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7 Simple Ways to Conserve Energy at Home

Updated on May 31, 2016

Easily Reduce Your Home Energy Usage

Every home has them, those BIG energy suckers - refrigerators, hot water heaters, and furnaces. But if you don’t have the money to replace these big-ticket items for their more energy-efficient counterparts, how then can you save home energy and money?

Read along to learn simple, low-cost, effective ways to conserve energy at home by attacking the smaller, yet steady energy consumers that have crept into our lives.


This article focuses on 7 simple ways to conserve energy at home:

  1. Save Electricity – Reduce Phantom Power
  2. Ways to Save Energy with the Computer
  3. Conserve Energy - Televisions
  4. Save Electricity – Turn Out the Lights
  5. Stop Air Leaks, Save Energy
  6. Save Home Energy Heating Water
  7. Conserve Energy - Appliances


Saving home energy costs can be as easy as using power strips.

By plugging electronics into power strips and  switching off the strip, energy can be saved, especially in areas with T.V.s and other home entertainment electronics.
By plugging electronics into power strips and switching off the strip, energy can be saved, especially in areas with T.V.s and other home entertainment electronics. | Source

#1 Save Electricity - Reduce Phantom Power

As new technology enters our lives, so too does an increase in energy consumption due to energy vampires or phantom power. These terms describe how often, unbeknownst to us, our plugged in electric devices continually use power even when they appear to be turned off.

You can easily save energy at home by reducing phantom power usage from electronics and appliances in standby mode. The amount of phantom power being consumed per year per device may not seem like much to worry about, but multiply it by the staggering amount of energy vampires in our homes and you suddenly realize that a little bit of phantom power usage adds up to a lot!

A 2000 study by Dr. Alan Meier of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California estimates that 10% of the average annual residential electric bill is from phantom power. Other studies have revealed estimates as high as 13%!

Efforts, such as the Energy Star Program, have been made to encourage the development of electronics that use less electricity in standby mode. In 1999 the International Energy Agency (IEA) began the One-Watt Initiative. The One-Watt Initiative calls for appliances to use no more than one watt of "leaking electricity" by 2010 and no more than .5 watts by 2013. The IEA defines leaking electricity as the electric power used by a device while not being used for its primary purpose.

Reducing leaking energy or phantom power at home would in turn greatly reduce CO2 emissions. In fact, in 2007 the IEA estimated that 1% of CO2 emissions were directly from standby mode power usage. To put that in perspective, consider the fact that air travel is responsible for less than 3% of CO2 emissions.

Saving energy at home not only benefits the consumer by reducing energy costs, but saves the planet by reducing our carbon footprint.


Read more about Meier's research at The Economist


Easily measure home energy usage with Kill A Watt

Kill A Watt is a simple, low-cost way to measure watts used and find places to save energy.
Kill A Watt is a simple, low-cost way to measure watts used and find places to save energy. | Source

Sample Phantom Power Measurements

Electronics Plugged In but Turned Off
Watts
20" Dynex LCD t.v. & Motorola Cable Box
17.2
Apple TV
1.6

Ways to Conserve Energy - Find the Energy Vampires in Your Home

Did you know that 99% of the electricity a microwave oven uses is to power the digital clock and not to heat food?

Any item that appears to be off but still has a light shining is using phantom power. Just from where I am sitting in my family room right now I can see four such electric devices, including the television, cable box, DVD player, and oven with digital clock.

Chargers plugged in that are not actively charging electronics also use a small amount of phantom power. From where I am sitting I can see three chargers left plugged in even though they are not being used to charge: one for a cell phone, one for a Nintendo DS, and one for a laptop.


Common energy vampires include:

  • televisions (plasma & LCD)
  • video game consoles
  • DVD and blue-ray players
  • home theater systems & cable boxes
  • cell phone, laptop, handheld video game, camera, and iPod chargers
  • desktop computers and printers
  • routers and modems


If you are curious as to the exact amount of energy being used, the "Kill A Watt" is a great tool for determining this. Simply plug the "Kill A Watt" into the wall and then plug the electronic into the "Kill A Watt" to get a digital reading of the watts being used. It certainly is a terrific tool for identifying the worst offending energy vampires.


Easy ways to reduce phantom energy used at home:

  • unplug chargers not in use
  • unplug electronics not in use
  • use power strips for multiple devices and turn the power switch on the power strip to off


Read more about how to Zap Phantom Loads to Save Energy at Mother Earth News.


