How do we keep our electric bill less than 1/3 the average for my state?
- Most important, we let our bodies adapt to the temperature instead of rushing to turn on the A/C or the heat. In the last six months I have turned on the thermostat fewer than 5 days. In the winter, dress in layers, drink hot drinks and wear socks! In the summer, drink water constantly. Most people don't drink enough water anyway, but this is the best way I know to cool my body in the summer. We also use ceiling fans to circulate the air, but only when the room is occupied. It is a complete waste to run a ceiling fan in an empty room.
- We unplug most things instead of just turning them off. Energy vampires, which are those appliances such as the TV or your computer that continuously use a small amount of power when plugged in, account for a not insignificant up to 20% of your monthly power usage.
I've learned to leave the TV off when I'm not watching it. Seems obvious, but before I might be sitting at the couch checking emails while the TV was on, completely oblivious to what was actually showing. When I'm out mystery shopping, sometimes I'll bring my laptop with me and enter my reports at the library, using their electricity. Once you make a habit out of being energy efficient, it takes almost no effort to save real dollars. By choosing NOT to be the average household, I am saving about $1,200 per year on my electric bill alone.