There are other ways to save electricity besides the tired ole “turn off a light when you leave a room”. Read ways to save electricity that you may not have thought of!
You probably never thought this would be about utility conservation did ya? Well, this post will hopefully enlighten you on just how much electricity can be wasted.
My wife started me on this adventure a while back when she read an article about electricity vampires.
You’ve all probably heard of them, but some of these are going to make you go “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that before??!”
(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)
Remote Control Devices Draw Electricity Even When Turned Off
Yep, we all know about those little phone chargers. When they’re plugged in, whether charging a phone or not, they are drawing electricity. But, again we all knew that.
Did you know that your stereo, T.V. and any other remote control devices are also a constant power draw, even when they’re turned off? Absolutely!
They draw power while on stand-by waiting until you’re ready to point that remote to turn it on.
Power Strips Turn Off Many Electric Plugs At Once
The conservation solution? Plug these things into a *Power Strip.
Power strips are cheap and easy to use. Most powers strips have a switch that makes it easy to turn on and off.
When you’re ready to retire for the evening you can flip a single switch to turn it off when you go to bed. When you’re ready to watch TV again the next night, that single switch turns it back on. EASY!
Power Tool Batteries Use Electricity Even After They’re Fully Charged
And guys, what about those *Cordless Power Tool battery chargers?
Yes I love my DeWalt cordless power tools. But that charger is always pulling power, even when not charging a battery. Unplug ’em until you need them!
Start with one power strip and plug all your little chargers into it. Then instead of unplugging 4 or 5 chargers, simply turn off one switch when your batteries are fully charged.
Appliances With Time Displays Draw Electric Power
Here’s one I’ll bet you never thought about. How many of you have a built in oven and microwave? That’s TWO clocks running all the time, one on top of the other.
What a waste! And for the appliance manufacturers: What’s the point?
Our microwave has an ‘Energy Saver’ button which turns off the display when the microwave’s not in use.
Many newer appliances have the option to turn off the clock display. Check your manuals to see if your appliances have this option too!
Ways To Use Lightbulbs To Save Electricity
Now lets talk about lights. We all need them, but do you really need 2 bulbs in that covered fixture. And do they need to be 75 or 100 watts?
For those dual-bulb fixtures, first try a single 60 watt bulb. Especially in places like the closet or pantry where you don’t need a lot of light in the first place.
Save Electricity – Bring Outside Light Inside!
You can use your windows to light a room for FREE! Open curtains or window shades to light up a room instead of turning a light switch on.
It actually takes little natural light to brighten a room. And you would be surprised how much better you feel with natural light instead of artificial light.
Skylights are great too, and can be installed during home construction.
Or you handymen out there can help light up a room by adding a *Tubular Skylight. They’re surprisingly easy to install and are available at most home improvement stores.
Use Only The Lights You Need
One of the best ways to conserve electricity is to control how many times you use it in the first place. I mean, use it when you need it, but don’t flip on the light just out of habit.
Ask yourself this: When you go into another room to get something or walk into the closet or pantry, are you turning on that light because it’s too dark to see or strictly out of habit?
Think about that for a moment, this was one of my big “DUH” moments.
Sometimes we just have to re-train ourselves to doing things differently. It’s not difficult, but it does require a conscience effort to change.
Keeping Our Electric Bill Low
F.Y.I. our monthly electric bill currently averages just under $75. Honest! Whether the heat of summer or the cold of winter.
And we accomplish that by utilizing all the energy-saving measures I mentioned above. It doesn’t take much effort, it’s just second nature to us now.
What about you? How do you save electricity? One person can change the world, but only if they tell others what they’re doing. So it’s your turn to weigh in.
What are your tips & tricks that work to lower electric use in your household?
Other Conservation Posts
- Keeping Your Dollars: Saving Electricity
- Solar Screens Reduce AC Needs
- Whole-House Fan – Eco-Friendly Cooling
- Using FREE Solar Energy Instead Of Kitchen Appliances
- Household Utility Conservation: Indoor Water
- Reducing Landfill-Bound Trash
- Saving Money On Things That Used To Be FREE: TV
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Thank you for sharing these great power saving tips at Good Morning Mondays. The reminder to conserve energy is great and as you show there are many ways to do this. Thanks and blessings
We moved in March to an older home. One of the first things I did was call the electric company and set up an appointment for an energy audit. It cost me $100 but was money well spent. The audit uncovered things that needed fixed like wrapping the pipes from the hot water tank, discovering places where air is coming in, and giving lots of hints about ways to cut energy waste. Also, got a box of free stuff to help with the fixes like weather stripping and caulk.