Laptops use far less watts than desktops.

Kill A Watt monitor with a reading of 20 watts for a laptop computer
Kill A Watt monitor with a reading of 20 watts for a laptop computer | Source

#2 Ways to Save Energy with the Computer

While more and more people gravitate towards purchasing laptops over desktops, there still are plenty of homes with desktops in use, mine included. It is all too common to leave desktops turned on continually, creating a huge amount of leaking electricity.

Desktops use approximately 150 watts of power, which, depending upon local electric rates, can cost about $90 per year. Comparetively, laptops use approximately 15-25 watts when they are plugged in.


There are a number of ways to use less electricity towards computing:

  • If you are going to be away from your desktop for more than 20 minutes, turn off your monitor; away for more than two hours, turn off everything.
  • Use power management/sleep mode tools on your desktop. Remember, turning monitors off saves energy, not screen savers.
  • If you are purchasing a new computer, consider purchasing a laptop instead of a desktop.
  • Use power strips (especially power strips that double as surge protectors) to power down computer peripherals such as printers, speakers, monitor, etc.


#3 Conserve Energy - Televisions

Televisions are not only big sources of phantom home energy use, they also consume a lot of energy while in active use. And since households now have multiple high definition televisions used for watching DVDs and playing video games, in addition to regular cable television viewing, homes have seen an increase in their electric bills.


According to CNET, there are three factors that affect the amount of energy televisions use:

  1. Type of Technology - Plasma televisions use two-three times more energy than LCD televisions.
  2. Screen Size - Super-sizing is not just limited to fast food. As television screens get larger, so too does the amount of electricity used.
  3. Light Settings - Within the control of the consumer, reducing the light output of the television can cut energy use by half. Note that light output is best controlled by changing contrast and backlight settings, not the brightness.


Ways to reduce energy use from televisions:

  • If buying a new television consider the type (plasma vs LCD) as well as the screen size.
  • Adjust the light settings.
  • Turn the television off when no one is watching it.
  • Use the sleeptimer on the television so it is not on for endless hours after you fall asleep while watching it.
  • Set limits on television/movie viewing and video game playing.


Read more about television power at CNET


Compact florescent light bulbs save energy

CFLs lost many times longer than incandescent bulbs and use less electricity.
CFLs lost many times longer than incandescent bulbs and use less electricity. | Source

#4 Save Electricity - Turn Out the Lights!


Estimates show that 10% of home energy bills comes from lights. With a few simple changes, it is easy to save electricity used to illuminate your home.


  • Use compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. CFL bulbs may cost a little more up front but they last at least four times longer than incandescent bulbs, use 1/4 the wattage, produce 75% less heat, as well as reducing home cooling costs. On the downside, CFLs have a trace amount of mercury which requires proper recycling.
  • In places where CFL bulbs are not recommended (frequent on/off locations) then use lower watt incandescent bulbs.
  • Eliminate halogen bulbs.
  • Turn lights off when they are not necessary.
  • Install occupancy and vacancy sensors. They are really simple to install and are worth the small up front cost. I have one installed for the light going down to my finished basement, as well as a pass through area with 4 canned lights, and the lights stay on long enough to walk through and then automatically turn off. When you walk past them, your motion is detected and they automatically come on again. Vacancy sensors work well in bathrooms, especially ones where small children forget to turn the light off.
  • Install outdoor motion detectors.


Occupancy & vacancy sensors help turn the lights out.

Sensors are incredibly easy to install, and save a lot of energy by automatically turning the lights out at preset time limits.
Sensors are incredibly easy to install, and save a lot of energy by automatically turning the lights out at preset time limits. | Source

Conserve energy by adding foam insulation to electrical outlets.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Outlets on exterior walls can benefit from insulation, as well as plugs.To install the foam insulation, remove the outlet cover plate.Lay pre-cut piece of foam insulation in outlet and replace cover plate.
Outlets on exterior walls can benefit from insulation, as well as plugs.
Outlets on exterior walls can benefit from insulation, as well as plugs. | Source
To install the foam insulation, remove the outlet cover plate.
To install the foam insulation, remove the outlet cover plate. | Source
Lay pre-cut piece of foam insulation in outlet and replace cover plate.
Lay pre-cut piece of foam insulation in outlet and replace cover plate. | Source

#5 Stop Air Leaks, Save Energy

Newer homes are very well insulated, but air leaks still exist. And where there are air leaks, there are energy leaks.


