Cut the Power
I hate sending our hard earned money to the utility companies, but of course, I love power, after having gone without it for 8 days during the ice storm, I wouldn't NOT want to have it.
But there are ways to make writing that check a little less painless. One of the biggest things that we've done since January to reduce energy waste - and save money - is watching what we use in electricity - and I mean this very literally. We have a new digital meter on our house which is very easy to read. I started keeping track of the readings each day and recording how we used our power through watching television, cooking, leaving lights on, doing laundry, etc. Cooking and doing laundry makes the meter rise faster than the thermometer on a hot day in August, so I started combining as many loads as possible.
One other big money saver in my office (which is on a different meter) is turning the electric hot water tank off when it is not in use. I rarely need it here, unless someone is going to shower, so we don't waste the money keeping it on.
We also do the obvious:
Turn off lights and television when not in use.
Unplug appliances, including the microwave, TV, toaster oven and coffee pot when not in use.
Use new, energy saving light bulbs.
Turn off the computer when not in use.
Unplug chargers, and fax machine.
We've managed to reduce our electric bill by HALF in the past few months just by taking these easy steps. Of course, we will see a rise in the summer when we turn on the air conditioning, but to me, that air is worth it, leaving an unused microwave plugged in or leaving on an unwatched TV is not!
Happy Summer, Everyone!