Winter Electricity Savings

This winter, we have been making conscious effort to reduce our energy consumption at home. Here are some of the things we have been doing this winter to reduce energy consumption and save money on our electricity bill:
  • Replace old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) or Light Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs. CFL and LED bulbs use only a fraction of the electricity of traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • Use an electric blanket instead of the central heating to stay warm at night. Electric blankets use significantly less energy than central heating. And turning the heater off at night can actually help you sleep better and reduces snoring.
  • Dress warmly at home instead of using the central heating. Long-sleeve shirts, socks, slippers, and a hat can make you just as comfortable as blasting the central heating while at home.
  • Open the window shades and use natural sunlight instead of turning on the lights. Natural sunlight is good for you and may help cure those winter blues while saving you a few bucks at the same time.
  • Turn off or unplug appliances not in use. Examples: video game systems (Xbox and Wii, in my case), desktop computer, coffee maker, stereo system, and so on. While each of these may only save you pennies, you'll be amazed at how many things you have running simultaneously and silently behind the scenes.
Note that there is a difference between being needlessly ascetic or austere and being intelligently minimalist about reducing energy consumption. I am not suggesting freezing to death at night.  Like most people, I enjoy my creature comforts. But making smart choices, such as using an electric blanket instead of central heating, can give you those creature comforts while reducing your energy consumption and costs.

For further reading, here is the absolute best website I have found for tips on saving electricity: http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/

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