Common locations for air leaks in a home are:

  • windows and doors
  • kitchen vents
  • fireplaces
  • electrical outlets

If you are not sure if you have an air leak you can do a test with incense. Simply light the incense and hold it near suspected air leaks. If the smoke moves, then you have a confirmed air leak. You can also perform this test with a piece of ribbon.


How to reduce air leaks and save home energy:

  • add or replace weatherstripping
  • caulk where necessary
  • close drapes on cold, cloudy days to keep the cold out
  • add insulation to electrical outlets on exterior walls
  • keep fireplace damper closed when not in use


Save energy by adding insulation to water heater.

A water heater insulation blanket is a low-cost, simple way to conserve energy.
A water heater insulation blanket is a low-cost, simple way to conserve energy. | Source

#6 Save Home Energy Heating Water

Approximately 25% of home energy bills are from heating water. Saving energy to heat water is a matter of making your water heater work less and more efficiently.


Methods to conserve energy used by water heaters include:

  • lower the temperature on the water heater
  • take shorter showers
  • do certain types of laundry using cold water
  • do full loads of laundry and full loads in the dishwasher
  • insulate first few feet of the water heater pipe
  • insulate the water heater tank


#7 Conserve Energy - Appliances

An additional way to save on home energy costs is to take a look at other electrical appliances throughout the home.


Simple ways to conserve energy used on appliances are:

  • Turn off appliances when finished.
  • Unplug appliances that are not in use.
  • Use smaller appliances in place of bigger ones. For instance, a toaster oven uses 75% less energy than a large-sized oven.
  • Keep appliances clean so they run more efficiently. For example, be sure to periodically clean under and/or behind the refrigerator. And clean dryer filters every load. A dirty dryer filter can use 30% more energy to get the job done.


There are numerous ways to conserve energy.

Saving energy at home does not have to be costly. Conserving small amounts of energy throughout the home not only adds up to big energy savings, but reduces the electric bill.

Consider taking your own home energy audit, looking for energy vampires room-by-room in your home. You may be surprised at how many ways you can find to save energy.


For additional ideas on ways to save electricity, please read:


Have you found clever ways to save electricity and energy? Please tell us about them in the comment section below.


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    • lobobrandon profile image

      Brandon Lobo 5 years ago

      Nice Hub :) I'm following you but I found it through the hopper :D. Voted up and useful.

      I just wrote a similar hub today - same topic different angle.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks lobobrandon. There are so many simple, low-cost things that can be done to save energy, so I'm glad you liked this article.

    • Outbound Dan profile image

      Dan Human 5 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

      Fantastic hub, everyone should read this. Not only are you saving money, but you are conserving our limited resources. In addition to CFLs, LED light bulbs are outstanding energy savers. They are more efficient with better light and don't contain mercury. Though they are still quite expensive, the money saved in the long run makes up for it. Voted up!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks Outbound Dan. And thank you for pointing out the LED light bulb information. I am going to include that as well, since they are yet another energy-saving alternative to incandescent light bulbs. I'm sure their cost will come down soon as more people realize that they are an option.

    • dappledesigns profile image

      dappledesigns 5 years ago from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest

      wow, I have some work to do today. Great hub, and an eye opener for me. I had no idea a digital clock could be so damaging to the electric bill. We just moved into a 100+ year old house... so I can just imagine the energy that is oozing out. Thanks for sharing!

    • lobobrandon profile image

      Brandon Lobo 5 years ago

      Oh I just noticed that the useful didn't get marked from the hopper so now I marked it useful, interesting and voted it up :)

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Dappledesigns - Even with newer houses, in the winter I could basically feel a breeze blowing through my electrical outlets. The rubber insulation pads and the baby outlet safety covers basically eliminate this. And they are so cheap and can be gotten at any home improvement store. If you do this, you need to only add them on exterior walls. Even with a 100-year old home there are a lot of easy ways to save energy.

    • jesimpki profile image

      jesimpki 5 years ago from Radford, VA

      Great tips, I've already been practicing most of this in my own home. I hadn't heard of the One-Watt initiative. Voted up!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      I hadn't heard of the One-Watt initiative until recently. I only wish I knew about it a few years ago before purchasing some electronics that if purchased now probably now use less standby power. Thanks for your comment.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 5 years ago from Northern, California

      Anything that can lower my power bill just alright with me! Phantom power has been a struggle for most of us since the world has become almost completely tech-gear motivated. Everything, it seems, requires some form of energy to get us through our day. You offer some fantastic info for helping curb the cost of daily energy consumption. Well done! [nice use of images also!]

