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11/11/2005 Archived Entry: "The Dreaded Electricity Bill...how to save"
The Dreaded Electricity Bill, by Catherine Pulsifer
I dreaded our January hydro bill. I still remember the shock last January when I opened the bill, and it was over $300.00 This past year, we have implemented ways to cut our electricity consumption. This years bill arrived, and I opened it slowly. It was only $185.00 Quite a difference from last year. We had cut our consumption from 3881 kw to 1904 kw for the same time period last year. [Please click 'more' to continue.]
We never really paid much attention to our electric bills previously because we were too busy going to work. And, we had a steady paycheck coming in so there was always the money to pay the bills. But, now we have simplified our life. We run a small craft business and our income is limited. So, a $300.00 electricity bill was not welcomed, and it certainly captured our attention!
Here are some of the tips that we implemented which allowed us to reduced our electricity bill:
- our biggest expense is our electric heat. So at night we turned down our heat by 10 degrees. We put an extra blanket on our bad. Yes, it was cold when we got up in the morning, but it only takes a few minutes to warm up the house.
- We also use our wood stove to take the chill off in the morning and in the evening. (we practice safe burning in our stove and have the chimney cleaned twice a year)
- We switched our incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs.
- We installed motion lights outside. Rather than having our outside light on all night, the light now only comes on if there is motion around it.
- Rather than turning the oven on to bake just one thing, we bake more than one thing (a roast, our bread and a cake) Once done baking, we leave the oven door open to allow any heat to circulate in the house.
- We buy bigger roasts. Once cooked, we slice the roast and freeze dinner size portions. We reheat the portions in the microwave rather than in the oven. Microwaves take less energy to run than an oven. This not only saves us electricity it also saves us time!
- We consciously turn off the lights when we leave a room. Our parents have been saying this for years, and finally we now do it!
- We use our ceiling fans to help circulate the heat in the winter and in the summer to cool down the house
- We reset our dishwasher to eliminate the dry cycle. The dishes now drip dry.
- We wash all of our dark clothes in cold water
- At night, we close our curtains, allowing the curtains to insulate against any cold air from the window. And during the day, we open all our curtains to allow the heat of the sun, however limited, to heat the rooms.
- While we still use our clothes dryer in Jan, we set it to dry for only 20 - 30 minutes. The clothes dry fine. Previously the setting on our dryer was for one hour! In the summer time we use our clothes line!
- We open and shut the fridge - sounds stupid, but standing at the fridge trying to decide what to get, uses electricity! The cold air from the fridge escapes making the fridge work harder and making our electric bill higher!
- We fixed the one leaky tap in our bathroom, so no longer does our hot water drip away causing our electric water heater to run more often.
- We also do not take long showers, we get in, we wash, we get out.
- We no longer let our hot water run. We fill up the sink rather than just run the hot water.
- Even a small thing like unplugging our coffee machine when we are done saves us money as there is a clock on our coffee machine and the clock takes electricity to run. We have a clock on our microwave and on our stove, so we do not need another clock in our kitchen!
- When we are not using our computer, we turn it off, including the monitor!
All of these things may seem small, but the savings do add up! And, in addition, we are helping the environment by reducing our electricity consumption!
About the Author:
Catherine Pulsifer is one of the authors of A Simple Life - A journey to a simple life, and, a frugal lifestyle. http://www.stresslesscountry.com