Oct 21, 2015

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5 Quick Tips To Reduce Electricity Consumption - And Save You Some Money Too

Wind Turbines In the Sunset
Picture: Creative Commons

How do you feel about saving money and become more Eco-Friendly at the same time?

By now I'm sure you've all seen hundreds of headlines about climate changes, increasing sea levels,
Carbon Dioxide (CO2 ) emissions, and so on.

These headlines might leave some of you worried, some of you might not believe what the scientists are saying, and some of you might think along the lines of, "There's nothing I can do about it, this is too big for me to have the slightest impact."

But there is actually a lot you can do to help make our planet a healthier and better place to live, and most of the things you can do don't require a lot of effort either.

I'll start by looking at Electricity Consumption. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), only about 11% of world marketed energy consumption is from renewable energy sources.

Meaning that by reducing the amount of electricity you use, you can make a big difference - both to your wallet and to the planet

In fact, if you follow these 5 simple steps, you can make your home more green and save some money at the same time. You probably won't even notice the changes too much, but if a lot of people implement them into their daily lives, it can make a huge impact.

Let's get to it!

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, 
but no one thinks of changing himself.”
―Leo Tolstoy

1. Reduce The Indoor Temperature By 2 to 4 of Degrees (1 to 2 degrees Celsius)

...if you use electric heating. And vice versa if you live in a warm climate where you need to use cooling.

Thirteen percent of American electricity consumption is used for space cooling and 9% for space heating.

Picture via https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ColorTouch_touch_screen_thermostat.jpg?uselang=nbIf you reduce your indoor temperature by 4 degrees, your electricity consumption for heating will be reduced by 10%.

Also, turning down (up, if you use an AC) the temperature in rooms you aren't using and when you are not home, should help reduce your electrical consumption.

And by now there are many really neat smart thermostats on the market that can help you keep track of your indoor temperature.

2. Change To Eco-Friendly Bulbs When You Have To Buy New Ones

The average American household spends 11% of their electricity bill on lighting.

And remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room for more than 10 minutes.

Though they might be pricey, some of the new eco-friendly bulbs will last up to 25 years, plus you'll see savings on your electricity bill.

Just remember to hand the bulbs in for proper recycling, as they do contain heavy metals.

3. Pull The Plug

A staggering 36% of the average electrical bill consists of TVs, computers, electric devices, and smaller heating elements. 

While all these gizmos are probably frequently used, they are often left on or in a stand-by mode when idle.

If you leave your charges plugged in or your TV on stand-by, they will continue to draw electricity. And these little drops add up.

So make a habit out of unplugging chargers, turning off your computers and TV, and even unplugging your Wi-Fi when you don't need it.

Judging by the numbers, this tip should save you a lot of money on your electrical bill.

4. Hang Dry Your Clothes

Cloth line - Hang Drying Clothes - Tips
It surprises me that not more people hang dry their laundry

While it is a bit more time consuming than just stuffing all your clothes in the dryer, hang drying your laundry will not only help you reduce your electrical bill, but it will also make your clothes look nicer and last longer.

Plus, if you live in a place where you can put up an outdoor cloth line, your clothes will come back smelling nice and fresh. 

Though I do prefer putting towels in the dryer as they can get very stiff.

And always remember to run full loads when you do your laundry.

5. Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances

European Energy Lable
When you buy new appliances, you should go for the energy-efficient options. Did you know that the refrigerator is the single biggest power consumer in the average household?

Look for the ENERGY STAR® certified products if you live in the US and the European Union Energy Label if you live in Europe. 

These energy-efficient appliances use 10 to 15 % less energy than standard models, and can save you a lot of money long term.

Finally, some numbers to motivate you

Did you know that in 2013, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,908 kilowatt hours (kWh).

The highest average consumption was found in Louisiana (15,270 kWh) and Hawaii had the lowest (6,176 kWh).

That means that the average electricity bill in Louisiana is more than double the Hawaiian average!
And in total the American households consumed 3.886 trillion kWh.

Beautiful Snow Covered Landscape
Picture: Creative Commons.
Maybe those numbers won't tell you a whole lot, but with an average electricity price of about 12 cents per kWh, the average U.S. household spend about $1300 on electricity alone each year.

Both the American and Canadian electricity consumption far outrun other Western countries such as France (6,343 kWh), Australia (7227 kWh) and the UK (4,648 kWh).
And the world average was as low as 3,471 kWh.

The conclusion is that the average household should be able to save quite a bit of energy by putting in just a very small effort. And it feels great to be more eco-friendly while saving some money at the same time.

What are your favorite energy saving tips?

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