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Conserve Electricity at Home

Have you considered how much it costs you to have a light on in your home? Saving the Earth is not the only goal of conserving energy or electricity; saving money is a direct result of energy-saving tools and appliances. If you are like most of us, you pay little to no attention to your electricity meter. The monthly bill comes and goes and so long as there is not a noticeable rise in the invoice, the details of your energy use are not typically stats we seek out. In fact, the electrical jargon itself inhibits us from even attempting to understand those meter readings. Watts and kilowatts and kilowatt-hours each come with their own code of abbreviations that leave the average, not-professionally-licensed-electrician homeowner, a little bit baffled - and rightly so.

When you make time to get to the pile of bills, sit at your kitchen table and try to focus, ignoring all the background noises, it's all a person can manage just to get that checkbook to balance, let alone decipher the foreign terms on the electric meter reading. However, it only takes a moment to understand the basics, and getting these fundamentals down will help you make the best decisions when it comes time to purchase green products and energy conserving items.

So let's get started. First of all, electricity is billed to you by the kilowatt-hour or kWH. On average, one kWH costs about $0.08 to $0.15. To rack up a kWH, you must use 1,000 watts of electricity. To put it in more common terms, 1,000 watts is equivalent to using a 100 watt light bulb for ten hours.

Now that you have a better understanding of a basic fee associated with your electric bill, here are some ways you can go green and get more electricity for your dollar and promote energy conservation in your home.

Buy CFL bulbs: CFL bulbs cost more up front, but average to save you $40.50 per year, per bulb in electricity fees. While the out of pocket expense is greater, you will recoup those costs by the 720th hour of usage and from that point on, you are saving money. These green bulbs use less energy, usually a fourth of what a standard bulbs would use up. They also last longer than standard bulbs. Typically, the life of one CFL is equal to about 10 standard bulbs.

Don Your Sweatshirt: A sure-fire way to conserve energy is not to use so much of it. In the winter months, keeping the heat on a low setting and adding a layer of clothing, like a sweatshirt or simply a pair of socks, is a highly effective way to save money and energy. In addition, your nose will thank you; having a heater on low helps to prevent the air in your home from becoming dry. Having the heat on high not only consumes more energy, but leads to more energy use because dry air is often counteracted by plugging in a humidifier.

Shed Your Skin: In direct opposite of adding a layer, the summer months are perfect for packing away heavy sweatshirts and wearing lighter clothing around your home. By adjusting the temperature one or two degrees above your comfort zone, you will be able to quickly adjust to a new temperature. Your body won't notice the change, but your pocketbook will definitely feel the savings.
Flip It and Exit: An obvious but often neglected green practice is turning off a light when you leave the room. Your mother probably nagged you about this when you were a child - you probably nag your children about the same thing. If a room seems to dark and you find yourself turning on all the lights in your home, try getting a different fixture with a more sheer or lighter shade, or changing the globe for a whiter, less opaque globe. The more light that penetrates into the room, the less compelled you'll be to need all the lights on. 

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