What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the phrase “stop wasting energy and start saving on your utility bills”? We’re willing to bet it is some form of “turn off the lights when you leave a room.” Turning off the lights when you leave a room is such a common response to the want to save energy that it has become cliché. That doesn’t mean, however, that it isn’t true. It works that way for a lot of the clichés that surround energy savings. Here are some more.
So many people take for granted that they have to use a certain power provider. The reality is that there is often a choice in the matter. People in Texas, for example, can use www.shopelectricityratestexas.com to find the best rates for where they live. People in Portland have a choice between PGE and Pacific Power. Are you absolutely sure that you are getting the best rate available and not just buying into a monopoly? Do the research to make sure and then go with the company that offers you the best prices.
Keep It On
If you want to save money on your power bills, keep your heat and/or AC on all the time and set to a specific degree. Turning your heating and cooling systems on and off completely force them to work harder to help maintain the temperature of your home which requires more energy. Setting the temperature and leaving them on reduces the work they do. It’s easier to heat a room up by two degrees than it is to heat it up by twenty degrees.
Use Power Strips
When you plug machines into outlets independently they can draw energy even when they are not on. This is called standby power and it is a very real thing. Plugging things into power strips that you can easily reach makes it easier to ensure that the machines you aren’t using are actually turned off—you can even go one step further and unplug the strip altogether to reduce your power bills by as much as $20 a month.
By now the use of compact fluorescent bulbs has become almost cliché. “They use less energy!” is true. At the same time, incandescent bulbs give off heat which can help warm a room during the colder months and reduce your heating costs (though really it’s just a transfer from one energy type to another). In addition to drawing less power to give off the same amount of light (once the bulb has warmed up), CFL bulbs last longer than incandescent. A CFL bulb will last for years while an incandescent bulb will only last for months—if you’re lucky.
Pro Tip: LED lights, though the most expensive initially, use even less energy and will last years longer than a CFL.
These are just four of the biggest energy savings clichés out there. In this case, though, being a cliché does not mean that it is not also still true. So though you might feel like these hints are outdated that doesn’t mean they won’t still help you save lots of money.
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