      Cheers~

      K9

    • lobobrandon profile image

      Brandon Lobo 5 years ago

      Keystrokes same here :) and jesimpki I never heard about the one watt thing lets see if I can find one here in India because the ones in US are incompatible here so can't order any online.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      K9keystrokes - I was thinking about how many fewer electronics we had in our home about 15 years ago. But with the cost of big ticket items having come down so significantly, and great strides in technology, homes now have multiple large HDTVs, multiple DVD players, cable boxes, video game consoles, Blue Ray players, home theatres, multiple computers, ipads, ipods, cell phones, digital cameras, and the list goes on and on.

      The number of energy consuming electronics has exploded and so too have our electric bills. Luckily, with a little bit of knowledge we can save energy at home. Thanks for your comment and glad you liked the images.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Lobobrandon - I just took a look at the International Energy Agency's website (the group responsible for the One-Watt Initiative), but sadly India is not one of the member countries. But it is nice to know that by using power strips and switching them to the off position, you can eliminate leaking electricity (phantom power) and save energy.

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 5 years ago from USA

      What excellent tips! However, I can't write a long, congratulatory response because I'm headed to our home office to turn off hubby's computer, unplug all the charging units, and identify all the other energy vampires you have "outed." Voted up:)

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks Donna. "Action" is a far better than a long response! Good luck eliminating the energy vampires in your home.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      Some very useful information here. A lot of it is obvious now wIe think about it, like that a bigger TV will use more power than a smaller one. (We’ve an ongoing debate on the size of the television in our family, and you’ve just given me another very good reason for not sizing up! Thanks!)

      It also never occurred to me that cleaning behind and under the fridge saved electricity! Not so sure I’m thrilled to learn that!

      Thanks for the hub.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Melvoy, If you're family is shopping for a new tv, keep in mind that the new televisions are much more energy efficient than even a few years ago, so it may not be a winning point over the battle of tv size that you've got brewing. No matter what size tv you get, you can save a lot of energy simply by turning it off when it's not being viewed (obvious I know), and putting the tv, cable, dvd, etc, into a surge-protected power strip and turning the power strip off when not in use.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      This Hub KICKS SOME MAJOR BUTT!!! What a useful guide! And I thought I knew all the energy conservation tips out there... but no! I had never heard about insulating plugs, and had not thought about how laptops use less power than desktops.

      I love the advice you shared, as well as the great data and interesting insights! Thanks so much for writing this.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you Simone for your over-the-top "endorsement." I was thinking, regarding laptops, that when I am done using mine, I should shut it down so I don't have to recharge it nearly as often. It may not seem like a big thing, but why not, since it is such an easy way to save energy.

    • profile image

      steeveo 5 years ago

      very useful stuff here!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      What a wonderful hub of the day! Thanks for the excellent tips. I'd never thought of insulating outlets to save energy. Awesome!

    • Kristen Haynie profile image

      Kristen Haynie 5 years ago from Modesto, CA

      Awesome Hub! Not only is this very useful information presented in an interesting way, but your use of statistics and citation of specific studies really improves the quality of the hub. This is a really good one!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      The Dirt Farmer - I can remember one time years ago before I insulated my outlets, feeling an actual breeze come in if I held my hand up to the outlets. The foam insulation pads make a huge difference and they are very, very cheap and so easy to put in.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Kristen - I'm glad you found these energy saving tips useful and interesting. Thank you for all the nice words about the hub.

    • Windclimber profile image

      Windclimber 5 years ago from my boat somewhere on the Chesapeake Bay

      Your energy-saving advice is more useful than mine ("Just stay in bed all day!).

      This is my second winter living on a boat in Maryland where yes, the water freezes, so I've become hyper-aware of the value of insulation and plugging unwanted vents. Sometimes I open the door to my refrigerator just to warm up the inside of the boat . . . It's amazing how many energy improvements you can find once you start looking! Good hub.

    • jean2011 profile image

      jean2011 5 years ago from Canada

      Great energy saving tips. Congratulations for being selected the hub of the day.

