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Energy savings help planet and wallets

July 17, 2009 by  

Energy savings help planet and wallets Summer electricity bills can make a dent in one’s assets, especially in the current economic climate, and with that in mind a non-profit organization has published tips on ways to avoid the escalating costs.

The Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) says the easiest way to save is to turn off the lights, not only when no one is at home, but also in rooms that are not in use at any particular moment.

It also stresses the importance of switching off, or at least turning to an energy-saving mode, any electronic equipment, such as a radio, TV set or a computer that is not being used.

A great economizing step – but one few people keep in mind – has to do with unplugging electronic equipment during longer absences, such as summer vacations.

In fact, the ASE says that "even if all of the appliances … are turned off, chances are that they are still drawing a small amount of energy."

It warns that this small (usually around 1-5 watts) "phantom load" for each individual device can quickly add up.

Families may also consider installing energy-saving bulbs to improve efficiency for longer-time financial benefits.

A smart way of using air-conditioning can also make a big difference in the domestic budget. Unless there are pets in the house, there is no need to run the AC when there is nobody home, the organization says.

During the night, some families have also chosen to cool only the bedrooms, for added savings.
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  • Brian Rawls

    Save the whales- club the seals who knows anymore. Lets not go green and see what happens. Give global warming a chance people.

    • Ralph

      Right on, We have been in global warming when ice glacers were all the way down into Calif.Lets take out more dams to, we don’t have a water problem .

      • Brian Rawls

        Start by collecting used motor oil. Dump whenever possible into storm drains and ditches. Counter the green holocaust.

  • http://Drivesmarterchallenge.org Rozanne Weissman

    Thanks so much Bob for citing the Alliance to Save Energy summer energy tips. Readers of Personal Liberty Digest who want to save money would also find helpful the Alliance to Save Energy’s Drive $marter Challenge money-saving road trip tips from the trip planning stage to conclusion at http://tinyurl.com/roadtips. And drivers can also save hundreds of dollars a year on gasoline with a fast calculation on the home page of the Drive $marter Challenge website– http://drivesmarterchallenge.org. It’s the only website where drivers can discover upfront how many hundreds of dollars they can save with their specific vehicle by taking 6 easy driving and vehicle maintenance actions. — Rozanne Weissman, Alliance to Save Energy

  • ROSIA G REGG

    my generation, our family are still buying used and giving our ‘used’ cloths, furniture, appliances etc. to anyone who wants them..NOW WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO A MINORITY FEW OFFICIAL GREEN PEOPLE TELLING US TO, WE EVEN SWAP MAGS, NEWSPAPERS ETC. I AM OFFENDED BY THE GREEN PEOPLE, WE HAVE A FEW BIKE RIDERS, HIKERS ETC. TELLING ALL OF US WHO LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY THAT WE CANNOT USE THE FOREST OR BLM, IF WE DRIVE OUT, SET UP TENTS AND ENJOY OUR FAMILY AS WE HAVE FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS.. WE ALSO HUNT, THE MAJORITY DOES NOT RULE, JUST A FEW ‘GREEN PEOPLE’. WHO HAVE NEVER EXPIERENCED WHAT WE HAVE AND HAVE NOT A CLUE HOW TO LIVE AS WE HAVE HAD TO..EASTERN OREGONS NATIVES ARE THE TRUE GREEN PEOPLE.NOT A FEW FROM THE BIG CITIES.ROSIA

    • Brian Rawls

      Im starting a campaign thats not green. Lets collect all the used motot oil and dump it in our waterways, ditches, and storm drain. Do everything in your power to counter the green holocaust.

  • http://none Dale

    Phantom energy needs more explanation. These appliances include: TV, VCR, DVR, digital clocks (oven, microwave, etc).

    It depends on where you live, the cost of your energy, and what type of energy you use if there is any savings.

    If you live in the northern states and have an electric furnace or heat pump turning of appliances will increase your heating cost. All appliances are space heaters. Space heaters are 20% to 40% more efficient than forced air systems. The only time these phantom loads have a negative effect on your bill is during the time your air conditioner is producing cold air.

    Northern cooling seasons are short, seldom last more than a few weeks, and rarely run 24/7, and typically use 1/4th the energy of the heating system.

    Studies show that electronic devices last longer when left on to operate at a constant temperature. The shorter life of the appliance will more than likely cost you more than what you will save.

    How much money are we talking about anyway? Phantom loads in an average home will be measured in pennys. EXAMPLE: 1 watt x 24 hours x 365 days =8760 watts or 8.7 kWh x (use your electric rate) .036= $0.32 per year.

    NOTE: Without recording devices is is impossible to do the math exactly because one would have to know exactly how many hours the heating and cooling systems are running.
    Even though an air conditioner fan runs all the time (about 75 watts) the unit only is in cooling mode part of the time (typically 8,000 to 30,000 watts). The same is true for a furnace and heat pump. The heating elements are turned on by the sequencer as needed to maintain temperature (typically between 1000 watts to 120,000 watts).

    Best guess is that the above appliance net cost is nothing because during spring and fall your house needs some heat and the appliances may provide ennough heat prevent the heating system from turning on. NOTE: this applies to all appliances including the refrigerator, light bulbs below heat level, and water heater(s) installed inside the heated space.

    Estimates are that turning electronic appliance of and on will reduce the life as much as 25%, you do the math.

    Check the label, many newer appliances use less than 1 watt while in sleep mode.

    If you have gas heat it depends on the difference between the cost of electricity and gas also taking into account the (typical 20%) decreased efficiency of gas appliances.

