Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Saving Power; Saving Money

Real Simple magazine recently featured an excellent piece about saving power/energy. The piece hit home for me because my latest electric bill (in Florida w/AC 24/7) was so high.

Other people in my region are also having utility bill sticker shock because of rate hikes and higher energy costs. (One friend had to downsize her vacation because of a higher-than-expected utility bill.)

But the Real Simple piece (The Organizer section from July) offers help:

To Save up to $500 annually on AC/Heating:
• Reduce heat/AC when you’re out
• Replace old furnaces/AC systems with energy efficient units
• Close up air leaks
• Use energy-efficient ceiling fans ( My local utility company reports that some ceiling fans can cost up to $8 per month to operate.)
• Switch to a natural gas heater.

Save up to $175 a year on home electronics:
• Unplug TVs and DVD players, when not in use. Incredibly, they drain your pocket even in the so-called OFF position.
• Unplug multi-outlet units (wall warts)
• Turn-off copiers, fax machines and printers. They burn energy even in the sleep mode.
• Unplug your PC when it’s not in use or at least use the sleep mode.

To save up to $400 annually on appliances
• Replace older (pre-1993) refrigerators. Those units typically burn $140 a year in electric juice. New models (1993 to 2001) cost only about $60 a year to operate.
• Swap your top loading washing machine for a front-loader
• Do your laundry in a marathon session to use the “residual heat from the dryer.”
• Only operate dishwashers at full capacity.

The article from the July issue has lots more good stuff. Go to the library. Real Simple also has an excellent online resource section with great tips.

Or send me an email ( and I’ll send you a longer copy of my summary.


Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

We put in a programmable thermostat. Can't tell you about the savings yet, but it definitely is more accurate at keeping our house a constant temperature than our former (probably 1950's!) thermostat.

Frugal Duchess: Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Keep me posted on the savings.
It'll be interesting to see the difference in energy costs.
Thanks for your comment.