    • chamilj profile image

      chamilj 5 years ago from Sri Lanka

      Golden tips on energy savings. I really like your hub, Thanks sharing these valuable information. Voted up!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi

      Thanks for collecting these tips and publishing them...one thing i have begun to do which is a bit of a pain but i do it anyway is....to unplug the electronics ....lots of them when they are not in use. it is a bit of a bother to replug in but i just check it off as saving...so glad you published this as i said...great suggetions all...

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Congratulations on Hub of the Day ktrapp!

      What a wonderful assortment of saving techniques. It is easy to take electricity for granted. My dryer broke and I hung up my clothes to dry for over two months. I saw a huge difference in my electric bill. We finally bought a new dryer this weekend. I think I'm going to keep hanging up most of my clothes though. :)

      I need to be more aware of phantom power as well. I've been unplugging things more often lately, but not enough.

      Great hub! Voted up and awesome!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      Great information. I'm glad to see that many of your suggestions I have implemented already in my home. Yes! Congrats on Hub of the Day!!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      pstraubie48 - I do prefer using the power strips and then switching the strip off where I have multiple electronics, however, like you I unplug items. My father was an electrical engineer and we never left items plugged in, especially items with a heating element (i.e. toaster, coffee maker, curling iron, etc.) as these were a fire hazard even when off. I saw a news show years ago about how there were some houses burned down because of plugged in coffee pots (set with a timer to make coffee before waking up). That only affirmed what I had learned from my father. To this day no appliances like that are ever left plugged in, in my home.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Missolive - Oh how I wish I could dry my clothes outdoors. We did that when I was a kid during the warm months (like most families back then), but if I were to do that today my clothes would become icicles.

      Did you know a lot of homeowner's associations don't even allow clotheslines (at least around me)? I'm sure some of it has to do with how close new homes are in proximity to their neighbors, but the pleasure of fresh laundry dried outdoors and the energy savings is something I miss.

    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      It is amazing how much power is wasted by the little things. We often don't think about how they all add up throughout the year.

      Congratulations on Hub of the Day! Voted up & useful.

    • jeyaramd profile image

      jeyaramd 5 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

      Thanks for this awesome hub. The idea of phantom power usage and many others just crossed my mind. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Awesome hub! This was really helpful. I hate having high electricity bills when we try to reduce it every month it never seems like much changes. I will have to try some of these tips!! Thanks :)

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Wow this is a great hub! Thanks for all the helpful ideas and the research you did to include so many facts. I just threw away a ton of outlet covers because we don't have little ones anymore. I will have to buy some more. Thumbs up!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      This is a great resource for so many people! I love how you broke everything down so it's easy to find what you need. Congrats on getting Hub of the Day!

    • The British Way profile image

      The British Way 5 years ago from Britain

      Great hub, especially as it is encouraging US citizens to go green. You just need your government to recognise global warming as genuine now. If more people followed this hub's topic then more people would save a lot of money over time. The biggest obstacle to overcome, is people's habits. Fantastic article, one investment that will help many people are solar panels to generate both electricity and heat your water. In the UK the government was backing an initiative which heavily subsidised people who has solar panels fitted to their homes so the investment was well worth the money. Does the US have any similar initiatives?

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      The British Way - Thanks. I am not sure if our government can come to a consensus on anything, let alone global warming. But, I definitely agree with you. The U.S. government, though, does provide quite a few good tax credits for energy efficient products. Some expire for products purchased or put into place in 2011 and other for 2016. There is a very generous tax credit, in my opinion, for solar panels put in place by 2016 (30% of the cost). Since it is a credit (not a deduction) it is a direct reduction in taxes. Anyone interested in this information can visit energysavers.gov for more information.

      I do agree, habits are the biggest obstacle. Even knowing what I know about home energy savings, I still have to fight my own poor habits. I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

    • sen.sush23 profile image

      Sushmita 5 years ago from Kolkata, India

      Very useful and good to have all the points on this very important topic arranged in one place. I do take care of most, but a refresher is never bad. Voted up.

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

      Yay! It's so good to know that my laptop uses less energy than the big, bulky computer that I no longer use. "Divorced" is more like it. Such as wonderful Hub as usual, k. Now I have all the information for saving energy listed in your Hub. Bookmarked (copied to show hubby about his beloved big screen), voted up, and everything else.

