You may turn off the lights every time you walk out of a room, but your teenager doesn’t and your partner doesn’t and the baby can’t reach the light switch. Don’t worry.
Lights use electricity, yes, but they are only a part of the electrical use that you pay for. (And, yes, keep on turning off the lights. It helps.)
Entertainment loves electricity. Entertainment electronics, including televisions, music players of various kinds, computers, speakers, game consoles and more, eat up electricity like it was free. Even those that run on batteries have to be recharged regularly.
Of course you can’t just stop everyone from using those things, but you can cut down on the electricity they consume by putting everything on power strips, then turning off the power strips when nothing is being used.
Even if that only happens in the middle of the night or when you’re on vacation, it will help. Be conscious about when each unit is on, who is using it and whether they turn it off when they are through.
If something needs electricity to keep its memory between sessions, put it on a different receptacle and turn the rest off.
Teach the younger children to turn things off as soon as they are through. They are usually easier to recruit to your money saving efforts than older children because older children already have set habits that take effort to change just like adults.
Another area to save electricity is on appliances. If you have more than one refrigerator or freezer, why? In case of the end of the world, the electricity is going off anyway, so all that food will thaw out or warm up and even if you have teenagers, that’s a lot to eat at one time!
If you feel as if you have to keep a lot of food on hand, concentrate on canned and dry foods and turn off the extra electricity monsters.
Minimize the use of heaters and air conditioners. In the winter, turn down the heat by one degree at a time until you get used to it, the go to the next cooler temperature.
You may not want to go too low if you have an infant or toddler because they need the warmth. If your kids aren’t that young, turn it down. Wear layers of clothing. Wear long underwear, t-shirts under shirts, and sweaters over that if needed.
In the summer, use all the breezes you can to help keep the house cool. Open the windows at night and let the house cool off, then close them in the morning to keep the cooler air inside.
Wait to turn on the air conditioning until you or someone realizes that the house is warming up. Turn up the temperature, degree by degree until it’s just cool enough to be comfortable. There is no reason a house has to be 65 degrees F. even if it’s 110 outside.