Ah, winter. It’s all snow and cozy and hot tea, until you get the monthly energy bill. You spent HOW MUCH on electricity??
This month, I challenge you to lower your electricity bill. (This is where you off-grid folks can fold your arms across your chest and smile smugly…) For many, heating is a huge expense this time of year. For me, it’s not heat – we don’t actually have a heater; when our temp hits 55 degrees, our only option is more blankets – but our bill is inexplicably rising. So, let’s work to depend less on the electric company.
If your electric bill reflects the need for heat this time of year, consider these easy to implement options – no home renovation required:
- Turn down your thermostat. Even one degree will make a difference.
- If you’ve got a drafty door or window, roll up a towel and use it to block the cold air.
- If you’ve got rooms that aren’t really in use, close the heating vents to the rooms and close the doors. No sense heating unused space.
- Got sunshine? Open the blinds to let in the warmth.
- If you use your dishwasher, open the door slightly to allow the remaining heat to warm the kitchen when the cycle is complete.
- Turn off the “heated dry” setting of your dishwasher. Allowing the dishes to dry slowly will teach you patience.
- If you froze some of your garden’s bounty this summer, now is a good time to consider transforming those berries into jam. Processing the jars in the canner will free up freezer space and warm up the house.
- Place several fire bricks inside your oven. When you cook, the bricks will absorb the heat. You only need to leave the oven door ajar to release that heat into your house (use caution with this plan if you have children).
Other ways to reduce your energy bill:
- It goes without saying, but turn your lights off when you’re not in the room.
- Only wash full laundry loads.
- Dry clothes on a line if weather allows.
- Be aware of vampire power.
- If you tend to keep the TV on just for background noise, try to break that habit.
- When you have the oven on, use it to full capacity. If you know you’ll be baking a casserole, think about pulling together a batch of granola or baking a loaf of bread.
- Vacuum the coils of your refrigerator so it doesn’t have to work so hard to maintain its temperature.
- Take shorter showers.
- Use cold water for laundry loads when you can.
- Set your computer to “sleep” mode when you’re not actively using it.
I’ll be working to bring my own bill down this month. I’m aiming for a reduction of about $20-30 dollars. I’d love to hear your suggestions for saving energy – and come the end of the month, will look forward to hearing how successful you were!
Photo: Flickr user David Paul Ohmer