  • karla

    Yes, We do safe electricity, but our bills are higher then ever in CT.
    Now they thinking about raising the electricity rate again, reason so the CEO need a raise.

  • ROSIA G REGG

    WHEN WE BUILT OUR HOME [WE BUILT IT] WE STRESSED SAVING UTILITIES WITH, NO WINDOWS ON THE ‘COLD’ SIDE OF THE HOUSE, EXTRA INSULATION,DOUBLE FLOORS [INSULATION]. EVERY LITTLE DETAIL HELPED, IN 2 YEARS WE USED 100 GALL OF KEROSENE, WE CANNED THAT AND USE AN EDENPURE, IT WORKS WONDERS AND OUR ELECT.BILL WENT DOWN.[THE FAN ON THE MONITOR USES MORE ELEC THAT AN EDENPURE] SWAMP COOLER KEEPS US VERY COOL, WE LIVE A FEW DEGREES COOLER IN THE WINTER AND A FEW HIGHER IN THE SUMMER JUST TO SAVE A LITTLE ON UTILITIES, GREEN IS AN EVERYDAY WAY OF LIVING. WE COOK FROM SCRATCH, ENJOY OLD AND ANTIQUE FURNITURE, NEW APPLI. WE PAID CASH FOR.. HIKING, FISHING, CAMPING,HUNTING IN THE NEARBY FOREST. YOUR WAY MIGHT BE AS GOOD. I AM TRYING TO SAY THAT MILLIONS OF AMERICANS ALREADY ARE AND HAVE LIVED GREEN FOR GENERATIONS. NO MEDICAL IS BETTER THAN SOCIALIZED MEDICINE !!!

  • http://notyet Richard Pawley

    I have to agree with Rosia Regg (“No medical is better than socialized medicine”) but be sure to write a nice polite letter to your Congressional representatives telling them what you think about it, and let them know that you will be watching very carefully how they vote on it and the ridiculous Cap and Tax program too (which has not worked in any country it has been tried). I cannot understand intelligent people, even in Washington, thinking that this can do anything but destroy our country, send us into a black hole of poverty where we will be wishing we had it as good as Russia or China. I know Cap and Trade will make GE a fortune and make Al Gore a billionaire but just as government run medicine doesn’t solve the problem and will end up rationing health care as it does in Canada, England, France, etc. so the Cap and Trade bill will cost us a fortune and not reduce global warming but a barely measurable amount. The world has been growing warmer for at least 12,000 years and maybe a lot longer. Science tells us that is has been both a lot colder and a lot hotter in the distant past and raising our taxes so we pay the ungodly amounts they pay in other socialist countries will not stop it. We also need to get rid of the 17th amendment and let Senators be appointed to represent their own states as was done for the first 140 years of our country. We vote for the members of the House and even they don’t represent what most Americans want. Most Senators, not all, now only represent big business….I’m a bit of a student of the Bible and the one world government that is run by the one called “the beast” in the cryptic book of Revelation or the anti-Christ seems to be a banker, one who controls trade and buying and selling and requires his mark or micro-chip (or if it’s not for another 30 years, his microcomputer) in one’s hand or forehead in order to buy of sell anything. He is not a military person but someone connected with the money. All that is needed is a world wide financial collapse which I believe is coming within a decade (at least I said so in my newly published book, “The Last Days of The Late Great United States” and I tell why). I also believe that since you can’t eat gold and silver your primary concern should be a source of non-perishable food and water in the years ahead when the stores have none to sell for money that has no value. I fully expect to see 20 to 50% inflation next year, and a couple of hundred percent more more in the future before the dollar collapses (along with the Yen, the Ruble, the Mark and the Peso). It will not be the end of the world but it will seem like it. Besides non-perishable food be sure to store all the things you need from toothpaste to toilet paper. They aren’t essentials but they make life easier. By the way if one wants to keep away doctors and hospitals and medical insurance (I had some once in the 1980′s) then certain things are essential. Three of these are an ALL Natural whole food vitamin and mineral supplement, a quality Chlorella supplement, and Antarctic Krill Oil. I take Alive, Yaeyama and Neptune. I take a few other things too because I want to stay well enough to only see a doctor when I’m dying. Come to think of it I won’t need to see him then either. As my 90.5 year old mom says, “If they don’t bury you for love, they will for the smell!” Dad will be 96 next month so I guess taking supplements and not eating the typical American processed diet of GMO (genetically modified foods which includes 80% of all soy and corn) does help. Most of all don’t fear. Not everyone believes in God but I can assure you He exists and He is still in control. He is just letting us have our way like he did the ancients who had to be led into slavery in Babylon for 80 years to wake them up and we have been asleep to long. May God bless us all because no one else is going to do so.

  • http://none Dale

    A few things I should have mentioned,
    Space heat and cooling will always save more energy because you are only heating or cooling the part of the building to the necessary temperature rather than the whole building to the same temperature (forced air systems),

    Space heaters heat solid objects (you) instead of the air. studies show that forced air heated building are kept 4° warmer than those with radiant heat (space heaters, sunshine, etc). Part of this is the wind chill effect of circulating heated forced air. Each degree you raise your room temperature increases your heating cost 3% for that room.

    Phantom energy: we talk about saving to ourselves but not about the added cost and environmental issues related to replacement of the appliances resulting from a shorter life. Bottom line, reducing phantom load may seem like good idea, but in reality it more than likely will not save anything for most folks. Perhaps only those that have a really high cooling load without much need for heat on an annual basis.

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