Ways to Save Energy and Slash Electricity Bills

1. Lighting & Light Bulbs
Install low energy light bulbs in rooms you use regularly ? they last up to 15 times longer than a normal light bulb and provide the same lighting for a quarter of the running cost. Turn off the lights when you leave a room for a long period and don't use several light bulbs where one will do the job. Teach all family members to turn off lights when leaving a room.

2. TV, Hi-Fi & Radio
Turn off the TV or video and hi-fi rather than leaving it on standby. Always use the television's on/off switch. Leaving the television on standby wastes energy.

3. Cooking
Microwave ovens reduce cooking time by 15% to 20% and save energy. When boiling vegetables, use just enough water to keep them covered. Use a jug kettle that has a water level gauge to ensure you only heat the amount of water you need. Cover saucepans with lids whenever possible to reduce the cooking time.

4. Home Laundry & Dishwashers
Save electricity by using old-fashioned clothesline for clothes drying. Avoid drying clothes on radiators as it lowers the room temperature, making your boiler work harder. Shut off dishwasher for dry cycle. Let your dishes "air dry". Don't use dishwasher or laundry equipment until you have a full load.

5. Fridges & Fridge Freezers
Make sure your refrigerator and freezer door seals are airtight. Let hot foods cool before placing them in the refrigerator. Defrost refrigerator regularly - when about 1/4 inch of ice has formed. Place your refrigerator in the coolest part of the kitchen - away from cookers, heaters and out of direct sunlight.

6. Heating
Turn off electric water heater when going away for vacations or weekends. Turn your heating down rather than opening a window to reduce the room temperature. Never cover radiators with curtains or furniture as this reduces their efficiency and wastes valuable heat. When going on long holidays, remember to switch your water heating off.

7. Work Tools
Use hand tools in your workshop instead of power tools.

8. Appliances
When shopping for new appliances, ask about energy-efficient models. Buy appliances on the basis of cost plus operating costs, not price alone. Limit the use of appliances that use over 1,000 watts. Keep appliances clean and in good working order. They'll use less energy.

9. Bills
Check all energy bills closely. Errors can be costly.

10. Insulation & Air conditioning
Insulating your attic will save on operating air conditioning (also heating). If your walls are suitable, cavity wall insulation will substantially reduce heat loss. Keep air conditioning condenser shaded from sun or on north side of house. Turn off air conditioning when no one is home.

Copyright © 2005. Chileshe Mwape writes for The Cheap Electricity Guide
website at: http://www.cheap-electricity-guide.org.uk/ and he's also a regular contributor to the Ways2Save website at: http://www.ways2save.org.uk/.

This article may be reprinted as long as all the above links are active and clickable.

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