For most households electricity can be the biggest monthly expense. You can however, lower your costs by using your electricity smarter.
Having knowledge of peak hours is vital to understanding your billing cycle. To save money: use power strips, follow some basic energy saving advice, and modify your use of lighting, computers, and the laundry.
Winter Peak Hours
Peak hours vary from summer to winter. From October 1 to June 1 is considered the Winter Peak Hours; from June 1st to October 1st is considered the Summer Peak Hours.
We will discuss the Winter Peak Hour’s system used by Southern California Edison. There are two levels during the winter: Mid-peak hours, and Off peak hours. 8 am-8 pm is considered Mid-peak hours. And 9 pm-8 am is Off peak hours -with the lowest energy charge; the entire weekend and the holidays are also Off peak hours.
The idea is to use most of your electricity during Off peak hours. So basically, if you are up at 9 pm try to do all your heavy electricity chores at that time. Or try to get them done during the weekends or holidays to save some money.
Summer Peak Hours
Off peak hours are 11 pm-8 am. So for the summer you’ll have to be up later to save more. Summer Peak hours are 12 pm- 6 pm. 8 am-12 pm are Mid peak and 6pm- 11pm are also Mid peak.
Use Power strips and Turn off at Night
Turn off all power strips when not in use-like when you go to sleep. Use power strips for energy draining utilities like Playstations and VCRs; when they are plugged in they still drain power. You only need one clock per floor and that can usually be found on a big appliance that is always plugged in- like an oven; you don’t need multiple clocks around your home, those are just energy wasters.
Basic Energy Savers
It’s better to work with one electric appliance at a time. Big drainers are desktop computers, and plasma screen televisions. Instead of TV and computers -with the exception of a laptop on a battery- do one appliance at a time, in other words don’t multi-task.
Instead of making hot water or coffee with an electric heater; use your gas stove to heat the water- it’s much cheaper.
Lighting can be a big energy drainer. For now on, always turn the light off when you’re done with that room. Further buy energy saving lights -squiggly bulbs- which have many more hours of use and a very low wattage.
During the day don’t use lights, use the sunlight because it’s better for you; sunlight gives you vitamin D and you need that to be healthy and disease free.
Computers are big drainers, especially if you’re the type to leave it on all day and go back to it every hour or 30 minutes- that’s wasteful. Instead leave your computer on sleep/standby mode -if you have to go to it throughout the day. Sleep mode can save you $75 a year.
Laptops offer you more versatility then desktops. You can use batteries to power your computer; some laptops can be equipped with two batteries at a time- one battery can be used while one charges. Or you can buy a special plug in laptop battery charger that is separate from your computer.
Always use the power saving setting when using a battery so it lasts longer. You can adjust the screen to the brightest you require.
To save here: do all your laundry at night or on weekends -Off-peak hours- both the washing and the drying. And do this in consecutive washes, so the heater stays hot. Further try to do full loads on cold and if you have a clothes line -use it.