So there you are: just weeks away from the end of one year and the beginning of another. What do say you kick off the New Year right — not by waking up hung over and face down in a back alley, but by taking effective steps to save energy and cut your utility bills. It’s not impossible and may actually be easier than trying to quit smoking or lose weight.
First comes the simple stuff. Check this out, according to research conducted by www.consciouschoice.com, there are some steps you can take that are almost embarrassingly easy:
– Do you have an extra refrigerator or freezer that is really not needed? Older models can cost between $10 and $20 per month to operate. The cost is significantly higher if the refrigerator or freezer is in a garage or shed.
– Are there a lot of lights left on when not needed? A single 100-watt bulb uses $1.65 worth of electricity each month. If you leave many lights on for long periods of time, the cost adds up quickly.
– Are you running your furnace fan continuously? The fan in a large oil furnace fan can easily consume $50 of electricity in a month if running 24/7. Switch the fan to the “Auto” setting and significantly reduce this amount.
– If you have a waterbed, do you make the bed after you wake up? Placing a comforter on a waterbed to retain heat can save about $3.65 each month.
– Do you leave your computer on continuously? Computers use relatively little power, but most people can save several dollars a month by turning off their computers and related equipment when not in use.
– Do you take really long showers? Most people don’t realize that the cost of hot water is about 25 percent of their energy bill. Shortening showers from 10 minutes to 5 minutes can save about $5 per month.
– Do you wash clothes in hot water? If you can switch to cold water and wash one load a day, you could save about $16 each month.
– Adjusting your thermostat can bring substantial savings. During the winter, lowering your thermostat from 72 degrees to 68 degrees can decrease your heating costs by about 21 percent. During the summer, raising your thermostat from 72 degrees to 78 degrees can decrease cooling costs by about 40 percent. For an average four-ton heat pump or air conditioner, these strategies can save about $170 during the winter and $130 during the summer.
– A small space heater left on the high setting can consume about $100 in a month if left on continuously. Space heaters are effective at providing some heat in an area but if left on for long periods of time can really gobble up electricity!
Was that easy or what?
Like I said, it’s almost embarrassingly simple to cut your utility bills if you use common sense, follow these tips and apply yourself.
And just think, with all the money you save you can probably treat yourself to a vacation for New Years! Happy Holidays!