Utility Bill Assistance



Energy saving ideas for the family room and office.

Your family room(living room) and home office is often where you spend most of your time, on work, entertainment or relaxation. Implementing a number of free, simple energy saving ideas in these spaces can help you save a significant amount of money on energy bills.

1. Turn-off the computer when it is not in use. A computer that is never switched off adds about $100 to $200 per year to your electricity bill every year. When on standby mode, the energy it consumes costs only $10 per year.

2. Remove the plug once your laptop, digital camera or mobile phone is fully charged. If left turned on, they will continue to draw power which is a waste of energy. This also adds up to a few dollars per month per the Us Department of Energy.

3. Shutting down and booting up used to take a long time and consumed more energy when computer technology was more primitive. That is the reason why users often hesitated to shut them down. Today you can restart a computer within seconds without taking up any extra energy. Shutting down your machine when you've finished using it also reduces wear and tear on the components.

4. If background processes are running and you can not shut down the machine, at least switch off the monitor. High definition monitors consume over 50 percent of the total energy used by the computer.

5. Don't print documents unless you have to. Instead use email. It is faster, less expensive and healthier for the environment. You'll also save energy.





6. Photocopiers are the highest energy-consuming products in any office. Reduce usage by emailing scanned copies whenever possible. Shut down the photocopier after you are finished with it.

7. Lamps located under your air-conditioner's thermostat causes the compressor to keep working even after the room has reached the desired temperature. This wastefully consumes energy.

8. Choose a lamp with an adjustable level of brightness. While reading, you can increase the intensity. When you're watching TV or don't require much brightness, reduce luminosity to the lowest setting.

9. When using an electric kettle in the office to brew tea or coffee, don't boil or heat water for longer than necessary.

10. Change light fixtures to CFL bulbs which are more energy-efficient than conventional alternatives.

11. Clean the kettle by boiling water with vinegar to remove mineral deposits that accumulate on the heating element and reduce its efficiency.

12. Use power bars for your home theater system. They make it easier to switch off the unit while you're not using it.

13. Switch off lights, fans and other appliances not in use when leaving a room. Even leaving gadgets on standby consumes power. Unplug them. Depending on type, number, and make of appliances, it may cost you $50 to $200 per year by not unplugging them.

14. A standard incandescent bulb uses just 5% to 8% of the total energy consumed to produce light. The rest is wasted as heat.

15. Install smart power strips which sense if people are in the room and automatically turn lights and other appliances on or off. Install a Master Switch for the power in each room.





16. Conduct periodic energy audits of your living room and office. This will reveal areas where energy is being wasted and show you how it can be controlled or eliminated.

17. As it grows cooler outdoors in winter, draw your window drapes to conserve heat within the room.

18. Seal cracks, gaps, crevices and holes with insulating materials to prevent heat loss out of the room. Even simple plastic sheets can seal off leaks around windows and doors.

19. In winter, turn down the thermostat by a couple of degrees and stay warm by wearing woolens and socks inside the house. A rug on the floor can help insulate it from cold.


By: Jon McNamara


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