Reduce Your Energy Bill If you want to save energy at home, you have to make some form of sacrifice. It takes time to develop habits like adjusting your thermostat during the hot summer and cold winter months.
Making a concerted effort to become more energy-efficient and taking on home improvement ideas to reduce energy costs over the long-term means investing time, elbow grease, and money. However, not all methods of reducing your energy usage require a great effort. You can easily and noticeably reduce your power bill without too much work by unplugging your appliances.
Plugged-in appliances contribute to your monthly power bill, even when they're not in use. When a device is plugged in, it still draws a small amount of power - this is called a "phantom load." You may not realize how many of your appliances contribute to the phantom load in your home.
For example, most microwaves use more energy to power their digital clocks than they use to heat food. Consumer electronics account for 15% of the average energy bill, and this figure continues to rise as we purchase more electronics to use in our homes.
We love having easy access to our favorite gadgets, keeping them turned on and plugged in at all times. However, other appliances that we don't use very often shouldn't contribute to our phantom load.
Related: How to Tackle the Top Energy Hogs in Your House!
What to Unplug
In some cases, unplugging multiple appliances may seem downright inconvenient. I use my toaster oven every day, and I really don't want to constantly plug it in and then unplug it just to save a few pennies. I resisted this energy-saving step for a long time, simply because it was a hassle. Then I realized I have scores of appliances in my house that I don't use every day.
I found a gold mine in my guest bedrooms, for example. I had several unused alarm clocks, radios, and lamps plugged in and contributing to the phantom load in my home. So I unplugged all of them. Guests only use the rooms a few times a year, and they can plug in the appliances when and if they need them.
Look through your home to find unused appliances and electronics that you can unplug to save money. This might include phone chargers, the coffee pot, the iron, and the hairdryer. Once you unplug your unused appliances, determine how much money you save from reducing your phantom load.
My Cost Analysis
I launched a test run to determine my potential savings by reducing my home's phantom load. I unplugged all of the rarely used electronics, including items that I only use a few times each week. After three months, ignoring normal fluctuations, I lowered my utility bill by 15%. My monthly energy costs equate to$100 in the summer and $60 in the winter - I spend about $1,000 per year in electricity. If I can reduce my bill by 15%, that's an annual savings of approximately $150.
I don't suggest unplugging items that you use on a regular basis. That quickly becomes an inconvenient chore. Instead, do yourself a favor and take a quick stroll through your home; I'm confident that you can find several items that you can unplug. I found plenty, and I don't even live in a large home.
Start unplugging devices in your home that you rarely use, and watch your energy bill decrease. The simplest, fastest, and easiest way to reduce your energy usage only takes minutes to implement. In addition, you can try additional ways to reduce utility bills: consider using power strips and purchase appliances with the government's Energy Star label.
Have you tried unplugging at home? What were your overall savings?