This may seem like an odd post to be included in an alternate and renewable energy blog, however when you think about it, one of the first things you may want to do is to reduce or control the amount of electricity that you use every day before you start looking for other sources of electricity. The subject of this post is how can I reduce the mount of Reduce Electricity Firstelectricity that we use every day.

The chart on the left is a graph of our electrical usage. We are on a smart meter system and pay for electricity based on the time of day usage.  Green is from 7pm to 7am, while yellow is from 7am to 11am and 5pm to 7pm, and red which is the highest cost is from 11am to 5pm in the day. As you can see in June, July and Aug of 2010 we used a lot of electricity. We were running a pool pump  basically 24 hours a day.  Air conditioning was operating a lot and contributed to a high cost for electricity during those months.

During Feb, Mar and April we were in the sunny south, so the only thing that was using electricity was our furnace, our fridge and security lights that turn automatically when it gets dark, which in the winter time is for almost 14 hours a day. There is a huge difference even from Dec which is also a cold winter month. All TV’s , computers etc were unplugged so there was no trickle draw of electricity. This shows the dramatic difference between usage from different months and the impact of shutting everything down.

Electricity Reduction List

Some web sites advertise usage meters or kill a watt meters, however if you just use your common sense you can reduce your electrical bill substantially. Here is a list of the things that you might consider in terms of energy reduction when it comes to electricity:

  • Turn  off all lights in vacant rooms
  • Eliminate the 2nd fridge
  • Eliminate the freezer
  • Turn off and unplug all electronics when not in use e.g. TV’s, radios etc
  • Run pool pumps for a few hours a day in non peak times
  • Run air conditioning during non peak times
  • Turn up the temperature for air conditioning so that it runs less
  • Convert all lights to fluorescent bulbs to reduce your electrical draw
  • Schedule clothes washing and drying to non peak electrical rate times
  • Schedule dish washer operation to non peak electrical rate times

The top users of electrical power are motors such as pool pumps, air conditioning, lighting throughout the home, refrigerators and dryers. These are probably the main things that you want to focus on, while unplugging TV’s and other electronics will save you electrical usage, but will not have the same impact as some of the higher usage devices. Also remember that even if an appliance is turned off such as a TV, they may be still drawing electricity, so unplug them if they will not be in use for awhile.

Reasons to Reduce Electricity Usage

Why do we talk about this sort of thing on this site. Well there are a couple of reasons. First there is the sheer cost of all of the electrical usage that you are consuming. No one minds putting money in their pockets. Secondly the power we are using is generated by consumable electrical power that is generated by coal or oil fired plants or perhaps nuclear plants and has an impact on the planet and our environment.

If we can reduce then we are helping to conserve the environment in  our own little way. Third, and this is the big one for me, if we are going to turn to alternate energy sources, then trying to meet a reduced demand with alternate energy sources is far easier than meeting a large load such as was demonstrated in June , July and Aug of last year.

Getting Results

In our family we have implemented some of the energy saving steps we have discussed in this post. So far June is looking to be 1/3 of last years usage. What are the changes or differences from last year? We are using far less air conditioning  this year due to different weather patterns, we are only running the pool pump about 6 hours a day and we are making sure lights etc are not on when we are not in the room. Oh, and the dryer is only run after 7 pm or on weekends. Just with these small changes we are seeing a dramatic change in our electrical bill.

We will write another post along these lines to show the power usage on an hourly basis. This will illustrate the impact of the cost and the usage to show everyone the dramatic impact of being a little more careful about how and when you use electricity. Remember this is all getting ready for converting to an alternate energy source. Whenever it becomes available and maximizing the use of one of these systems.

Comments as usual are welcome. We are looking for constructive comments, spam comments are auto deleted. For more posts about electricity reduction and saving money, click here.