Tag: Appliance Energy Use

How to Manage Energy Use

How to Manage Energy UseHow to manage energy use is all about creating awareness and creating habits. That first step is probably why you are reading this post. You want to learn more about managing energy use and how you can control it! The image on the left came from www.businessenergy.com” at http://www.businessenergy.com/commercial-electricity-prices.html

For most of us it is about turning the lights off, using less water, buying energy efficient appliances, turning down the thermostat in the winter and turning up the thermostat in the summer. Converting to a high efficient furnace with a DC motor will save money too. If you have a time of day electrical system with peak rates and off peak rates you can shift energy use to the off peak times. This step does not reduce energy use but it does reduce your overall cost.

Create Habits – Manage Energy Use

Get into the habit of turning the lights off when no one is in the room, adjust the thermostat , talk about it with the family, get them involved as you try to manage energy use. It may take some time but they will gradually become converts! You may even have to provide some sort of incentive to help them form the habit of always turning off lights for example when they leave a room.

Increase Awareness – Manage Energy Use

Increase awareness about how to manage energy use can mean that you talk about it with the family. Get them involved and provide them with an incentive. Maybe a small trip with the savings. When you manage energy use, you save money so that it can be spent on other things that are more important to you and your family. Sometimes examples are helpful. Showing them the bills and letting them know how much things cost sometimes helps.  If a heating bill is much higher than normal, this is something you can discuss with the family and explore reasons that it is so high and what all of you can do to reduce the cost of heating in future months.


Efficient Energy Use

Efficient Energy UseYour car, your furnace, the air conditioner, even the lights all contribute to the amount of energy that you use in terms of electricity as well as a fuel that you burn in your furnace. By turning your temperature gauge up or down you can save significant amounts of energy and reduce the overall cost of heating and cooling.

Our natural gas supplier has recently announced a 40% increase in the cost of gas. This is what we use to heat our house in the wintertime! A 40% increase is huge and will add a great deal of cost to our annual budget. In addition our electricity provider has also increase the cost of electricity provided to us by 4% which is a lot smaller compared to what our natural gas supplier did. Still this is more money out of our wallets and on an annual basis we’ll probably add at least $100 to the cost of electricity that we use. This is why it is important to reduce the energy that we use to leave more money in our wallets!

Efficient Energy Use – Direct Savings

By simply turning down the thermostat by one or 2° in wintertime will save you at least 10% on your overall energy costs for fuel you are burning in your furnace and electricity that you use to run the furnace. Turning off the lights will also save energy and managing how often you drive your car and bunching together errands will reduce the amount of gasoline that you use. Gasoline recently increased by 20% so makes a lot of sense to be a smart driver and reduce the amount of gasoline that you actually burn every day. These are direct savings that you can make simply by being smart about how you use electricity, fuel to heat your house and gasoline to drive your car.

Efficient Energy Use – Indirect savings

Believe it or not you can also be more efficient energy use indirectly as well. Purchasing larger quantities of food reduces the amount of overall packaging that you have to throw away and the energy that it took to produce packaging. This will save money in the long run for you in terms of your food costs and also reduce the amount of shipping and manufacturing cost as well.

Another great example is our water bill. Our water costs are included in the taxes that we pay on our property. Since we don’t have a meter we tend to use a lot more water than we would if it was metered and we had to pay by the cubic meter. By reducing the amount of water that you use you can indirectly affect your tax bill and keep it as low as possible over the coming years.


Appliance Energy Use

Appliance Energy UseWhen it comes to appliance energy use and trying to reduce your energy footprint, I like to apply the 80:20 rule. Focus on the things that are going to save me a lot of money vs. those that may save me very little. Once I have gained as much as I can, only if it makes sense from a ROI(return on investment) will I take a look at the smaller savings to be gained.  One light bulb may not save much when you convert from incandescent to florescent lights. Converting all of your lights can begin to add up. In a previous post we talked about how converting three lights would save $29 per year. When multiplied across all of our lights inside the home, would add up to much higher savings.

What Appliances Cost More to Operate?

So which appliances cost more to run? Well it depends on your personal use of these appliances, the rate you pay for power and of course their energy rating. For example, in our location air conditioning costs us approximately $150 per year. Running ceiling fans may cost us $20 / year for the same period instead of using AC. Cooking with an oven at 350 F 15 days a month for an hour on average  may cost us$43. Heating with a microwave will cost us about $32, although a microwave is much more efficient and does not need to be run as long as the oven.

That new plasma TV you leave on all day will cost as much as $88 a year. Reducing the number of hours that you actually watch it will reduce the cost by perhaps half to $44. The same LCD sized TV will cost $20 less or $68 a year to operate with the same assumptions. Even while not on these devices still consume energy, but it only represents a few dollars per year times the number of devices that you actually have.

How to Control Appliance Energy Use

None of these amounts are huge dollars, unless you run your AC for extended times. Many people do have to do in southern climates, it really means that you have to get into the habit of turning things off all of the time. Run your appliances in non peak hours, and convert to less expensive appliances in terms of energy use. This is the only way you are going to get control of your energy cost and minimize this cost as much as possible.

Convert all of your lights that are on a lot to florescent lights. When you purchase appliances, go for the energy efficient ones. When you walk out of a room, turn the lights off, turn the TV off etc. Run your AC less and if you are not at home, turn your AC temperature up so that it is not running unnecessarily. If possible delay electrical use into non peak times. In our case that means running the dishwasher and the dryer after 7pm at night or on the weekends. I also turn the pool pump off during the day so that the pump is not drawing electricity during the day when rates are at their peak.

Charging Electric Cars

Appliance energy use is just part of the equation. What is about to change is the use of electricity to charge our new cars. Hybrid cars do not require to be charged from the electrical grid, however purely electrical cars must be charged from the grid. The best time to charge these vehicles will be at night when the non peak rates are available. You will save money by driving an electric vehicle. However you can manage this cost as well by controlling when you actually charge the car. In reality it is just another appliance that just uses energy.

As usage goes up and more investment is required. The electrical companies will be increasing their rates even further than they already have. As time goes on it will become even more important to manage your appliances energy use. It will become more important to control your monthly electrical cost. We will be writing a lot more about this subject in coming posts so stay tuned!

 


Energy Use of Appliances

Energy Use of AppliancesEvery appliance uses energy, some better than others and there are many variables that go into an estimate of the energy use of appliances.  For example, how often do you use an appliance each day, each week or month? Are they used all year round? What capacity is your appliance? What rate are you currently paying to your provider and do they have a peak rate, a medium rate or an off peak rate. Do you use this appliance in these various time frames that correspond to these rates?

With so many variables, how does the average consumer figure out what an appliance is going to cost him or her and do they really care. Perhaps it is not even worth the effort to figure out all of this stuff. Bottom line is that  if you are not using it and have it turned off, the appliance is not going to use energy unless it has a keep warm feature such as TV’s and computers. In this case they use less energy, but they are still using energy.

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