Over the past couple of years the media has a put a tremendous amount of pressure on all of us to become more involved in doing our part to help save the planet. We’ve been educated on how to conserve energy, ways to save money on electricity, and many corporations have produced an endless supply of power saving devices that have been designed to help us reduce energy costs over the long term.
But how come it feels like most suggestions being offered cost more to save money on electricity than the actual savings itself? What if we can’t afford to “go green”? There’s nothing worse then wanting to do your part, but not being able to afford it. What do you do if you’re in this situation?
First, don’t let this be an excuse for not doing your part. There are many ways that you can help save energy without spending a dime to support the cause. Start by taking a hard look at how you behave at home. If you have a family, it’s so important that you get them on board as well, otherwise your hard work and efforts will be completely wiped out by others not taking it seriously.
If you have kids or even worse, teenagers who you feel may not cooperate with your attempt to conserve energy and save money on electricity then hold a family meeting and explain the importance of why you are doing this and the impact it has on all of them.
A good way to get their support is by bribing them. Let them stay up an extra half hour to watch their favorite T.V. show or if they’re a bit older, then tell them if they help you save enough money that you’ll put a percentage of the savings towards their allowance. I’m sure you get the point by now. Be creative and have fun with it, but call a family meeting first so they realize you mean business.
Now that everyone’s on board, it’s time to come up with your list of ways to save electricity. And because the theme of this article is to discuss ways to save money on electricity without going broke, all of our suggestions are free to implement. You’ll be absolutely amazed at the amount of savings each month by following these simple rules.
Start with the most obvious of tasks and turn off the lights when you’re not using them. I bet that right now as you are reading this, there is a light on in a room that you’re not using. Turn it off! This is as close as you’re going to get to “burning money” as this is exactly what you are doing.
Limit your showers to no more than 7 minutes. And if you can help it, shower every night instead of taking a bath. By only showering for 7 minutes, you will save half the amount of water that it takes to fill the bath tub. This only works if you keep it to under 7 minutes because any longer would then start to use more water then if you were to take a bath and both are equally as bad.
While we’re on the topic of water consumption don’t keep the water running when you’re brushing your teeth and shaving. Turn the water off when you’re not actually using it. Think about how much water you are wasting when you let it run while shaving for 10 minutes.
If you’re like us, you’ll have about 20-30 appliances plugged into the house at any given time. Even though all the appliances may be off, they’re still consuming a lot of electricity. So what do you do in this case besides spending money on a device that will help solve the issue? (Remember, the goal here is to NOT spend money) Try to group many of the appliances into one power strip and then plug that power strip into one socket. Each night before bed, turn off all of the power strips.
This way you do not have to go around unplugging every device. With the flick of a switch, you’ve cut the power off to multiple power devices throughout the house. Not to mention, this is a much safer way for children to become involved in as well.
Doing this will save you at least 10% power consumption in your home. Even when appliances are on standby they are still using electricity. This only works if you already have the power strips lying around the house. If you don’t then try this; think about which rooms sit the most empty throughout the day and unplug only those devices.
You may find that three rooms barely get used of which there are multiple devices constantly using up electricity. You’re basement is a great place to start.
In the summer when it’s really hot and you are tempted to turn the AC down another degree, try shutting all the curtains in your house.
This will drastically reduce the amount of heat that enters your home throughout the day.
We rarely turn our AC on, but instead we close the curtains throughout the apartment. And trust me, in July and August the average temperature is 90 degrees where we live.
We save hundreds of dollars each month on using very little air conditioning. You’ll be amazed at how much cooler your house will stay with the curtains drawn.
These are just a few simple ways that you can save money on electricity without going broke over it. At this stage there is no need to buy expensive florescent light bulbs, and power saving devices that cost you hundreds of dollars.
Instead, start by breaking these bad habits and you’ll drastically reduce your energy costs on a monthly basis. Once you have saved money from making these very minor changes then consider spending a little bit of the difference on devices that will help you to further save. Think of it as an investment or business. Make money (or in our case save money), and then re-invest the savings to save even further.
The most important thing to remember is that bad habits won’t be broken over night. It’s like any other new routine that you’re trying to get in to. It takes discipline and focus, and if you do have a family that needs reminding about the importance of saving money on electricity, have weekly meetings just after dinner to discuss how everyone has improved.
When you get your bill at the end of the month and you’ve save 0, go out and celebrate. Reward everyone for their efforts and it will make them try even harder next month. If you live alone, then reward yourself with that new iphone or blackberry you’ve always wanted.
One other piece of advice, saving money on electricity is like going to the gym. Start with just a couple of items and then work your way up. Don’t overload yourself or your family with too many ways to conserve energy. Once they’ve got the hang of the first few items, then gradually introduce more to them.
For further suggestions and tips on ways to save electricity refer to other articles here at TastingBritain. As we introduce new ideas and ways to reduce energy costs, you’ll be the first to know!
Good luck and let us know how it goes. Happy Saving!
Richard Gray is a knowledgeable and passionate writer and editor with extensive experience in the personal finance, real estate, and investments industries.
He has helped countless readers make informed decisions about their finances and investments, and he believes strongly in financial literacy.