Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.~ Titus 3:14, NLT

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Saving Electricity Saves You Money and The Environment. Learn some easy tips how to cut your consumption (and bill) down.

One of the best(and easiest) things you can do to give yourself some extra money each month is to cut down on your energy consumption. A few years ago when we were trying to cut back on our debt, I decided the easiest way to have extra money was to not spend money. I decided to try to cut back all of my utility bills by being more efficient. I was shocked that implementing a few really easy changes and habits cut our monthly electric bill by $40 a month! When we moved into our new house I contacted the electric company to sign up for budget billing. Budget billing allows you to pay the same amount every month and is based on an average of past usage. Because we had just bought the house the electric company said they would use all the past usage by its previous owner to get an average. They said it would only be a little over $300.00a month!!!!!! WHAT? I admittedly freaked out. They said we could pay the old fashioned month to month way, but that it would probably be the same. Well after living here 1 year I called them back(they use 1 year's worth of usages to estimate your monthly average) And guess what? My bill is only $113.00 a month now. At one point they even called to check to see if we were still living in the house because the kilowatts used were so low! 
The top 2 things you can do to save electricity is change your light bulbs to energy efficient ones and use power strips for everything. 
If you're like my husband and hate that the energy efficient lights aren't bright when you first turn them on, good news. They have created an instant bright energy efficient bulb! Now don't just go out and spend a lot on bulbs. They can be pricey. Look out for a good sale. Memorial Day is a great time to find light bulb deals.
Plugging appliance into power strips allows you to turn off ALL the power, meaning that clock on the microwave you never look at won't be using electricity when your not cooking. TVs, game systems and blu ray players use a TON of energy when they are not even on! This is referred to as vampire energy. Plugging them into a power strip and turning it off will cut down on your kilowatts dramatically. Keep in mind if you have a DVR that records programs, you will need to keep that plugged into a power source at all times in order to record. If you don't like the idea of having to get up to switch a power strip off every time you turn off the tv(especially if you watch tv in bed like us) They make remote controlled power strips. My favorite one that I recommend allows you to keep some things plugged in to a side that always gets power(great for your DVR) and the rest gets turned off with a remote. You can learn more or purchase one HERE from amazon.com. This is the one I have but they also have bigger ones with more outlets.
Luckily my electric company has created a webpage aimed at teaching you how to conserve electricity and money. It lists a lot of great tips. All of which I use. You can visit the site http://www.duke-energy.com/youtility/tips/ to learn more. The following pictures and links come directly from Duke Energy's new youtilty site.

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