21 small changes can add up to big savings on your bills

The best way to start saving on your electricity costs is to get smart with how you use electricity. Make these 21 no-cost changes in your home and you could save $500 or more a year, depending on a number of factors including the size of your home. Here is the some tips from  Strømtest:

  1. Turn off unnecessary lights

Two 100-watt incandescent bulbs switched off for an average of two hours per day could save you $12 over a year.

2. Use natural light

A single south-facing window can illuminate 20 to 100 times its area. Turning off one 60-watt bulb for four hours a day is a $9 saving over a year.

3. Use task lighting

Turn off ceiling lights and use table lamps, track lighting and under-counter lights in work and hobby areas as well as in kitchens.

4. Take shorter showers

Hot water is expensive. If two people in your home cut their shower time by a minute each, you could save $30 over a year.

5. Turn water off when shaving, washing hands, brushing teeth

Reduce your hot water usage by 5% to save about $21.

Strømtest

6. Fix that leaky faucet

Fixing a hot water leak in your faucet can save up to $33 per year in energy costs.

7. Unplug unused electronics

Standby power can account for 10% of an average household’s annual electricity use. Unplug unused electronics and save $50 a year.

8. Ditch the desktop computer

If you’re still using that old desktop, recycle it and switch to your laptop. If you use your laptop two hours per day, you’ll save $11 over a year.

9. Not recording? Unplug the PVR

Turn off your PVR when you’re on vacation or away for the weekend. Do that for a combined two months a year and you’ll save about $4.

10. Recycle or donate that old TV

 Recycle or donate your old T.V.. Even if you’re just using it an hour a day, that 42-inch LCD is costing you eight bucks a year.

11. Manage your thermostat

If you have electric heat, lower your thermostat by two degrees to save 5% on your heating bill. Lowering it five degrees could save 10%.

12. Be strategic with window coverings

Promote airflow through your home and block the afternoon sun. You could save you up to $10 (2 fans) or $45 (1 window unit AC) during the summer.

13. Reduce heat in the kitchen

Avoid using the oven in summer – try salads, smoothies or barbecue. You’ll reduce the heat in your home and save on your home cooling costs.

14. Run full loads

Cut one load of wash per week, even if you’re already using cold water only, and you could save $30 a year on your laundry costs.

15. Wash laundry in cold

By switching from hot to cold water for an average of three loads per week, you could save up to $27 per year on your energy bill.

16. Hang dry your laundry

If you do eight loads of laundry a week and use your clothesline for 50% of those clothes, you could save $47 a year.

17. Toss a towel in the dryer

A dry towel added to your dryer load can significantly reduce drying times. If you’re doing seven loads a week this could save you $27 a year.

18. Be efficient with refrigeration

Keep your fridge and freezer at their ideal temperature. For your fridge this is between 2°C and 3°C and your freezer should be at -18°C.

19. Unplug your second fridge

Unplug that second fridge and save up to $90 a year. Freeze plastic jugs of water and use them in a cooler when you need them.

20. Skip the heat-dry setting for the dishwasher

That heat-dry setting is expensive. De-select it and, based on one load of dishes a day, save up to $37 for the year.

21. Use the microwave, crock pot or toaster oven

A microwave takes 15 minutes to do the same job as 1 hour in an oven. Use a microwave instead of your oven 4 times a week and save $20/year.