The Basics of Electricity Conservation
To aide conservation of electricity, turn off lights when you leave a room. Also be sure lights are off before you leave the house and when you go to bed. Do not leave your refrigerator door standing open for no reason (for example: while you make a sandwich). The longer your fridge is open, the longer it takes to cool down, and is therefore not energy efficient during that cool-down time. See Conserve Electricity in Your Refrigerator below for more fridge tips. Replace filters in heaters and air conditioning units every 3 months to ensure maximum air flow when the vents are on. Also clean out your filters every month (or 2x a month does not hurt). If vents get blocked by debris, the electronic device powering your air conditioner or heater has to work harder, consuming more energy and taking away from your electricity conservation.
Buy Energy Efficient
Take the time to look for energy efficient alternatives when you go shopping. Light bulbs are a good example of a power saving device. Buy light bulbs that look like spirals- they are called compact fluorescent bulbs (CFBs). Not only do CFBs use 75% less energy to operate, they last ten times longer than a regular light bulb! Since CFBs use less energy, they put off less heat too, making them convenient in the warm months. One CFB light bulb will save your energy bill an average of $40 over its lifetime compared to a regular light bulb- that is a ton of money for one light bulb! CFBs are a great way to save on energy bills.
When it comes time to replace an appliance- any appliance- look for a new one that has the “Energy Star” mark of excellence on it. You can find any appliance you could ever possibly need in an Energy Star version. Everything from computers, tvs, coffee pots, dishwashers, cell phones, hair dryers, microwaves, heaters and air conditioners, CFB light bulbs (of course) and tons more. I have never needed an electricity consuming device and been unable to find an Energy Star version of it. If it uses electricity, chances are there is an Energy Star of that item. Many companies now are interested in conservation of electricity and want their products certified as energy savers.
So what does Energy Star mean anyway? Well, any product that displays the Energy Star sticker of approval has met strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA). That means it is guaranteed to use a lot less energy than a regular electricity- consuming product, and is therefore much more efficient, will last longer, and of course- really lower your electricity bill!