A while back, I read an article that stated in the last twenty years or so, individual power consumption in the US has something like tripled or more. Between all the various and sundry gadgets, smart phones, i-everything, and not to mention the ever increasing computer usage, we are using power like never before.
Naturally, all these creature comforts comes at a price. Power ain’t cheap. Setting aside all the environmental impacts, it just flat out costs more out of our pockets today than it did five years ago, hell even a year or two ago.
I’ve often said that every dollar you can save somewhere else in your budget can be put towards prepping. So, have you taken a good look at your utility bills lately? I’d be willing to bet many of you could probably cut a little energy usage and never notice it, except on your bills.
This week, I want you to take a good, hard look at your energy bills. Compare them to the same time frames last year. Most utility companies allow you to do this online if you don’t have the paper copies available. Then, challenge yourself and your family to decrease the bills as much as possible.
Here are some easy ways to cut down your energy consumption.
–Be hyper-aware of lights being left on when no one is in the room. Get everyone in the habit of turning off lights when they aren’t needed. Further to that, look at how much lighting you really NEED. If you’re the only person in the room, do you need the overhead light as well as task lighting at the same time?
–Invest in power strips and use them to control energy usage. Many appliances draw power even when they aren’t being used, such as TVs, video game systems, DVD players, and stereo systems. When not in use, turn off the power to them via power strips.
–Watch your thermostat settings. We keep ours at about 65 in the winter and are comfortable. We don’t walk around in T-shirts and shorts but we’re not wearing winter parkas either. In summer, we only turn on the A/C when it is just brutally hot out and even then, it usually gets set at 79.
–Turn your computers off when you’re not using them. Many people just leave them up and running 24/7. It only takes a few minutes for most computers to boot up.
–Turn off the TV when no one is watching it. This was a huge one in my house when I was growing up. My Dad used to win new TVs about every other year through his job, so we had them in all the bedrooms, the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, and the garage/shop. Invariably, at least three of them were going at any given time, with no one watching them. Even now, when I visit, I’ll find them on in several unoccupied rooms. What an incredible waste of energy.
This week, make a plan to reduce energy usage in your home. Stick to the plan for a month or two and see how it impacts your wallet. I think you’ll be happy with the results.