21 small changes can add up to big savings on your bills
The best way to start saving on your electricity costs is to get smart with how you use electricity. Make these 21 no-cost changes in your home and you could save $500 or more a year, depending on a number of factors including the size of your home.
Now’s the time to also join Team Power Smart and start a Reduction Challenge. If you can deliver on most of the 21 changes below, you could reduce your electricity use by 10% over the year and earn a $50 reward.
1. Turn off unnecessary lights
Two 100-watt incandescent bulbs switched off an extra two hours per day could save you $15 over a year. Better yet, switch to LED.
2. Use natural light
A single south-facing window can illuminate 20 to 100 times its area. Turning off one 60-watt bulb for four hours a day is a $9 saving over a year.
3. Use task lighting
Turn off ceiling lights and use table lamps, track lighting and under-counter lights in work and hobby areas as well as in kitchens.
4. Take shorter showers
Hot water is expensive. If two people in your home cut their shower time by a minute each, you could save $30 over a year.
5. Turn water off when shaving, washing hands, brushing teeth
Reduce your hot water usage by 5% to save about $19.
6. Fix that leaky faucet
Fixing a hot water leak in your faucet can save up to $9 per year in energy costs. Learn how to fix that leak.
7. Unplug unused electronics
Standby power can account for 10% of an average household’s annual electricity use. Unplug unused electronics and save $50 a year.
8. Ditch the desktop computer
If you’re still using that old desktop, recycle it and switch to your laptop. If you use your laptop two hours per day, you’ll save $4 over a year.
9. Not home? Turn off the air conditioner
Turn off that old window unit air conditioner for five hours a day while you’re away. Do that for 60 days over a summer and you’ll save $16.
10. Recycle or donate that old TV
Recycle or donate your old T.V.. Even if you’re just using it an hour a day, that 42-inch LCD is costing you six bucks a year.
11. Manage your thermostat
If you have electric heat, lower your thermostat by two degrees to save 5% on your heating bill. Lowering it five degrees could save 10%.
12. Be strategic with window coverings
Promote airflow through your home and block the afternoon sun. You could save you up to $10 (2 fans) or $45 (1 window unit AC) during the summer.
13. Reduce heat in the kitchen
Avoid using the oven in summer – try salads, smoothies or barbecue. You’ll reduce the heat in your home and save on your home cooling costs.
14. Run full loads
Cut one load of wash per week, even if you’re already using cold water only, and you could save $18 a year on your laundry costs.
15. Wash laundry in cold
By switching from hot to cold water for an average of three loads per week, you could save up to $22 per year on your energy bill.
16. Hang dry your laundry
If you do eight loads of laundry a week and use your clothesline for 50% of those clothes, you could save $65 a year.
17. Toss a towel in the dryer
A dry towel added to your dryer load can significantly reduce drying times. If you’re doing seven loads a week this could save you $27 a year.
18. Be efficient with refrigeration
Keep your fridge and freezer at their ideal temperature. For your fridge this is between 2°C and 3°C and your freezer should be at -18°C.
19. Unplug your second fridge
Unplug that second fridge and save up to $55 a year. Freeze plastic jugs of water and use them in a cooler when you need them.
20. Skip the heat-dry setting for the dishwasher
That heat-dry setting is expensive. De-select it and, based on one load of dishes a day, save up to $27 for the year.
21. Use the microwave, crock pot or toaster oven
A microwave takes 15 minutes to do the same job as 1 hour in an oven. Use a microwave instead of your oven 4 times a week and save $13/year.