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Five Energy Saving Ideas For Renters and Owners

The weather turned ch-ch-ch-chilly this weekend, and while the season change gets us in the mood for Halloween it also means we can expect higher energy bills sooner than later. Right on time, Consumer Reports came up with a list of 25 ways to save on utilities when the weather is cold. They are all great tips but these five ideas can appeal to both renters and homeowners alike.

  1. Save $25 to $75 each year by using the system standby or hibernating feature on your computer.
  2. Don't overload the dryer. Clothes will take longer to dry — and they'll come out wrinkled.
  3. Open blinds and shades on cold days. Solar heat gain can raise interior temperature significantly. But close them at night to minimize heat loss.
  4. Dust off the slow cooker. You'll use a lot less energy than cooking a meal across several burners and in the oven.
  5. Lower the temperature a degree or two before guests arrive. A house full of people generates a lot of body heat.


Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i've actually done a lot of these things - and i don't know how much they would impact me if i didn't already do them, but i can honestly say that it's smart to be aware with these tips. if you think about how much power you use every day - you can totally bring costs down by minimizing.
Deidre Deidre 8 years
Computer on standby or hibernate? Try turning it fully OFF when not in use and unlpugging the system!
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
We just recently have stopped using the AC (it gets up to 120 here) so it's been SO nice not having that on all the time. During the summer my bill is over $300 (and that's with the discount the electric company gives when you allow them to cut your AC if there s a power crisis). During the winter, I rarely use the heater, it dries me up too much, I like extra blankets. Also, we'e thought about doing solar panels, its a pretty big investment but there's a lot of tax breaks and stuff you can get. As for power strips, it's a good idea to have your PC's and such connected to one anyway in case of a power surge. Most have some sort of defense, but power strips help too
graylen graylen 8 years
I try to leave the air/heat off as much as possible. I actually love leaving the windows open when it gets cold and then bundling up in sweats and warm socks. It's my favorite time of year to be in the house. Crisp air and warm clothes!
gemsera gemsera 8 years
We only use the heat for an hour or so every night, then it goes off, and we dont use it in the morning as we arent here to enjoy it. socks, electric bed blanket (I am aussie, not used to the cold), dressing gowns and slippers. We survive. The other good idea is get the plug in remote controls for your electricals, so you can turn them off at the wall with a remote. VERY handy.
Enviroman Enviroman 8 years
There's actually a great deal more that you can do to save energy. For instance, home owners can look into joining a demand side management and smart metering program. You'll actually be paid by your utility to conserve electricity during peak summer periods. Live in a house or building? Consider placing solar panels and wind turbines on your roof. Not a new idea but it can do some good. Do the Obama and McCain Energy make any sense and make a difference?
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
Since the TV and other electronics have the energy vampires. I have my electronics console plugged into a power strip. Every night before bed, I flip that switch off. When I get in from work or whenever I get ready to watch some TV, I turn it on. It has cut my power bill by $20.00 each month. I also do like cravinsugar... I keep the thermostat off or cut down for as long as possible and just wear warm clothes until I can't stand the cold. :)
skigurl skigurl 8 years
oh yah and if you do use the oven, when you're finished cooking the meal and have turned the oven off but it's still hot, keep the door open to let heat into the kitchen. you've excess wasted heat afterward? we used to do this in university because we tried to never turn the heat on in the apartment
skigurl skigurl 8 years
some stuff that plug into the wall, like cell phone chargers, suck energy even when they're not in use so try to unplug as much as possible also, clock radios are often unnecessary (ie: in a guest room when no one is visiting or having two in one bedroom or, like me, having my ipod charger/clock radio behind the curtain of my window where i can't even see it anyway) so those could also be unplugged
cravinsugar cravinsugar 8 years
Ir you could just not even turn the heat on lol. I literally do this, or I set it for like, 65. Then I just wear warm socks and falnnel jammies/sweats/other warm clothes when I am home. my bed is very warm so I don't need to worry about that. I haven't turned my heat on yet, but in 3 days the heat pump hasn't cut on at all! Of course, it is still relatively warm (50-s at night) sxo I can get away with it. also, i live on top fllor of apt building, and other peoples heat helps too!
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