[The following is a guest post]
It can be hard to figure out what’s driving your electricity bill through the roof. Electricity rates are rising, which means that a consumer on a budget has to watch their energy consumption lest they get slammed with huge costs. There are number of ways that you’re unconsciously using electricity in your home and with different myths floating about it’s hard to know what avenue to take to reduce your energy. Here are some of the ways your house may be leaking electricity.
Unplug Your Devices
Electronics in the home use energy even when turned off. Fact or fiction? Unfortunately, fact. Called ‘phantom’ users or ‘vampire’ energy, it’s the energy that is used by devices if they are still plugged in or are on stand-by mode. A recent U.S Environmental Protection Agency joint study with other environmental energy agencies showed that 10% of your monthly energy bill is taken up by ‘phantom users’. These users can be televisions, stereos and most kitchen appliances. The most common users are phone or laptop chargers which still use energy after you stop charging your device, although Apple products are designed to not do this. A simple solution to this problem is to turn off appliances at the wall switch, if you find this difficult then install power strips or extension cords so you can turn multiple things off at once.
Energy Saving Light Bulbs
Whilst it only sounds like a small change, making the switch to lower wattage energy saving light bulbs could really save you on your electrical bill in the long run. The bulbs are more expensive then the regular fare but they can last a lot longer, up to a year in some cases. The bulbs use up less energy so you don’t have to change the way you use lights, or work in the dark for fear of putting the light bulb on. Install an energy saving light bulb and save money without changing your behaviour. Check to see how much energy you’re lights are consuming, if your electricity provider is charging too much then check out Energy Helpline to see if you could get a better deal.
Use Your Washing Machine Correctly
Most people are wasting energy on simple things, washing machines can be the biggest culprit out of the appliances that use massive amounts of energy. Use cooler water when washing, you can save 80% to 85% of energy used for washing clothes by just dropping the temperature a few degrees. Unless you’re dealing with stubborn stains you don’t need to use hot water, switching to cooler water can cut the energy of a washing load in half. Be careful not overload your washing machine, overloading makes your machine work harder, therefore using up more electricity.
Photo by jnyemb