A record of my efforts to live a more sustainable life.

How to Save Electricity

Depending on where you live and the source of your electricity, decreasing your electricity usage can be a major way to decrease your impact on the environment. This is especially true if you live somewhere where coal is still used to power your home. But even here in Manitoba where we use the relatively clean hydroelectric power, more electricity used means more dams eventually being built, which means destruction of habitat. So unless you're living totally off the grid with a roof full of solar panels, you could definitely do some good by cutting down on the electricity. So in today's post I'll talk about two really easy ways to cut down on your electricity usage.

Probably one of the easiest things you can do to save electricity is simply to stop things in your home from using electricity when you're not even using them. If you've done a lot of reading about green living, you've probably heard the term "energy vampire". An energy vampire is an appliance that uses electricity even if it's turned off, as long as it's plugged in. You can sometimes identify these things by their lights that exist just to tell you they're plugged in.

This is an easy problem to solve. Simply unplug things when you're not using them! Or, if you don't even want to go to that much effort, do what I do and use power bars for everything. I have a power bar in my room that has my CD player, several lava lamps that I hardly ever use, my Christmas tree-style lights, my laptop, my cell phone, and my camera plugged into it, though not all at the same time. When I'm not using any of them, I just turn off the power bar, and everything is instantly unplugged! You could have a similar setup where you plug in your TV, video game consoles, and DVD player, as long as the DVD player isn't also your clock.

Another easy place to cut down on electricity is your computer. Obviously, the biggest thing you can do is turn it off at night, or whenever you're not going to be using it for quite a while. And when you do leave it on, change your settings to put the computer to sleep quickly, rather than using a screensaver.

Alternatively, when your computer is on but you aren't using it, you could use that electricity to help a good cause, by signing up at the World Community Grid! With their program, your computer can use its idle CPU time to contribute to good causes by doing computations. One of the projects you can contribute to is the Clean Energy Project, so you could even be helping to improve solar power technology! So it's really a win-win.


Kochier said...

Another thing you can do is keep your appliances efficient. Keep fans free of dust (computer, backs of TV's, consoles etc. Clean the coils on your fridge and keep it 2-3 inches from the wall to allow heat to escape. Try to keep the fridge/freezer full as it will be more efficient in keeping cool. I managed to stuff everything into my upstairs freezer and unplugged the basement freezer, plus I now have less frozen food, as there is less space to keep it all.

I also have everything hooked up to power bars, I think I do fairly well on my bills, but can always find ways to use less.

LianneLavoie said...

Good thinking about keeping fans and stuff clean. I didn't know that one about keeping fridges and freezers full. Thanks for the tip!

Danielle McGaw said...

Thanks for this - made me think about how we use electricity in our house and some of the changes we can make.

Umesh said...

We all wants to save electricity . Thanks for this nice information , you have done great work. and visit Save Electricity for more information about how to save electricity.

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