Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Top 10 Tips to Save Electricity

Save Electricity

Saving electricity is always going to save you money - assuming you pay your own electricity bill - but in my case, the reward has been sweetened. 

Our electricity company is offering refunds on a certain percentage of your electricity bill, if you decrease your electricity usage compared to 2011.  So if we can get our electricity down by 10-30% as compared to last year, we will get money back! 

Sounds great... the tricky part is we have my sister and father-in-law staying at us, in the two guest bedrooms that weren't being used last year and that last year the house was empty when we went on an August vacation and this year there will be tenants.  Theoretically, I feel that I've always kept electricity usage somewhere in the back of my mind and so I really needed to search for the best top 10 tips out there, in order to rise to my challenge. 

Here they are:

1.  Don't use a tumble dryer: 

I've had a tumble dryer for the last 5 years and it has changed my life.  I love soft fluffy clothes and linen, I love saving time dealing with laundry.  However, after reading EVERYWHERE how much energy a tumble dryer uses, and having friends stare at me in shock when I tell them I use my tumble dryer in summer -  it became clear that this was going to be the core of my saving electricity mission.
So I hang up the laundry, instead of checking facebook for the millionth time, and I'm trying some new suggestions to keep my line-dried clothes from getting stiff.  I haven't used vinegar yet - that sounds scary.  I have cut the amount of detergent I use... I used to use double the amount recommended (I don't know why) so I'm on regular amount now and I may even go down to half.  I run the clothes in the dryer for 10 min before hanging them out and it does help (I still don't understand why nobody recommends the dryer AFTER hanging them out...).  I shake out the clothes before I hang them.  I do NOT wait for a windy day to hang them out ... how is that supposed to work? How do I know which day will be windy? and am I expected to leave them in the washing machine until this windy day dawns?

2.  Turn off the lights when you leave the room:
Save electricity with a timer
Duh!  Well actually I realised that we always leave a light on upstairs (we all sleep downstairs) when going to sleep so that there will be a little bit of light sneaking through the door of the kids' room and they won't be scared if they wake up.  I don't know why I never did this before, but I found a small lamp we weren't using and put it in the corridor outside our rooms on a timer.  Now it turns on when we go to bed, and turns off when it gets light in the morning.

3.  Don't leave mobile phones and laptops charging overnight:
I totally have a tendency to do that, in fact we often leave these devices charging on Saturdays, when we observe the Sabbath and don't use them at all, what a waste.

Save electricity by changing light bulbs
4.  Use energy saving light bulbs:
Most of our lights are already energy saving, but I do have a few more that need replacing.  In order not to be wasteful, my intention is to wait until the globes aren't working to replace them.  Is it hypocritical to wish that they stop working so that I can replace them before the summer's over?

5.  Wash clothes in cold water:
I almost never use a setting higher than 30 degrees, and after still managing to turn white shirts and socks pink, I'm happy to stick to the cold setting.

6.  Wait for a full load to run the dishwasher:
I would think that the recommendations would be to not use a dishwasher at all (although I know it does save water), but I'm not going to ask questions and enjoy my full-loaded dishwasher while I can.

close trissim and curtains to conserve energy
7.  Keep curtains closed:
By keeping your curtains closed, you decrease the sunlight that gets in and keep your house insulated, thereby reducing the need for the airconditioner.  We have 'trissim' which are like heavy metallic blinds that close on the outside of our glass doors - I can totally feel the difference, and can't believe I never thought of lowering these trissim before.

8.  Keep your thermostat at around 25 degrees celsius:
This is a constant tug of war with my husband, who will wake up in the middle of the night and turn the aircon down to 22, after which I wake up and turn it back up to 25.  The point is that every degree really counts, so if you need to compromise at 24, there's still a benefit.

9.  Don't leave electronics on standby:
multi-plug power strip
Microwaves, TV's, DVD players... and other appliances that either have a clock, or are standby ready to be turned on with a remote control... all use phantom energy.  Well, after reading this ghostly news, I went to do a search at home, and found that our desktop computer that we never ever use was plugged in, and using little bits of energy for no reason at all.  I've seen recommendations to plug all these items into a power strip and when you're not using them, turn off the whole strip.  So far, my challenge with this is when I turn off my strip with the tv, dvd and cable - it means the cable has to reset everytime we turn it on, so I need to do something about that before the whole family agrees to cooperate.

fluff filter
10.  Clean filters:
Cleaning aircon filters will mean more efficient airconditioning even at higher temperature settings (that is totally tried and tested in my house) and cleaning the tumble dryer filter (which I now use for only 10 minutes per laundry session as per tip no.1) reduces drying time.

Happy savings everyone.


  1. You've mentioned very useful tips right here, Mrs T. But for me personally, as a homeowner, tip #9 is the most effective way in lowering your electricity bill. As a homeowner, we tend to forget unplugging our appliances after being used, especially if the kids used it. Well, my solution for this is to tell your kids and let them practice to unplug appliances after every use.

    Tyrone Brick

  2. Thanks for the input Tyrone. I think you make a good point, involving our kids in our energy saving efforts is vital to success.

  3. I agree with tip #10. By cleaning your aircon filters, you are doing yourself a favor in maintaining the quality of your indoor air. In effect, it will lower your energy consumption and will prevent risking your family's health at the same time.

    -Harris Aire Serv

  4. I couldn't agree with you more. Saving electricity is very important as it save many other resources also like coal, water etc. It is better to always double check in your house for the unnecessary devices running. Try to maintain the appliances with good electrical advices and keep regular check that they are working properly and if not then get them repaired by the experienced electricians like Mactec electrical- commercial electrical contractors. The older appliances or the appliances not working properly consumes more energy and can lead to the unexpected large amount of bill.

  5. The content on your web site never confuses me. Keep it up!!
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  6. I got a lot of tips on your blog. Thanks for sharing them all here because they are really effective on saving electricity bills. Let me also share this commercial electrician Gold Coast they are my electrician and they are great on electrical wiring's and they will secure you for electrical leaks.