Common Sense Ways to Save on Electricity

save on electricity Electric costs can put a damper on any household’s budget.   Current energy costs aren’t helping in the difficulties of the recession, which makes the financial end of saving energy even more pressing.   Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways to cut down the electric bill, which the following will just begin to cover.

Start Simple: Lighting

Lighting is one of the easiest ways to undermine the electric bill.   By switching a light bulb or replacing a fixture, you can realize immediate savings.

Remember this term: compact fluorescent light bulbs.   Well, to be precise, you only need to know the acronym CFLs❠when you take one of the simplest steps to improving the lighting in your home.   These light bulbs are high-quality and high-efficient alternatives to standard (incandescent) bulbs.

CFLs will last 6 to 12 times longer than your average light bulbs.   Additionally, and according to Energy Savers (from the U.S. Department of Energy), they will save you at least $30 over the lifetime of each bulb.   They have a 10-year lifespan, approximately.

LED’s (light emitting diodes) are even more energy-efficient: they last 25 times as long as ordinary light bulbs and use less energy than CFLs.

What does this mean?  Certainly you can begin to integrate CFLs in your home, but that isn’t all.   You could consider changing light fixtures â“ inside and outside of your home â“ that use CFL and LED light sources.   They can have a profound effect on the electric bill.   Combine them with timers, dimmers, and motion-activated controls and you will be on your way to greater savings!

Unplug It!

According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, standby power for appliances that aren’t in use accounts for 5% to 10% of residential electricity use.   What do you have plugged into your outlets at this very moment?

A perfect example of this is found in computers.   Many desktops use standby power, and you are probably aware of that green (well, maybe it’s green) light on your laptop’s adaptor that is on regardless of whether it’s charging your device.   Also applicable to many other electronics and appliances, you are paying for the electricity.

While turning these items off is a good start, you can consider smart power strips.   These outlets will automate the process for you, so that you aren’t paying for the DVD player that is using standby power.   After all, you surely don’t want to unplug everything by hand that uses this â“ that would take quite some time in many households.

The Golden Rule

Quick: what should you look for when you buy appliances, electronics, and a number of other items?

If you aren’t aware of the Energy Star label, you should be.   These confirmed products are labeled when they are energy efficient, which means that you’ll save over the long term.   For instance, some office equipment â“ like desktops and notebooks â“ can offer at much as 90% savings in relationship to energy consumption.   Commonly, they use half the energy of standard equipment, which can translate to big things for your electric bill. It is true that replacing all your old appliances with new ones is very expensive but if you start a renewal program bit by bit in some years’ time you will eventually have modern, energy saving equipment.

The U.S. Department of Energy has compiled a booklet, with advice on saving energy. In addition, the DOE offers support for low-income persons to make green home improvements through weatherization, which can reduce your electric bill.

Have you weatherized your home? In what way do you try to save money on your electricity bill? Share them with us!

(This has been a guest post by Lisa at Home Insurance Comparison, an Australian personal finance blog that provides money-saving health insurance options and ways to optimize your spending habits.)