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Ideas on lowering light bills?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

My light bill before their taxes and what not was $185.28, bill period 29 days, avg. kwh/day 71, cost per day 6.38.

Here is what I do already to try and bring the bill down though its not helping much. Most of our windows (minus kids rooms) have tin foil on them (shiny side out) to reflect the sun away, dark curtains covering the windows, lights only on when needed, doors closed to rooms we are not in, AC set to 75 degrees with on fan blowing over vent in kitchen to circulate the cool air, window unit not on, at 8:30pm the ac gets turned off completely, I use one fan in my room that has a timer on it its only on for one hour till I fall asleep.

So what else can I do to bring the energy use down?
post #2 of 20
Wish I could help but it sounds like you are already doing what you can. Is your hot water heater electric? If so, I think if you lower the temp a couple degrees it can help. Not sure what else.
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping View Post
Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

My light bill before their taxes and what not was $185.28, bill period 29 days, avg. kwh/day 71, cost per day 6.38.

Here is what I do already to try and bring the bill down though its not helping much. Most of our windows (minus kids rooms) have tin foil on them (shiny side out) to reflect the sun away, dark curtains covering the windows, lights only on when needed, doors closed to rooms we are not in, AC set to 75 degrees with on fan blowing over vent in kitchen to circulate the cool air, window unit not on, at 8:30pm the ac gets turned off completely, I use one fan in my room that has a timer on it its only on for one hour till I fall asleep.

So what else can I do to bring the energy use down?
Can you buy compact fluorescent light bulbs? They are supposed to cut down on energy costs. Make a rule that if no one is in a room then the lights need to be off. Open your windows and use sun light as much as possible during the day, if there is light outside move to a room where you can use it.

The interesting thing is the Amish built their homes around the use of sun light, the breakfast nook faces the sun rise, and the dining room faces the sun set. Try to reorganize your home around that.

EDIT: Also, use LED lights for night lights. They are super low cost on your energy bill.
post #4 of 20
Do you use energy effiecient light bulbs??? They are curly-cue style and use 40% less energy....according to the box. We use those in every room and they are very bright. Our light bill isn't bad at all and we try to keep the lights off if we don't need them. Also their are motion censored lights that you can put in the bathroom or rooms you don't use that much. You can find those at a hardware store pretty inexpensive. We don't use them yet becuase our apt. is pretty small.
post #5 of 20
i'm going to be changing my last 2 lights to CFL bulbs. that should help our bills. i'm dreading our power bills now that we've had to turn the AC on.
post #6 of 20
Limit your shower to 5 minutes to save on water heater energy, Never run dishwasher or washing machine unless compleetly full. Dry clothing outside on a clothes line. Unplug cellphone charger if not in use (it still draws power)
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
I already use energy effiect bulbs but keep them off most of the day unless needed than they go right back off. The w/h is electric and set to a much lower temp then even I like for a few months now. Still no decrease. What I am gonna start tonight is shutting the hot water heater off tonight after baths are done. Turning the tv off more durning the day. And I wanna start grilling out more again because when I did that the house stayed cooler because the stove was not on. But I am afraid to do that because of the drought, fires, and burn bans here. I feel like I am using every trick in the book but still can not get under 200.00 in energy bills.
post #8 of 20
I didn't notice any mention of an electric dishwasher. If you do have one, then cutting down the use of it can help tremendously. When we stopped using ours, and went to hand washing our dishes, the bill dropped by almost $40!

Also, at least around here, the electric company has information about keeping your bill low. Maybe yours does, too?

Is this a central AC unit or a window unit? Sometimes it's better not to turn off central units and just leaving it at 78F. Unless, of course, you are gone for majority of the day, and then 80F would be more useful. What we do to keep our bill low is keep the unit at 78F, and keep the ceiling fans going in the major rooms to keep the air circulating.

Good luck!
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibohan2005 View Post
Limit your shower to 5 minutes to save on water heater energy, Never run dishwasher or washing machine unless compleetly full. Dry clothing outside on a clothes line. Unplug cellphone charger if not in use (it still draws power)
Me am in and out under 10 mins. For the kids they take bathes and I never fill it up high just 1/2 way or a little more. No dishwasher but I only wash when there is a full load. With 3 boys and 2 adults thats not hard. I don't think the landlord will allow us to string a clothes line here but I could ask him. I would prefer to hang the clothes out anyways.
post #10 of 20
Here are some energy saving tips I found at the government website they might help.


- Clean or replace the air filter on your furnace every month to improve efficiency.
- Fix leaky faucets – that little drip can add up to 95 litres of water per faucet per month, and cost you 7 kWh per month.
- Installing low flow aeraters on faucets can save water and energy.
- Drain a pail of water from your natural gas hot water tank every 3 months, or as recommended by the manufacturer, to remove sediment that prevents heat transfer, lowering the unit’s efficiency.
- Check your refrigerator’s door seal by closing the door on a $5 bill. If it’s held tightly in place, the seal’s OK; if not, the door should be adjusted or the seal replaced.
- Clean your refrigerator’s coils (back) and air intake grill (below the doors) every 3 months.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers out of direct sunlight, and allow at least 5 centimetres all around (or as recommended by the manufacturer) to allow heat to escape from the compressor and condensing coil.
Check your refrigerator’s door seal by closing the door on a $5 bill. If it’s held tightly in place, the seal’s OK; if not, the door should be adjusted or the seal replaced.

