There are certain uncanny similarities between the global climate change and the recent financial crisis. Of late both have has been in turmoil. Climate patterns have become as uncertain as the next big financial institution that will reach the verge of collapse. Human beings and their behavior bear the responsibility of the melt down of both the polar ice caps and the global financial markets. In either case it is the man on the street that is going to pay the price. The solution of both lies in being proactive and taking charge of your destiny today.
Reduce electric bills by 30% or more
Whether you are worried by your surging utility bills, want to conserve some cash in these uncertain times or are looking for an investment that delivers an excellent return the tips below are certain to help you in reduce your utility bills. You can choose any of the options below to achieve reductions in your electric bill without compromising on your standard of living.
Manage the lights - Reduce electric bills without investing a penny
Turn off the lights when not in use. Remember to switch off the lights even if it is for a short duration. You might have heard that the life of the bulb is shortened if it is repeatedly switched on and off but the shortening of life is marginal compared to the energy saved by switching lights off. Moreover if you have installed LED lights you can forget about life shortening as they unaffected by this on–off cycling. Alternately you can invest in a motion detector that will automatically switch off the lights in an unoccupied room.
Squeeze money out of drying clothes
Air dry the clothes when possible instead of using a dryer. Towels are designed to lose water quickly and are best dried in the sun. Solar radiation also kills any germs that may be adhering to the clothes.
A cool shower
Take a cool shower when possible. A cool shower will not only save electricity it will also boost your immunity.
Electricity gains in the kitchen
Cook food in a microwave instead of using stoves and heating plates. A microwave is much more energy efficient.
Run the dishwasher only when it is full, better still wash utensils manually when possible.
Air conditioning and heating
Maximum electricity is used in heating and cooling devices. Set the air conditioner thermostat a couple of degrees above its usual setting. An air blowing device like a ceiling or a table top fan can ensure that you barely feel the heat. Similarly in winters setting the thermostat a few degrees lower can help save significant amounts of electricity. When leaving the house the temperature control settings can be adjusted to obtain maximum electricity savings. When on a vacation most temperature control systems should be shut off or turned significantly down.
Insulate or better still super insulate walls and windows (20 – 30% energy saving), ensure that doors are closed to prevent heat loss, use air curtains across permanently open doorways and if you are keen check out solar powered air conditioning units. Replacing an old power guzzling refrigerator or air conditioner with an electricity sipping energy star device can also help you to significantly reduce your utility bill. Simply cleaning the radiator fins, air intakes and filters of heating and cooling devices helps reduce power bills by 5%.
The exterior paint of a residence can help reduce electricity bills. A lighter colored exterior reflects heat while a dark colored exterior absorbs it. Selecting a suitable exterior paint can go a long way in reducing electricity bills.
Reduce indoor sources of heat as far as possible. Replacing old inefficient systems helps in two ways – there is a direct reduction in energy consumption and the cooling load on the air conditioning system also goes down. When incandescent bulbs are replaced by LED lamps for instance the savings in air-conditioning bills alone can amount to 350 USD per annum.
The stand by function is the silent enemy - Ghost Power
The standby mode is not called the phantom load for nothing. It can account for as much as 10% of the total energy consumed. Most electric devices have a standby function that consumes small amounts of electricity even when they are switched off. Individually they don’t matter much but together they consume a significant amount of power. It is estimated that if the stand by function was banned from all appliances we could phase out a couple of power plants! When not in use it is prudent to switch off or unplug devices like Televisions, chargers, DVD players, etc.
A power factor optimizer
Ensures that electric motors run at their optimum levels and helps reduce wear and tear and electricity consumption at the same time.
Managing power consumption for a computer
Turn off the computer or use the hibernate mode when not using a computer. Set its energy management function to minimize the electricity consumed when idle.
Replace incandescent bulbs with modern LED Light Bulbs
This is one of the easiest methods of slashing the electricity bill. Incandescent bulbs are a relic of the past that convert most of the electricity that they use into heat and only a small fraction to produce light. The wastage is so gross that a modern 6 watt LED lamp can produce as much light as 50 watt incandescent bulb – a saving of 84 % on power bills! No other method can deliver this kind of dramatic savings.
What's more an LED light lasts 30,000 hours or more compared to 2500 hours for an incandescent bulb – a life span that is more than 10 times longer. This means that you also save on the trips to the market and on time and cost involved in installation. You might think that are expensive but a simple calculation will show that the investment in energy efficient LED lighting technology to replace incandescent bulbs deliver returns in excess of 80% per annum on a continuous basis! LED lighting is not only energy efficient and have a long life, but they contain no mercury and there is no need to comply with the rules for the disposal of toxic materials as must be done for a CFL's.
LED lights are made of a panel of many small lights and the probability of all the individual lights failing at the same time is virtually zero. Therefore there is no need to install backups nor is there a need to fear that the bulb in the chandelier will fail in the middle of an important dinner party.