Better Save… than Sorry

ClothingLineAs electricity is becoming more and more expensive, why not embark on a power-saving scheme in 2013?

It’s cold outside, you’re staying in, putting on your heating, your TV and you head for long nice hot shower. How’s that going to look like on your power bill? You can do that without feeling guilty. Here’s how:

Step 1: Switch-off. An easy way to save power is to fully switch off anything which is plugged in and uses electricity. For your computer, printer – even your modem – it might come in handy to install a plug where you can do this all at once. Since you can only really be in one room at the time, switch of the lights in the others.

Step 2: Use with care. The washing machine uses a lot of electricity. Why not wash at 60 instead of 90 degrees, 40 instead of 60, 30 instead of 40? And forget about the dryer, why not dry your clothes the old-fashioned way? Other ways of using things more effectively are: turning up the temperature of the fridge, you don’t want to eat frozen yogurts anyway. Try also to turn down the brightness of your (TV, computer) screen, a couple of notches, you won’t even notice.

Step 3: Use some tools. The save energy in your home wiki speaks about the magic of insulating: Up to a third of your home heating escapes through the roof. Prevent this by insulating. Not only is it simple to do, but it’s also the most cost efficient energy saving measure you can make. If you don’t already have it, invest in cavity-wall insulation. This will prevent another third of your heat escaping.” Solar panels can be a great investment too, especially to help you heat warm water.

Step 4: Replace. It makes sense to use energy-efficient appliances. However, it does not make sense to throw away things which are in perfect shape to replace them for others who loose less energy. If your concern about energy saving is based on idealist/moral grounds (we use too much energy in general and especially  fossil fuels, atomic energy etc.) and not just because of your wallet, then buying new stuff is definitely not the best way to save energy – producing a new low-consuming computer f. e. uses much more energy then what you can save with it. Things break. And when they do, that’s a good moment to consider buying a power-saving alternative. LED-lights for example live long and consume much less energy. For fridges and other kitchen-tools, there are energy standards.

Step 5: Reconsider. Do you know how your power is produced? Does it come from coal burning plants? From Atomic energy plants or maybe wind mills? There is only one way to know for sure: switch supplier. There are many options for renewable energy, some examples are ekotricity and Good Energy in the UK.

Picture courtesy by reway2007, thanks.

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2 thoughts on “Better Save… than Sorry

  1. Great advice as always! I’m reminded of a great quote from Nate Hagens: “we’re not facing a shortage of energy, but a longage of expectations.” Once we stop consuming energy so irresponsibly (particularly here in the USA) the amount of energy we require will be reduced… and fossil fuels will no longer be necessary. Reducing the amount of energy we consume is more than just being more efficient as individuals, it also involves changing what and how we buy, what and how we eat, where and how we work… nearly every aspect of modern life. Those addicted to fossil fuels would have us believe that reducing our energy expectations means a return to the Stone Age, but in fact many theories indicate that a modern society less dependent on fossil fuels is likely to be both healthier and happier. I look forward to that future.

  2. As I visited the local tip shop recently I thought to myself “our childrens children are going to marvel at our ridiculous urge to throw things away”. 2013 is my year of re-using, re-purposing and recycling everything possible. I am also going to put all of the knowledge that I gained last year into practice this year. We are propagating like crazy to get enough plants to mass plant Serendipity Farm and we are composting, hugelkulturing, water wicking and anything else that will give us the edge here in our dry summer, wet winter conditions. I see it as positive affirmation that there is hope in all of this, we just need to take hold of it and hold it above our heads and be counted. I hope you had a great New Year Rahel and that everything is going well for you and yours 🙂

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