Friday, August 13, 2010
Anyone remember Reddy Kilowatt? That lovable cartoon character that was the spokesman for electricity in the 1960's? I remember my mother telling me not to stick forks and other items in the electrical outlets because Reddy Kilowatt would get me. I've learned not to be so curious about those outlets, but Reddy still manages to get me anyhow - in my wallet. If I'm not careful he'll drain that wallet faster than I can say "Reddy, leave me alone." Thankfully I've learned a few tricks that keep Reddy, and his wallet-snatching lightning bolt fingers out of my pockets.
There are a hundred ways to conserve electricity around the home, and in the previous post I highlighted one of my favorites - putting the dryer on notice by using a clothesline instead. I'd like to list another idea that helps to lower that monthly electric bill:
Unplug, unplug, unplug. My kids think I'm the electric outlet czar because I'm constantly either unplugging appliances, or turning off the power switches. Because of "phantom electricity," appliances and other electrical devices that stand ready to deliver power immediately when turned on can use up to 75% of the power used when turned OFF. Yes, you read that right. Televisions, computers, microwave ovens, digital clocks, and other appliances all draw power when turned off. No sense having the television and microwave ready to power up when we're all sleeping at night. In my home I have four television sets (I'm pretty embarrassed to admit to that number!) Three of those either have an XBox, or a DVD player hooked up to them. By unplugging them each night I'm stopping the electricity use from seven items. Then add in the microwave oven, ceiling fans, lamps and other items I either unplug, turn off when not in use, or switch off at the power strip and there's even more savings.
CHALLENGE: Take an inventory around your home and see how many items stand ready to deliver electricity and then get in the habit of either unplugging them, or plugging them into a power strip that has an off switch.
Use Reddy Kilowatt responsibly, and keep your green in your wallet!
Friday, August 6, 2010
So, here's my first Debi's Dollar Idea:
8/6/10 Hang up freshly washed laundry instead of using the dryer. For the next week don't use the dryer, and keep track of how many loads you didn't spend that electricity on. If you have access to a clothesline, use it! Take advantage of the free drying power of the sun. Or, hang items inside your home. I frequently put wet clothes on hangers and line them up on the shower rod, from cupboard handles or doorways. Large, heavy items such as towels, blankets and jeans often find themselves hanging over the fence. Your neighbors, or even your own family may think you've lost your marbles. But if you can save yourself a few bucks, who cares?
I'll be checking with my electric company to see just how much I'm saving per dryer load I'm NOT using. Perhaps an extra challenge would be to use the money saved from not using the dryer to help pay down a credit card, or to add to an existing savings account.