1. Give It a Rest
One often overlooked way to minimize your usage of electricity is to completely turn off lights, appliances and electronics when they are not in use. Many people don’t realize that even in “sleep” or low-power mode, electronic devices continue to utilize a good amount of electricity if they are left on and plugged in. Getting a power strip with a switch can make turning off multiple devices quick and easy.
2. Time For a Polar Plunge
No, we’re not advising you to swim in sub-arctic temperatures. We’re talking about your clothes. For most fabrics and normal wear, washing your clothes in cold water is sufficient for getting out the odor and grime. In fact, washing many items in hot water could actually cause sweat and blood to set in, so it’s preferred to go with the cold cycle. For synthetic fabrics that you wear to work out, doing a cool water pre-wash rinse when you get home will help to get the odor out during your next cold-cycle. Need another reason to go cold? Because most of the energy used during the wash cycle is spent heating the water, your annual savings could be as much as $63.00 per year.
3. Flip the Shades
We encourage you to support the seasonal cooling/heating of your apartment by utilizing your handy window shades. Keeping the blinds closed during sunny summer days really helps to maintain a cooler apartment, while opening the blinds during the winter will help heat your space. It’s a time-tested method that really does help cut down on your electricity bill.
4. Get In and Out.
This isn’t an advertisement for the California burger chain. We’re recommending that you start trying to take showers in ten minutes or fewer. Studies have shown that ten-minute showers typically use an average of 25 gallons of water. Not only does the ten-minute shower reduce your water consumption, but it also reduces the utilities needed to warm up the water. For those of us who love a long soak in the tub, keep in mind that a typical bath actually uses 5 gallons more water than a ten-minute shower. One other tidbit: collect the water that runs while the shower is warming up and you can use that to mop or to water your plants and pets!
5. Make Plans While You’re Out
Proper use of the thermostat helps to keep your utilities down considerably. When you are away from home, setting your thermostat to a higher temperature during the summer and colder during the winter will keep the electricity usage — and consequently your electricity bills — down. Keeping ceiling or floor fans going for pets is usually more than sufficient, and still more cost effective than running the AC.