I had to read this because my husband is always after me to turn off the lights (I’m trying to get better, I swear). I never thought about some of this things, especially the phone charger. I found your post very informative!
JUST FOUND YOUR BLOG…LOVE IT! I GREW UP IN THE COUNTRY IN A LITTLE WOODEN HOUSE WITH A COAL STOVE FOR HEAT. LOVED IT…I NEVER FELT DEPRIVED. MY MOM GAVE US SO MUCH LOVE THAT LITTLE HOUSE WAS FULL! SHE MADE EVERYTHING…CLOTHES, CANNING, GARDEN SEWING. WE HAD SO MUCH FUN, THEY NEVER SEEMED LIKE CHORES. THE ONE THING SHE NEVER MADE WAS HONEYSUCKLE JELLY! I CANT WAIT TIL NEXT SPRING TO MAKE IT. NEVER KNEW YOU COULD! I HAVE LOTS OF HONEYSUCKLE OUTSIDE. YUM! THANKS FOR THE RECIPE. YES, CORNBREAD IS NOT THE SAME UNLESS IT IS MADE IN A CAST IRON SKILLET. I HAVE ALL MY GRANDMAS AND WOULD NEVER LET THEM GO.
LOOKING FORWARD TO BROWSING MORE IN YOUR SPACE. GOD BLESS!!! LIN
About 2 years ago I began more aggressive steps to reduce the amount of electric I use. I do many of the suggestions mentioned in the post & comments. I will look into the Solatube (never heard of it before this post). But is there a way to “turn it off”?
Two things I do: Reach for the hand kitchen gadgets and forgo the electric ones as much as possible. Like grabbing the whisk instead of the immersion blender. I also grab a screwdriver in place of the power driver when ever I can get away with it. Second thing I do is utilize fans. A slow fan moves the heat around so it doesn’t just hang at the ceiling. And a fan on our patio drawing cool air into the house reduces our dependence on the AC when the weather gets warm. We have had people over & they say–WOW that really keeps the house cool. To me it is a no-brainer because I grew up without AC (in NJ with very hot, humid summers). When I do a lot of cooking I have been known to turn the fan around and draw hot air out of the house.
Here is a thought about the power strips that we use. Flipping the switch absolutely stops the usage; but it stops the surge protection ability too. I don’t want to leave items unprotected so I unplug the strip from the wall. I still use the strip because I like only unplugging one thing & I do want the surge protection when the items are in use.
Thanks for the post–now on to saving electric, money & the planet 🙂
Love this. It’s amazing to see how much electricity we really use on a daily basis. Something I like to do is use candles around the house in the evening, instead of all the bright lights. It saves energy, and helps create a calming mood for everyone winding down from their day.
I got myself an electricity measuring device for Christmas. I can plug it into an outlet and then plug any appliance into the device to get information on its electric use. I started a spreadsheet tracking the results. My husband looked at me like I was nuts and asked if I was really going to measure the electric use of everything in our home. Yep! I find this kind of thing strangely fascinating.
I’ve read about those measuring devices Rebecca, how cool. It seems if people knew how much electricity some of their electrical things were using they’d certainly be turning them off when not in use. Knowledge is power! Good for you. ~TxH~
Thanks for sharing, we pay some of the highest prices in the world for power I need all the help I can get
We have a Belkin surge protector with switch for the tv and its components. When we are done with the tv everything gets shut off but the DVR so it can record things. I also have a Belkin switch on the microwave. Its a little device that gets plugged in between the wall socket and the microwave with a switch on it. When I am done with the microwave I just turn it off.
