Saving Energy This Summer

It's been a hot summer where we are. The energy costs to run air conditioning are really high -- and the increasing demands on the electrical companies to produce more and more means the threat of not having energy when we need it. California has been dealing with "brown outs" and energy problems already for years: let's hope we can avoid that in other areas of the US.

The best way to do that is to learn how best to conserve and use electricity wisely. Frankly, for the overburdened consumer, it also means that you save some of your hard earned money too. Here's a list of tips for getting you through the rest of the summer without breaking the bank:

1. Do laundry and dishwashing at "off peak" hours. Do a full load of laundry or dishes to get the most bang for your electrical buck.

2. Air conditioning costs the most money to run in the summer. Keep your air conditioner well tuned and change or clean filters monthly.

3. Increase the temperature for your air conditioning. It will save you significantly, even if you only increase your setting by a couple of degrees. You can help make that cooling as effective as possible with fans, which use substantially less energy.

4. If you need to buy appliances, look for well-rated Energy Star appliances. Here's an amazing statistic: If all of the households in the US used the most efficient refrigerators, electricity savings would eliminate the need for at least 20 power plants.

5. A programmable thermostat can help with remembering to set back your air conditioning when you are out of the house. Why pay to cool the house when no one is there?

6. An easy one: turn off and unplug anything not in use!

Here's to a hot summer that we can enjoy, and more money in our pockets. Maybe you could put those savings towards your mortgage, for a extra savings in interest.

Michael

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