Saving electricity is always going to save you money - assuming you pay your own electricity bill - but in my case, the reward has been sweetened.
Our electricity company is offering refunds on a certain percentage of your electricity bill, if you decrease your electricity usage compared to 2011. So if we can get our electricity down by 10-30% as compared to last year, we will get money back!
Sounds great... the tricky part is we have my sister and father-in-law staying at us, in the two guest bedrooms that weren't being used last year and that last year the house was empty when we went on an August vacation and this year there will be tenants. Theoretically, I feel that I've always kept electricity usage somewhere in the back of my mind and so I really needed to search for the best top 10 tips out there, in order to rise to my challenge.
Here they are:
1. Don't use a tumble dryer:
I've had a tumble dryer for the last 5 years and it has changed my life. I love soft fluffy clothes and linen, I love saving time dealing with laundry. However, after reading EVERYWHERE how much energy a tumble dryer uses, and having friends stare at me in shock when I tell them I use my tumble dryer in summer - it became clear that this was going to be the core of my saving electricity mission.
So I hang up the laundry, instead of checking facebook for the millionth time, and I'm trying some new suggestions to keep my line-dried clothes from getting stiff. I haven't used vinegar yet - that sounds scary. I have cut the amount of detergent I use... I used to use double the amount recommended (I don't know why) so I'm on regular amount now and I may even go down to half. I run the clothes in the dryer for 10 min before hanging them out and it does help (I still don't understand why nobody recommends the dryer AFTER hanging them out...). I shake out the clothes before I hang them. I do NOT wait for a windy day to hang them out ... how is that supposed to work? How do I know which day will be windy? and am I expected to leave them in the washing machine until this windy day dawns?
2. Turn off the lights when you leave the room:
3. Don't leave mobile phones and laptops charging overnight:
5. Wash clothes in cold water:
I almost never use a setting higher than 30 degrees, and after still managing to turn white shirts and socks pink, I'm happy to stick to the cold setting.
6. Wait for a full load to run the dishwasher:
I would think that the recommendations would be to not use a dishwasher at all (although I know it does save water), but I'm not going to ask questions and enjoy my full-loaded dishwasher while I can.
8. Keep your thermostat at around 25 degrees celsius:
This is a constant tug of war with my husband, who will wake up in the middle of the night and turn the aircon down to 22, after which I wake up and turn it back up to 25. The point is that every degree really counts, so if you need to compromise at 24, there's still a benefit.
9. Don't leave electronics on standby:
Cleaning aircon filters will mean more efficient airconditioning even at higher temperature settings (that is totally tried and tested in my house) and cleaning the tumble dryer filter (which I now use for only 10 minutes per laundry session as per tip no.1) reduces drying time.
Happy savings everyone.