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Friday, November 19, 2010

Frugal Friday! Energy Costs

Well, as promised, I'm trying to get back into my Frugal Friday series.  I'm in the middle of 3 cake orders for tomorrow so today's tips will be short. 

Recently I had NYSERTA come in and do some energy saving things in my home.  This was a free service to us because we received HEAP last year to help pay for our heating bill.  I feel like I basically know what it takes to cut down on my energy bill but they did give me some interesting information as far as putting numbers into the equation.  It costs, on average, .17 per hour to run your electric dryer!  WOW!  With the amount of laundry I do, that adds up very quickly.  I'm guilty of being very lazy in this area.  I do have a clothes line outside but really, I can only use it in the spring and summer.  I have a retractable clothes line in my bedroom but that holds like 1/4 of a load!  I honestly don't have room for those wooden drying racks so other than the dryer, what's a family to do?  I'm thinking of hanging another indoor line and at least hang half of each load.  I also learned that you use more energy using a dryer if you aren't cleaning the lint filter after every use.  Obviously, it runs longer if the lint filter is clogged.

They also changed 16 light bulbs to the super energy efficient compact florescent bulbs.  They produce the same amount of light and use a whopping 75% less energy than a regular bulb.  Over the life of one CFL (compact florescent light bulb) you can save up to $70!  Multiply that times every light bulb in your house and that's a decent amount of money  back in your pocket!

So here are some frightening numbers for you as far as average costs to run different things around your house.  The numbers are based on NY State average electricity cost of .16/Kwh.  Appliances obviously vary so these are ballpark estimates.

42" HDTV:  6 hours per day = $7.01/month
Radio: 6 hours per day = $1.44/month (listen to the radio for that "white noise" instead of the TV!)
Computer: 6 hours per day = $7.82/month
Fish Tanks: $14.03/month
Waterbeds: $16.77/month
Swimming Pool Pump:  12 hours per day = $150.69/month!!  My brochure says we run these much longer than needed and suggests a timer.

Did you know that you can lower your heating bill by 1% for EVERY DEGREE you lower the thermostat for an 8 hour period!  Hello!!  Get some extra blankets and turn that heat down at night!  This is the example given:

Lowering your thermostat from 70 to 68 for a 24 hour period saves 6%
Lowering your thermostat from 68 to 60 when away from home or sleeping for 8 hours saves an additional 16%

These savings add up to 22%  and for every $1000 you use to heat your home, that's a savings of $220!!!  Holy Cow!  I really think I need to be better about this at night!  I freeze all winter long so I'm guilty of not turning it down.  I think I'll change my plan since we're not applying for HEAP this year. 

This one hits home for me as a SAHM with a cake business...on average it costs .17 per hour to run my gas stove!!!  Puts my costs more into perspective and makes me think twice about what I'm charging for cakes!

I've got more info but no time.  I hope some of this info helps you and gives you the desire to change!  Have a great weekend!

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