There are many benefits of saving electricity. Obviously, saving money is one of them. And for fossil fuel powered electricity, we now know that saving the environment is the most essential benefit. Unfortunately, it's only the money saving aspect that appeals to many people. Yet, that isn't to say anyone who is more concerned with saving money isn't concerned for the environment. The reality for many people is that they simply can't afford to save the environment.
It's true that going green sometimes takes some upfront costs. Take the example of giving a home solar panels. It is certainly going to cost a few bucks to purchase the panels and have them installed. Even some of the better energy efficient light bulbs out there can add up quick for somebody on a tight budget. And while I could reply with the common argument "What price can we put on the environment?", I simply know that many people can't afford the initial costs of going green, short of cutting into a grocery budget or bills.
Here's the good news. In order to save electricity around the home, there are many things you can still do without any upfront costs. All it takes is a little knowledge, discipline and dedication. And there's even more good news. You can use your new financial savings to save even more. Here's how:
By far, one of the easiest and surefire ways to save electricity is to unplug your home electronics devices when not in use. This includes any small kitchen appliances like coffee makers, toaster ovens, blenders, mixers, even microwaves, and especially stereo systems and computers. The reason being is that these devices still use minimal amounts of electricity in a phantom state that adds up over time (up to 60 Kilowatt hours per month, which is about $9). It isn't hard to plug an electronic device. The challenge is to get in the habit of doing it every time you step away from using the device.
Another great way to save electricity is to use your lights less. Obviously, this entails turning off any lights that you are not using. You'd be surprised just how many unnecessary lights you are likely to leave on (even if it's only for a few minutes). Do an inventory after you have settled in one evening with all the lights on that you normally use and ask yourself whether any of these lights are essential. If not, turn them off. Make a checklist if you have to, and get into the habit of asking yourself whether a light is necessary every time you flip a switch. Use candles if you have to. And certainly pay mind to any lights left on when you leave the house (Again, even if its only for a few minutes). Remember, it all adds up if you are consistent.
If you happen to have all the comforts of a modern home, you can raise the temperature of your air conditioner a couple of degrees, pick a couple of nights out of the week to hand wash dishes, only run the dishwasher when it's full and only do laundry when you have a full load. You can even air dry your laundry once in a while to save electricity.
Now, here's the best part for all you thrift spenders out there. You can use your savings to help you save even more. At the end of the month, compare your electric bill with the average of previous months'. Subtract the two and put the difference in savings to the side. After a few months, you will have enough to buy some energy efficient light bulbs and maybe even a good shower head filter. Keep up your energy saving habits and then watch your financial savings add up even more.