Saving money on electricity is easier than you think. With the power companies raising charges almost every couple of weeks, we all want to save money on electricity and put that in our pockets, and not those of the fat cat corporations. There are plenty of simple steps you can take, starting with lighting. Well is it really necessary to have your house lit up like the Golden Gate Bridge?
We all need to be able to see in the dark evenings and nights of winter, but do we really have to have four lamps all burning at once while watching television? Place two strategically and use these, and most important, invest in energy saving light bulbs. These use just a fraction of the energy needed to power an ordinary bulb and they last longer as well.
Heating the home in winter takes up a lot of the energy budget. Make sure you have good, thick loft insulation and, where appropriate, cavity wall insulation too. We got this last year and it really does make a difference to keeping heat in, and so using lower heat settings. Turn that thermostat down a few degrees after your heating as been on for a while. Have the timer set correctly so that it comes on for the periods most needed. A good trick is to place a bowl of water near radiators in living and sleeping spaces. This will create humidity and that humid atmosphere makes us feel warmer. Talking of radiators, do not let dust build up on them. Treat them like your beloved book shelves and clean them well. Dust acts as an insulator and prevents the heat coming out effectively.
Windows should be well sealed, so make sure no drafts are coming through your frames. Better still, if you do not have double glazed windows, consider having them installed. They hold the heat in the house, even on days when the weakest of sunshine appears for the shortest time. Curtains help to save money on electricity, especially if, during the winter months, you hang heavy, lined, floor-to-ceiling curtains. Close them as soon as the sun goes down, keeping in the heat, and stopping it escaping. Check that your doors fit well, and use draft excluders if necessary.
What about cooking, laundry and electrical appliances? Try to get an energy efficient fridge freezer and keep that freezer full and defrosted, saving on energy and money. Wash clothes when you have a full load, and use the quick wash and lower temperatures for lightly soiled items. Buy low temperature washing powders or liquids, save that energy. Whenever possible, hang washing outside to dry and make less use of your drier. Do not iron sheets, towels and underwear, just fold them neatly and place in the airing cupboard, where the tank is well-lagged, of course, thus saving your own time, energy and money.
When heating the oven, (whether electric or gas) do it for only five minutes – I say this because often, I have it heating for half an hour, totally unnecessary and wasteful. If you are boiling water for a cup of tea or coffee, boil only that small amount. The same goes for cooking vegetables, don’t drown them, use just enough water to cover them, or better still,use a steamer and cook them all at once.
Don’t leave your TV, radio, computers etc. on standby; turn them off and save money. If charging your cellphone, watch for when it is complete, then remove the charger at once. These are all very simple ideas for helping to save money on electricity, and they are steps you can take without major upheaval. I am sure you are already thinking of more money saving ideas yourself. I know these work, and I hope you find them useful.