    • LoriSoard profile image

      LoriSoard 5 years ago from Henryville, Indiana

      Great tips. Turning off the lights makes more of a difference than people think, so I'm glad you covered this one. I run around the house all the time flipping lights off. I also try to do laundry during non-peak hours to reduce costs.

    • healthywholefoods profile image

      healthywholefoods 5 years ago

      My favorite part of the article was the Dynex tv vs. the Apple. I have a 42", and can't imagine what it cost to run. I never even thought about it.

      I did start heating my house with infrared heaters, room by room. That really cut my electric bill. I can see now, (after reading this article) that I have a long road ahead of me. I'm definitely getting one of those meters for energy consumption.

    • Keeley Shea profile image

      Keeley Shea 5 years ago from Norwich, CT

      A TRULY EXCELLENT HUB! Learned a lot from this and I thought I already knew lots about how to save energy! Well done and easy to read and understand. Congrats on hub of the day!

    • Greg Sereda profile image

      Greg Sereda 5 years ago from Sandomierz, Poland

      Very useful information. I am impressed!

    • CookwareBliss profile image

      CookwareBliss 5 years ago from Winneconne, WI

      I always make sure to unplug my cell phone charger when I'm not charging my phone. I have heard that this can increase your bill if you don't.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Some great tips here on saving energy and its costs--not surprisingly! :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Vicki L Hodges 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great hub, ktrapp! I have incorporated a lot of these tips over the years but not all. I may get one of those E-Z watt things to check out how much wattage some of my things are using. Congrats on hub of the day! This is a very useful hub! Definitely voted up!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      I forgot the Congrats on Hub of the Day!!!!

    • profile image

      carteblancheiskey 5 years ago

      If you really want to save energy at home try not paying for it.

      har har

      [Nice.]

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Congrats on the Hub of the Day. You did a great job sharing all these ideas on saving energy! I've noticed that my old fashioned TV has a "glow" even when it's turned off. I notice it at night when all the lights are out. Wonder what causes that??? I do use power strips, and use a laptop. I voted this UP, etc.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      I appreciate all the "congratulations" and apologize that I haven't been able to thank everyone individually today - it's been a busy day! I'm so glad to know that so many of you are already using a lot of these energy savings tips and others have learned some new ways.

      A few people have mentioned getting one of the meter reading devices of their own. They're easy to find, but you may want to actually see first if your local library lends them; believe it or not some libraries do have these to checkout just like a book.

      Windclimber - our resident living on a boat guy - suggests just staying in bed all day to save energy. Maybe I should add that as the #8 simple way to save energy. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Arlene V. Poma has divorced her desktop for a laptop - a great way to save energy for sure.

      Thanks again. I enjoy the comments and the energy-saving ideas.

    • Lovely 7 profile image

      Lovely 7 5 years ago

      Excellent hub. Thanks for your energy conservation tips.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Thanks for the great information! I have been trying to do some of these simple tips, but needed a reminder! Voted up and useful! :)

    • alinamassy profile image

      alinamassy 5 years ago from India

      Nice Great Hub :) :) I'm following you @@@@@@@ :D. Voted up and useful hub

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Lovely 7 - You are very welcome.

      Sgbrown - I know what you mean about needing reminders for things we already know. I needed the "energy saving reminder" myself.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Alinamassy - Thanks and glad you found the hub useful.

    • ChasingAutumn profile image

      ChasingAutumn 5 years ago from Machesney Park, Illinois

      I never knew you could buy sensors for in your house like the vacancy sensor. I think this is something that could really come in handy.

    • ktrapp profile image
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      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      ChasingAutumn - The sensors are great. I don't have any vacancy sensors in my home, but I do have some motion sensors. Not only do they help save electricity, they also reduce burned out bulbs. Thanks for your comment.

    • Cliff Mendrez profile image

      Cliff Mendrez 5 years ago from Philippines

      Fantastic hub! Simple and straightforward. Congratulations on Hub of the Day!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Congratulation for the hub of the day! This is indeed a great, useful and informative hub. I am impressed and delighted as some of the tips you mentioned was not known to me until I read your article. Voted up. Thanks for sharing.

    • twentyfive profile image

      twentyfive 5 years ago

      this is an excellent hub. thank you for sharing :)

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Cliff, Thelma, twentyfive - Thank you - glad you enjoyed this hub.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 5 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      eally useful tips on energy savings, a must read hub.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you midnightbliss. I do hope you can put some of these ways to save energy and money to good use.

