My quarterly bills range from $500-750. Since I am a fulltime housewife and wanting to help my husband ease our expenses, I am really determined to do everything to be able to save money and cut down on electric bills and other household expenses. With the cost of energy in Australia that keeps on incresing every now and then I am really serious about saving.
Last quarter's electric bill was a shock to me as I had to pay $751.00! That never happened before. My highest bill prior to that was $676.00. At the beginning of this year (2010) I started to pay much attention to every thing that consumes electricity at home and make sure to be thoughtful about it at ALL times. Last week, I received my quarterly electric bill and was happy that it has gone down to $685.00. My goal is to go much, much lower than that of course.
Here are some of my practical energy saving tips that may also benefit you:
Make sure to turn lights off when not necessary. We always tend to turn our lights on even before darkness comes. I do not turn my lights on now as long as there's sunlight that will suffice my vision. My husband laughs at me sometimes and he turns the light on in the kitchen. I said I don't need it yet, it's not yet that dark. I just open the window and blinds wide enough for the remaining sunlight to penetrate the kitchen.
I also used to turn the lights on overnight in the hallway going to the bedrooms before. But now, I turn it off and just open the blinds in my room a little bit for the post light in the street to ligthen up my hallway overnight.
Unplug appliances when not in use. What usually happens is that we keep the appliances like television and computer plugged-in even if they are off/ That way we don't need to plug it in when we want to use them again. This is what my father used to tell us when we were younger. Electrical appliances still consume electricity if they are plugged-in even if they are off. Do this with your television, computers, radio and stereo units, washing machine etc.
Electric stoves should be used wisely. I am living in a building unit where all units have no gas connection, only electricity. So everything is run by electricity. Now, I always make sure that before I start cooking, I have already prepared all the ingredients so that I save time in cooking, thus, reducing my consumption as well of electricity. I also turn the stove top a minute or two before the alloted time in cooking to make sure that I consume all the remaining heat on the stove top.
Reheat food in microwave instead of on stove tops. Since microwave can heat food faster compared to stove top, it can save you lots of energy as well. I even heat a cup of water in my microwave for my tea instead of using my kettle. Nowadays, they also have this electric kettle that keats water in few seconds. I think that is a good energy saving appliance as well.
Use a clothes line outside; do not use the clothes dryer when there is sufficient sunlight and heat to dry the clothes outside. Clothes dryer is an appliance that consumes most electricity. Just imagine how much electricity it takes to run dryer for an hour or even a couple of hours. This appliance should really just be used in winter time.
Do your ironing all at once. This is the most common energy saving tip that mothers will give. I have been hearing this since I was a little girl. Saving the heat of the iron by doing the ironing at once is saving electricity as well as time.
Do some handwashing. I do this now whenever my time allows me. I used to do everything in the washing machine. Now, there's even a day that I don't use the washing machine as well as the dryer at all! If there is no much clothes to put in the machine I just handwash them. This is time consuming though, but doing this whenever you have a bit of spare time will save you a lot.
These are all for now. Start doing them and see the difference in your electric bill the next time. In this time of recession, every bit of thriftiness counts!