Whether you want to save electricity because you and your family are going green, or you're doing it to just save money.
There are many different techniques that can be used to help you save money on your electric bill.
With so many "green washing" claims that they can save you hundreds of dollars on your electric bill with their product, it's easy to see why most people just don't care.
By using these few cost effective tips and techniques for conserving energy, you can easily save big bucks on your electric bill without spending a fortune on the retrofitting.
Conserving electricity in the home starts with the right lights. Conventional bulb technology wastes energy through inefficient incandescent bulbs. Newer compact florescent lights (CFL's) cut light power bills up to a third of their previous rates and bulbs last ten times longer. Best of all, you don't need to change your light fixtures to get instant electricity savings.
Your hot water consumption is typically about 15-20 percent of your overall electric bill. A thermal hot-water jacket costs about $25 and can easily decrease your bill by that amount bi-monthly. By reducing the need for constant heating and cooling, you conserve energy and wasteful radiant heat loss. A timer that turns off your water heater during the evening hours can double your water heating energy savings.
Forget the costly new windows or other thermal renovations. Instead opt out for a programmable thermostat. When the temperature climbs (or drops) when you're away, it won't matter because your thermostat will be programmed to lower itself when it's not needed. For less than $50 you can install a programmable thermostat yourself and recoup your costs in just a few months during heavy heating or cooling seasons.
Whether it's a ceiling fan or an attic vent, reducing the need for heating and cooling through a central heat and air conditioning system is the best way to save big time on heating and cooling costs. Ceiling fans work well for both cooling and heating. A reverse switch helps to circulate the rising hot air. Attic access ventilation fans are a great way to reduce attic heat that can slowly sap away the cooling potential of your air conditioning handler. Some attic fans are solar powered and roof mounted allowing your home to reduce attic heat without costing you a dime in electricity costs.
Energy Efficient Appliances
This last energy saving tip can be a little pricey and isn't for everyone, but if any of your appliances are older than 10 years old, it's probably a good idea to upgrade to a newer more energy efficient appliance. EnergyStar rated appliances can let you know if they save energy compared to conventional models; but don't rely on the rating system to guide you in your purchase. Many times, energy efficiency can be topped by other appliances that conserve energy in other methods that are right for you and your family's energy consumption needs, but are not EnergyStar rated.
Before you buy any energy saving items, it's a good idea to get an energy audit from your local electric company.
Many times they provide this service for free and can even guide you to the best energy saving materials and products for your home addition or remodeling project.
Phantom Power AKA Vampire Power
Phantom power might sound like something out of a comic book, but the name accurately describes devices that suck power from your outlets even though they are turned off. TV's, DVD Players, Game Systems, and many other appliances and electronic devices produce: Phantom Loads, Idle Current, or Vampire Power. These power suckers can eat 5 to 10% of your energy load. There are special powerstrips that help you combat some phantom power issues. Watch this video from CL&P for more info.