The United States house of representatives has passed the Cap and Trade bill, and if this bill passes the senate we can be assured of higher electricity costs.
Fortunately there are things that everyone can do to reduce their energy consumption in the effort to minimize spending on what is an already important part of every family’s budget.
You can develop good habits to save energy on a daily basis, little bits saved here and there add up to big savings in a year’s time.
You can save energy on lighting
Turn off the lights when leaving the room for a while.
Regularly dust lamp shades and light bulbs, you will gain 30% more light for the same use of energy.
You can save on appliances energy use
Choose appliances that are energy efficient, (this goes without saying,) while they may cost a little more at the time of purchase, they will save you money during their life time.
When washing dishes in the sink do not let the water run, fill the sink, then shut the flow of water. When using the dishwasher fill it up to capacity before running it. A dishwasher is about 5 times more economical than hand washing. Always use the economy function (or low setting) of the dishwasher. Avoid pre-wash and heat drying as they are not necessary and waste a lot of energy.
Place your refrigerator away from heating sources like the stove. Clean the grill on the back of the fridge once in a while. If needed defrost the freezer. A couple of inches of frost doubles the consumption of energy. Set the temperature of refrigerator and freezer according to the manufacturer indications.
You can also save electricity or gas when cooking.
If using an induction cooktop, ensure that you use the correct type of cookware, slightly larger than the heating surface. Induction cook tops are a little more expensive to buy but cheaper to use.
Washing machines consume electricity in large quantity. Ensure that you run full loads, and use lower temperatures or energy saving settings.
Take a shower rather than a bath, it consumes 5 times less water. Lower your water heater temperature by a few degrees you will not notice the difference.
Fix small water leaks whenever you have some. One single drop leak can result in a loss of over 9000 gallons in a year.
There are a few things you can do in the winter for saving on heating energy costs.
If you leave the house for a few hours turn down the heat by a couple of degrees. You can turn it up to its normal previous setting again when you return. No need to turn it up higher than it was before leaving as it will not help warm the house faster, it will only waste energy.
For a longer absence, set your heating system just to keep it from freezing.
If you want to air the house, turn off the heat while the windows are open.
Use a programmable thermostat thermostat, it will reduce your heat automatically while you sleep, and raise it again before you get up. This tip results in a saving of about 5 to 8%.
Dust vents and air intake grills, which will increase the room temperature and improve the quality of the air you breathe.
Realize another 5 to 8% savings by having a yearly maintenance on your heating system, and keeping it in top condition so that it will perform better.
Close the drapes, or the blinds (or shutter if you have some) at night. Blinds or shutters also offer great savings in the summer by keeping the heat out of the house.
In the summer placing green plants alongside windows can help you keep the house cooler, simply spray water on them daily.
Light colors in the room help make it cooler in the summer, while darker colors will retain heat longer.
If you develop good habits in your daily routines, and follow these tips, you will save energy costs, as well as contribute to a safer environment, and you might not have to make your own electricity, but it could be something that you might consider anyway.