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 5 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

      Some great tips here on saving energy around the home. I never knew that plasma tv's use more energy than lcd's. I will bear this in mind as my television is long overdue to be replaced. Voted up and useful.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Voted up. Little things can add up. I never unplug because I am just too lazy! Also, using an electric dryer adds to the fuel bill. I hang clothes outside in summer and on nice days in winter, the sheets dry very quickly.

    • nina64 profile image

      nina64 5 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      What a wonderful hub. A few years ago, I found myself facing a huge electric bill. To my amazement, I started unplugging some unused appliances, turning off lights, constantly monitoring my electric usage......my electric bill had reduced significantly. I was so happy!!!! I'm still on a quest for an even lower bill, wish me luck. Keep on writing those great hubs.

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Great job on this Hub. Very informative. Have already begun to start saving energy in my home. Thank you!

      ~Lisa Rustic Living

    • suejanet profile image

      suejanet 5 years ago

      Very informative. I never knew about phantom power.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Jacqui2011 - I was shocked when I learned plasmas use more energy than LCDs. I wish I was aware of this fact a few years back when we purchased a big screen plasma. I guess that falls under the category, "live and learn." At least I can stop the flow of phantom power to it.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Hi Dolores - How I wish I could hang my sheets out to dry, at least in the warmer months. We're not allowed to have clotheslines, but I think I may get one of those fold up racks and use it on my patio from time-to-time. I really hate running the dryer in the summer, because it just heats up the house more, causing the A/C to run more.

    • ktrapp profile image
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      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Nina64 - That sounds like my so much fun. I am on the same energy-saving, electric bill reducing quest. Thanks for inspiring me further.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Lisa (rusticliving) - Thank you for your comment.

      suejanet - Phantom power almost seems unbelievable when you first learn about it, but it's very real, and an easy way to save energy by reducing it.

    • profile image

      baygirl33 5 years ago

      great hub,lots of information here.

      I might add that I try to do all these,except for my huge TV set which I have on all day on Galaxy to listen to my tunes.Must look at tha

      The other thing I do is here in Ontario we have cheaper power after 7 pm and on weekends and holidays,so I keep my dishwashing and clothes washing for then.

      great hub

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      baygirl33 - That's a great tip -- doing activities that use a lot of energy at times when power rates are lower. Thanks for contributing.

    • DanielNeff profile image

      DanielNeff 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Thanks for doing all the research to give the rest of us useful information on saving on our electric bill. I am especially interested in using some of these methods after getting a bill of over $200 last month (in a 3 BR apartment).

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Excellent, doable ideas! Voted up and useful!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks Suzanne. When we moved into our new home years ago in the month of November, the first thing I did was add the foam behind each of my outlets on exterior walls. It probably took less than an hour for the whole house and a couple of dollars -- a very doable way to save energy at home!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Daniel - Your electric bill seems excessive for a 3 bedroom apartment. Do you have electric heat or an electric dryer? Make sure you change the furnace filter, and clean the dryer lint trap before each use. Both those changes will help each of those appliance run more efficiently, using less energy.

      Do you have an electric oven that you use often? I am considering getting a smaller toaster oven since I don't really need the full size oven for some of the thing I cook or re-heat in it. Best of luck.

      Be sure to also check your apartment for air leaks and see if you or the landlord can resolve them.

      Thanks for your comment and best wishes as you try to reduce your electric bill.

    • Swetankraj profile image

      Swetank Raj 5 years ago from India

      Great hub, ktrapp! It really helped me and get a way out save on my microwave oven. Congrats for became hub of the day!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Shared on FaceBook & Tweeted, too! ;D

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks Suzanne.

    • profile image

      beveanne mckinley 5 years ago

      will the outlet foam keep cooling costs down? where i live that's the big issue with bills, we took our hvac off line last summer after getting a 370 average per month on a 2/2 bdrm house, ran fans and portable swamp coolers and small window ac units which we kept moving around in the shade. used ice and ice water for the evaporative units.im starting early to try to find new ways to keep costs down this year. have just gone around and unplugged 14 different phantoms. we don't use them every day and much easier and cheaper to not have them absorbing dollars constantly. i certainly see your point.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Bevanne - Any place where you have air leaks can impact both your heating and cooling costs. The foam insulation gaskets and plastic covers help with air loss in both your exterior wall outlets and light switches. It's quick and easy to do, so it certainly would be another good thing for you to do to keep things cooler and save energy during your warm months.

