me, was that no matter how much I reduce my electrical needs, my bill will always include a $12.00 delivery charge and $35.00 in fees!