Clean your refrigerator’s coils (back) and air intake grill (below the doors) every 3 months.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers out of direct sunlight, and allow at least 5 centimetres all around (or as recommended by the manufacturer) to allow heat to escape from the compressor and condensing coil.
- Clean the lint filter after every load. (A clogged lint filter can increase energy use up to 30%, and may be a fire hazard!)
- Be sure to at least shut off the computer screen, as 60% of the power used by a computer is used by the monitor! (The other 40% is used to keep your hard drive spinning and to power the electronics.)
- Put your home entertainment systems on a power bar and turn off the bar when you are not using them. (Components without clocks and timers, of course.)
- Unplug infrequently used TVs, as many continue to draw power even when turned off.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
And I wanna start grilling out more again because when I did that the house stayed cooler because the stove was not on.
Eat cold foods that do not need heat. Salads and cold vegetable dishes, cold soups, sandwiches...My favorite summer dinner is tomatoes and mozzerela in balsamic with a caesar salad. Gaspacho is also very yummy.

Do you have energy efficient appliances? Fridge, washer, dryer, dishwasher?

Only run appliances at night so they don't produce more heat. Leave windows open at night and in the cool morning hours. (with screens on)

Do you have a whole house fan? My parents have one. Every morning and every evening, they open up the windows and turn it on. It sucks in the cooler air outside and shoves the warm air out. Around 10 in the morning, we closed up the house. It stays cool for several hours, and the AC doesn't have to work as hard.

Do you have large shade trees planted around the house? Those can drop the temperature a lot.
post #12 of 20
I heard that stereos use a lot of energy too. Sounds like you are doing what you can. Our bill is outragious in the apartment. I shut my A/C while DH is away hoping to cut the bill for this coming month.
post #13 of 20
The position of your computer can also affect temperature. Some generate a lot more heat than others, and can easily heat up a small room.

My computer is a good example of this. If I do not keep my door fully open while I'm on the computer, this room will heat up with in the hour.

I can't think of anything else, really.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
I must say though that I rent so as far as getting energy efficent appliances is kinda out. And I can not plant any trees or anything like that out here. And if I remember correctly I think the landlord said we could not string up any clothes lines out here. So I guess for the most part I am doing what I can its just the prices now are killing me.

In the morning I do not turn the AC on till close to 11am or noon.

As for eating colder things like salads well for 3 of us that would work but 2 of my boys would have no part of that.

As for the well pump the landlord pays that so that is not raising our bill. But other than that none of the faucets leak.

The seal on the fridge its nice and tight.

Oh and when I wash clothes I do not use warm or hot water I use cold water.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraggles View Post
The position of your computer can also affect temperature. Some generate a lot more heat than others, and can easily heat up a small room.

My computer is a good example of this. If I do not keep my door fully open while I'm on the computer, this room will heat up with in the hour.

I can't think of anything else, really.
Ours are in the living room...the largest room in the house.
post #16 of 20
What condition are your windows in? Maybe they aren't sealed properly. What floor are you on? Do you have direct sunlight at all?
post #17 of 20
You should be able to contact your power company and they make be able to visit and do an energy audit on the home. It sounds like you are doing the best you can and energy audit might help more. My power company has a time of day usuage plan-for instance the rates are lower from 7 pm to 7am but the rates during the remaining 12 hrs are much higher. The power company should be able to advise if that would save youany money or not. Rates have been rising as when we moved in our home in 1987 our summer bills could be about $45 (we have no A/C) now the lowest is about $60!!
post #18 of 20
Try switching to CF light bulbs, like many others have suggested. We have a monitor to tell us how much energy we are using. Also, have your computer shut completely off if you are not using it. Do you live in a newer or older home? That probably has something to do with it. Before we moved, we lived in a 700 sq. ft. 1920 duplex that cost us around $150 a month in electric costs on the "good" months...now we are in a 1700 new home and our monthly bills range from $60-$90 right now; and we are in Texas...so the A/C is a must. We also leave everything unplugged when not in use. Hope some of these tips help.
post #19 of 20
i forgot in my previous post to add how i deal with the computer. mentioning of computers just made me think of it. i always put our home pc in hibernate mode (it's supposed to be stand-by, but the way this machine is it hibernates). so it's practically shut off. we also have a flat screen monitor, which cuts down on heat. our spare pc, for when DH is video gaming his heart out is just turned off when not in use. it's a slower machine with linux loaded on it. i also turn our printer off whenever i can. it automatically turns on if i want to print something anyway.

i also put our fish tank light on a timer. it's on for 8 hours (for the cats viewing pleasure while we're at work). and it's a fluorescent bulb, so that helps.
post #20 of 20
I had no idea that things could still draw power when they're turned off! Thanks for the tip! I'll buy a bunch of powerstrips and put everything on those...
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