      Two things that really have helped me to save energy at home when I am trying to keep the house cooler in the summer are (1) plant trees near windows that let in a lot of sunshine, and (2) to keep blinds/drapes closed on windows that let in a lot of sun. Good luck saving energy and saving money and thanks for your question/comment.

    • profile image

      swayaminfotech 5 years ago

      Dr. Alan Meier of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California estimates that 10% of the average annual residential electric bill is from phantom power.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      swayaminfotech - I think that estimation of phantom power usage is eye-opening. Other studies estimate it to be as high as 13%.

    • Better Yourself profile image

      Better Yourself 5 years ago from North Carolina

      GREAT Hub! Thanks for all the work you put into informing people about energy conservation! Really enjoyed it!

    • Josh Lakie profile image

      Josh Lakie 5 years ago

      Very interesting and useful hub. I will have to try some of your ideas on here. A couple years ago I changed all of my bulbs to CFL's and it really cut down on the bill.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Better Yourself - You are very welcome. I'm very pleased to share these easy and low cost ways to conserve energy.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Josh Lakie - It's always great to conserve energy and save money at the same time.

    • sportgames profile image

      sportgames 5 years ago from Ashter Street 14, New Yok

      Especially in crises times like these, tips and advice on how to save money are always welcomed, not to mention the power-saving ideas. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I really learned something from this article.

    • Mala Srivastava profile image

      Mala Srivastava 5 years ago from India

      You have given useful tips to save energy. Very good work.

    • smiileyfacexo profile image

      smiileyfacexo 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Wow this is really interesting! Keep up the great work.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      sportgames, Mala, and smiileyfacexo - I'm glad you all found these tips to conserve energy interesting, as well as a good way to save money. Thanks.

    • sabrani44 profile image

      sabrani44 5 years ago

      Thanks for this great hub, will definitely be useful in the future!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you sabrani44 and I certainly happy that these tips on how to save energy at home will be useful to you in the future!

    • EyesStraightAhead profile image

      Shell Vera 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Great tips for conserving energy. Some of these I already knew and others were recommended when I had a recent energy audit completed in my home. However, there were others I had not read about or heard about. I intend to look into incorporating these over the next month! Thanks for compiling this information and sharing it with us.

    • Sweetheart2997 profile image

      Sweetheart2997 5 years ago from Lowell, Indiana

      This was a very useful hub..Thanks for the information. I will try and use several of these..thanks

    • onthegrind profile image

      onthegrind 5 years ago from Florida, United States

      Great information here. In the past I have built my own computers using mobile CPU's (same ones that are in laptops). There is a considerable amount of electricity saved by using them. Additionally, they run much cooler than desktop CPU's, therefore they put out less heat and need less fans to keep the internal components of the computer cool.

    • EyesStraightAhead profile image

      Shell Vera 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Onthegeind, that us a very helpful tip!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      EyesStraightAhead - Having a home energy audit is a great idea. I'm glad this hub provided you with additional energy saving tips, as well.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Sweetheart2997 - Most of these tips on saving energy at home are easy to do and low cost so they should be easy to use. Good luck.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very well written & useful have shared on Twitter...

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks so much barryrutherford. I'm certainly glad that you found these simple energy conservation ideas useful and I appreciate you sharing it on Twitter.

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      What makes this hub readable from a layman's perspective is that it stays away from too much jargon. Simple, real and practical - just what the doctor ordered. Nicely done!

      Princesswithapen

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Well thank you, pricesswithapen. That was a really nice comment. I think when it comes to conserving energy, simple, real and practical are the way to go.

    • mcdroid profile image

      mcdroid 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Yes, some great stuff on this hub - plenty for me to learn from when building mine in the future.

    • mamakatz profile image

      mamakatz 4 years ago

      Nice hub! I definitely need to take your advice on a lot of these. Thanks for the tips!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      mamakatz - Thanks so much. With some simple changes I'm sure you'll find it's easy to save energy at home.

    • electronician profile image

      Dean Walsh 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      You can also save on your lighting costs by fitting dimmers and only putting them up as high as you actually need rather than always having your lights on full power.

      Great tips btw!

    • ThatMommyBlogger profile image

      Missy 16 months ago from The Midwest

      Reducing phantom power has helped lower our bill. I never realized how much power the toaster and other appliances use.

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