With the possibility of electricity rate increases for both residential and commercial customers around the corner, it’s a good idea to begin cutting back on energy consumption where possible.
Being more energy efficient in our everyday lives can start with simple, practical things that don’t require too much effort, like using fans rather than air conditioning to cool a room.
Here are five ways you can help cut down on your electricity use:
Switch off lights, unplug appliances when not in use: Once you’re leaving a room or the lights aren’t in use, turn them off. While some appliances like the fridge and freezer or your router need to remain plugged in, others can be unplugged once not in use.
Use LED bulbs: Choose LED bulbs for use in and around your home as they use a fraction of the energy the traditional incandescent light bulbs do. While they’re a bit pricier than the traditional bulbs, LED bulbs last longer, which actually make them a more cost-effective option.
Purchase appliances with lower energy consumption: According to advice from Energy Saving Trust when purchasing appliances, consider the energy usage. Check energy labels on appliances to determine what the consumption is and compare it to similar items to find an appliance that suits your needs, and that uses the least power possible. Look for Energy Star approved products.
Energy efficient approach to laundry: Caribbean Accelerator recommends running full loads in the washing machine and using cold water when possible. When it comes to drying your laundry, line drying is as energy efficient as it gets. But, for those who don’t have clothes lines and have to use a dryer, there are many economical gas and electric options on the market. Also, be sure to dry like items together. Here’s some additional advice from Consumer Reports on choosing washers and dryers.
Use a power strip with a switch: Even when appliances are plugged in but not in use (standby mode) they still consume some energy. The US Department of Energy notes that standby power accounts for between five and 10 per cent of Americans’ residential energy use.
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