5 Ways For Pain-Free Electricity Savings

by Katy on May 26, 2008 · 1 comment

Last year I started becoming very interested in lowering our utility usage (OK- bills) as much as possible. The process was surprisingly easy. Nothing that we did required any great investment, see for yourself.

  • We swapped out the incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s) throughout the house. The prices have drastically decreased on CFL’s in the past few years, so don’t think this is the investment that it once was. We were actually able to get many CFL’s for free through the “Energy Trust of Oregon.” Check if your state has a similar program.
  • We put all the electronics on surge protector power strips. Now we can turn the electricity off for the TV/VCR/VCR/Stereo, etc. with the flip of a single switch. Which means that we are not using electricity to power all those greedy little lights and such unless the units are in use. These “vampire” electronics can use a surprising amount of electricity.
  • I trained my kids to turn lights off with regularity. I gave each of my sons a roll of nickels ($2 apiece) and told them I would take away 5 cents each time I came into a room that a light left on by them. This lesson took about 15 cents to take affect.
  • I open up all my curtains first thing every morning. This means that it’s often not even necessary to have on an electric light at all. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it has really made a difference to have the day start out with immediate sunshine. I do make the same lame joke each and every time about my “passive solar electricity system.” Me so funny!
  • I strung a clothesline in the backyard. I put up 2 eye-bolts on the back porch and on the kids’ play structure. One end of the rope is tied directly on the eye-bolts and the other is tied to a cheapo rock climbing clip that hooks to the opposite bolt. So when we want the clothesline down for one of our myriad of formal backyard functions it is simple to unhook the line. I had always thought hang drying my clothes would be a real pain in the tuchus, but I actually really enjoy doing it. I love how everything smells and I actually like the crispness of the clothes. My husband is even getting used to the somewhat rough texture of the towels. I tell him to think of them as big loofas. It’s all in the attitude.
If you doubt that these small changes can make a significant difference I offer up our kilowatt hour (Kwh) usage over the past 5 years. I look forward to seeing these numbers go even lower as I continue on this journey.
May 2008 473 Kwh
May 2007 572 Kwh
May 2006 918 Kwh
May 2005 1136 Kwh
May 2004 812 Kwh
It’s the small changes in ¬†your life that make all the difference.
-Katy Wolk-Stanley
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Colleen May 30, 2008 at 7:20 am

Great suggestions!

I really need to do teh power strip thing — or just unplug my DVD/VCRs since I rarely use them anyway.

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