Summer is a hard season for the electricity budget in most households. This family is no different. The summer of 2011 brought the highest electricity bills ever seen around here. We made a vow to be drastic in our habits to save money. This summer has been remarkably better and in fact, we cut our electricity bill in half. Here is how we did it.
Set the Thermostat and Left it Alone
We have a programmable thermostat that we set at 78 degrees during the day. We made a covenant to not even look at the thermostat. This saves the electric bill from the constant temperature wars. At night, we programmed the thermostat to go down at 76 degrees when we are winding down before bed. It then goes down to 75 degrees around 2 am to help us sleep till the alarm. The temperature dips at night are a compromise to preserve our quality of sleep.
Turned Down Hot Water Heater
Hot showers and baths are a must in this house but they are big energy wasters in the summer. We decided to turn the hot water heater down a couple degrees. The difference is not significant in quality of cleaning in our bodies, clothes, or dishes. The energy savings are worth the sacrifice. Steamy hot baths will come back in the Fall and Winter.
Stopped Using Clothes Dryer
Not using the clothes dryer for a few months was the biggest sacrifice. The clothes dryer is one of the biggest energy wasters in the house. Leaving the clothes dryer dormant for a few months makes a noticeable difference. Not only are you not using the energy to run the machine but you also are not using the air conditioner to cool the house from all the warm air that is emitted.
Kept Dishwasher on Lowest Settings
When we received the worst power bill of our lives in the Summer of 2011 we did an energy audit. One of the culprits we found was that our young son pushed buttons on the dishwasher causing it to always run in the hottest settings. We had no idea how long the dishwasher was running at these settings using all that energy. Since then we check the settings all the time and keep them on the lowest settings. We do Normal Wash and Air Dry. Just that has saved so much.
Put Computers on Timers
We are a big computer family. We use them in work, school, and play. The bad thing is that there is a lot of energy being used to run all those machines. So, we put the main computer and server on a timer. Every night at about ten o’clock the server does a hard shut off no matter what we are doing. This feature saves us from having to always remember to turn it off. It also prevents us from forgetting to turn it off and using useless energy.
Became Light Switch Dictators
Finally, we became dictators when it came to the light switches. You leave a room, you turn off the lights. We are constantly reminding each other, including our son, to turn off the lights to save energy. Light switches are not the only switches we constantly watch. We also turn off the computer speakers and monitor and the printer every time we step out of the computer room. These small things may not seem like much but it adds up over time.