There is no point in telling you how to save energy unless it saves you money. That is perfectly fine because you fall in the same category as everyone else in the world. Lucky for you (and the world), there really aren’t any ways to save energy without saving money in one way or another. However, the difficult part is showing that the amount of money that could be saved by different energy saving methods is what the decision of taking the actions or ignoring them comes down to. With the energy and money savings tips you are about to read, visualize yourself in the game of monopoly and passing “GO” after applying each technique to your life. At the end, we’ll see if you end up collecting more than $200 in a year.
Getting Unplugged – Pass Go and Collect $50
The combination of clocks, items on “stand-by”, and all electronics that when you place your hand over, you can feel warmth being radiated from them, are all using energy. Most importantly, they are also using the money in your wallet which you would rather stay there. With various appliances sucking 2-10 dollars of energy each year, and multiplying that by the number of appliances you leave plugged in an outlet daily, you could save up to an average of $50 dollars a year by unplugging the appliances that are not needed in use. Fixing appliances so that they are in optimal working order can also save energy in the long run.
You Have More Than One Thermostat – Pass Go Three Times and Collect $560
You already know your home has a controllable thermostat which can require a lot of energy and money to run. While others would suggest getting an ultra-technical thermostat that allows you to schedule when and to what degree to alter the temperature, I am telling you otherwise. Heck, if you already invested in a more expensive thermostat, take it out and pawn it to make additional money to the total you are going to save by following the next steps.
The first step from here is to monitor how often you use your thermostat. For example, an apartment averages an electricity bill of 40-60 dollars to run the air conditioning/heat in a month. If it is only turned on occasionally, the highest amount you will be paying is $25.00. Apply the same ratios to your home and you could be saving up to $40 a month. It’s likely that you are thinking that it’s impossible to rarely touch the thermostat. That’s why I stated you have more than one thermostat.
Your body temperature averages at 98.6 degrees. I am sure you can agree that we have just as much control over our body temperature as the environment that we are in has. We can counter the cold by putting extra layers on. We can counter the heat by shedding clothes, or even more simply, going somewhere that has air conditioning. For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction, and when our body temperatures drop, we are able to counter it by using our resources to alter our thermostat, rather than using the home thermostat to help.
The third thermostat available is one that people often forget and is also the most energy consuming appliance in a household. The fridge and freezer both have thermostats. 9 times out of 10, everything in the freezer will stay frozen and healthy even at the lowest setting. While I do not recommend turning the temperatures as low as they can go, they can go extremely low and the result is – cha-ching – average savings of 3-7 dollars a month. The end result of controlling these three thermostats for a year is $560.00
Kick the 3-in-1 Plan – Pass Go and Collect $960
Creating the package of phone, internet and TV is one of the largest takers of an average person’s income. As you read on, you will notice that I do not even mention the money you will save by not feeding these three sources with energy. Consider that the bonus you will save when you look back at your accomplishments.
You may or may not know that you can now stream live TV on the web. You can also watch nearly any movie imaginable and stream your favorite season of Grey’s Anatomy or any other TV series directly on your computer. What this means to you is that you can cancel the first part of your package because you don’t need to spend money on Dish or Direct TV when you have everything on the internet that the TV has, and more.
Now you are wondering why I said to cancel your internet plan when you need internet to watch the TV shows you want. Did you know the most recent smart phones with 4G networks can be linked directly to your computer to give you internet? If you have a Droid phone, download the PDA Net application, which requires a $16 one-time fee and allows you to grab the internet from your phone onto your laptop as long as you have a network connection.
Lastly, you do not need a home phone any longer. I am sure you can reason with me that at least 60% of Americans only have cell phones. The one upgrade you should be doing is an upgrade to a 4G cell phone. Now that you have cancelled your 3 in 1 package and upgraded your phone, let’s see how much you will save.
With the average 3 in 1 plan costing a high of $129 dollars a month, minus the average phone bill cost of $45, you will be saving roughly $80 dollars a month.
Lights Out – Pass Go and Collect $130
While turning the lights off in each room, or opening the shades instead of using a light in the first place, can definitely be a great way to save energy and money, averaging a few dollars a month, the real money saver is to turn the lights off and see what lights are still on. Do you have an art picture of cars with led lights in it for headlights? Is that night light plugged in all day? Is it necessary at night? Are those extra Can lights in the kitchen really useful? How about the blinking light by your TV? To find what lights are on, turn the lights off. In addition to making sure the lights get turned off, you can save an extra few dollars a month by catching the smaller, less noticeable lights. The end result of this will save you about 4-7 dollars a month.
Also, switching to eco friendly bulbs is one way to save energy, but to really increase the money saved and decrease energy used, combine it with a lower wattage bulb. The eco bulbs give off a natural light unlike the yellow glow of your old bulbs. It is this difference that makes the higher wattage unnecessary and may even give the feeling that it is too bright. This action combined with the first will now save you about 5-9 dollars a month.
Lastly, another light trick is to monitor the number of bulbs you have in each light source. Behind the glass covering of your kitchen light, are there three bulbs powering it? Why not unscrew one? I can bet that you won’t even notice the difference. The same can be done in the bathroom or other rooms where there is more than one bulb powering the light source. The end result of the lights out method will save you roughly 5-12 dollars a month.
Who Said Anything About Saving? Let’s See What We Now Have To Spend!
You have just made the game of monopoly a real child’s game. By applying these energy saving techniques to your life, you could be saving up to $1700 dollars a year! Now when you use the extra saved money to take a family trip to the Caribbean, you can also feel proud that you contributed to the life of the Caribbean by being energy efficient. It’s great that we can combine energy saving and money saving methods that improve our lives and the life of the world.
Pass Go and Collect 2 Smiles, One for you and One for the Earth.