Cold brewed coffee is really delicous; dare I say better than hot coffee? I started making my coffee with no heat in the beginning of the summer and put away my coffee maker, because it was so good. I don’t know what I’ll do when the weather gets cold, but this is definitely an electrical savings now
We installed a solar tube right over my main work island in the kitchen and it’s been fabulous. Even works in winter with snow covering it. It works only with single floor dwellings like ours. Even at night the stars cast enough light, though dimmer, that we can walk around without turning on any lights. No more stubbed toes. No idea how much money we’ve saved on electricity but I’m sure it’s already paid for itself.
We had a solar tube in a previous home and we loved it as well. Inexpensive, easy to install and surprisingly effective. 🙂 ~TxH~
Tammy, You really inspire me to get past my immediate to-do list and look around at the money wasters like you mention here. I forget! This is so helpful to me and to many others, I would think. Keep up the excellent writing!
I pray you have an amazing day!
But by using wood burning stove we need wood. For finding wood we need to cut down a tree which is again a misuse of natural resources. So, rather than cutting a tree it will be better to use electricity. But yes we can save electricity by keeping the fans, lights and other electronics items switch off when we are not using those.
My favorite way to keep the power bill down is playing “furnace Nazi”. I used to turn the heat up and down according to my whims, but now I try to keep it set at 68 degrees and if I get cold, it probably means I need to get off my rump and build a fire or do some chores. Next in line is using the furnace for triple duty by placing our homestead drying rack over the floor register to dry clothes. This way the furnace heats the house, humidifies the dry winter air, and dries the clothes all with the same electricity we would have been using just for heat.
LOL Magi, “Furnace Nazi”. We also try to moderate the HVAC temps to more moderate levels. A sweater when it’s a bit chilly is acceptable. I love the ideas you shared, thanks for stopping by! ~TxH~
We also unplug all that stuff 🙂 including the computer. Great info! Thanks for sharing on The HomeAcre Hop!
To cut down on the electricity used by making coffees all day, I heat up water on the woodburning stove (which is our only source of heat most days) and use that instead. Often it doesn’t get boiling so I put it in the kettle and then boil it, but I figure it will at least mean the kettle isn’t working as hard as when it has to heat cold water to boiling. Best wishes from the UK – found you on on the Homestead Barn Hop.
Hi Alison, thanks for stopping by! I love your idea of using your wood-burning stove for hot water for your coffee. We have a wood-burning stove as well and although it’s not our primary heat source we use it alot. I like to keep a kettle of water on it for hot tea, plus it adds a little moisture in the air. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your idea! ~TxH~
We also drink a lot of coffee, which we make in an electric percolator. It’s tempting to make a big batch and leave it plugged in to keep the coffee warm so we can have more later, but not only does this waste power, eventually it makes the coffee too strong and burnt-tasting. So we bought an insulated carafe. After pouring the first cup for everyone drinking coffee, we turn off the percolator and store the leftover coffee in the carafe. It stays hot for the rest of the day with no energy use.
I love our percolator Becca and love hearing someone else enjoys theirs as well. We try to remember to pour our coffee in the carafe so that it doesn’t use electricity to stay hot – we really need to get serious with using it again. ~TxH~
I did a bunch of research on this a couple of years ago so at our living room computer station and our tv entertainment area we set up switches to turn them off completely no draw. However I am so grateful for this post because it is a great reminder and we need to do this at my son’s computer/xbox area and we need to do it in the kitchen too. I tell you I love all the blog hops because it is a place to learn what you never knew or relearn what you forgot about……By the way your ranch is absolutely beautiful maybe one day we will have a ranch too. So glad you guys linked this post up to “The Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post” blog hop this week!
Thanks for sharing! Since we have been living off-grid with a small solar set-up, my wife and I have become very aware of our electricity waste. Now whenever we are in a home that is on-grid the excess use of energy is so apparent. Its just so easy to not pay any attention to the things we have grown accustomed to. Found your post on the homeacre hop.
Oh man I would have loved to have been off-grid solar! We attempted it when we were planning construction but it was just out of reach for us. We did build our house using passive-solar and open design floor plan and with 2×6 heavily insulated exterior walls, solar decking in the attic, etc. It’s a pretty amazing difference in our utility bills from when we lived in our suburban home. Thanks for coming by and for your comment. ~TxH~