Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ways to conserve electricity

Since I recently posted the ways we are conserving water I thought I would add the ways we conserve electricity. We've gotten our consumption down to an average of 200 kw a month.

1. Turn off lights when you leave the room.

2. Put most everything (TVs, DVD players, etc.) on power strips that are turned off every night. Each of these things draw power even when they are off.

3. Switch over to fluorescent bulbs where possible.

4. Choose to replace appliances with energy efficient models and make sure they are the right size for your family. It makes no sense to have a huge refrigerator if you only need a small one.

5. Turn off monitors or printer when they aren't in use. We use the sleep mode (standby on the PC) on the mac since I check email frequently throughout the day. The amount of power required to actually start the computer is tremendous.

6. Don't turn on the lights during the day. We have a window in the bathroom and all the other rooms so we don't use the lights during the day.

7. Turn off the porch lights unless you really need them. I can't tell you how many of the people around us leave them on all night.

8. Set the thermostat at the top of your comfort range. We don't have one since the swamp cooler is either on or off so we make sure to turn it off and open all the windows when it gets comfortable outside.

9. Hang your clothes on a clothesline. We own an electric dryer but have no way to plug it in since there are no 220 outlets in the house. As long as I'm careful about taking the clothes down when they are dry, a clothesline has worked well. This probably wouldn't work as well if we had a lot of rain but since it is very, very dry the clothes dry in about 30 minutes.

The light bulbs are the easiest thing to change. Depending on the size of your house, you may see a large change in your monthly bill. Having lived completely without electricity I sometimes feel guilty for the amount of energy we do use. But I admit I really like being able to turn on the sewing machine without having to plug the inverter into the car!

1 comment:

elephantschild said...

I echo the ref. suggestion. We've made do with a 10-1/2 cu ft one for the last seven years. Holidays are the only time I wish I had more space. I end up using my front porch as a "fridge" at Christmas time.

It's more efficient to have a big chest freezer for long term food storage. They're much cheaper to run than a huge ref.

Glad you've gotten a bit ahead with the water situation.