Finding ways to save electricity don’t need to be as dramatic as installing a full solar array and wind farm. You don’t even need to live like you’re camping. It can still be possible to enjoy all the conveniences and technologies we love, just more consciously.
While your motivation may be focused on saving money (and that’s certainly a part of it), we also live in a society. Being part of a society means that we employ actions that mutually benefit one another. Reducing our strain on the grid, especially when it’s unnecessary, is a way we can literally give back. One question to ask yourself is: do you need it? The second question is: are you actually using it? If the answers are no, then why waste it? Sometimes, it’s just a matter of habit, like turning off a light when you leave the room.
Simple Ways You Can Save Electricity
Turn Off Your Router
Unless you’re checking the internet in your sleep or streaming movies all night long, most people don’t use their router at night. Even though there are exceptions like smart homes, security systems and baby cameras, the internet does not usually need to be constant in our homes. If you don’t want to mess with finding the switch on the back of your router, just plug your router into a power strip with a switch. At night, as you check the locks and lights in your house, save electricity by switching off the strip. You might even find this habit provides a much-needed disconnect, allowing you to wind down and sleep. You can thank us for the sense of relief you’ll feel at NOT reading Facebook right before you sleep!
Utilize Power Strips
Similar to our suggestion above, utilizing power strips or surge protectors in your home can save electricity on multiple levels. If you have an area where you charge all of your devices, plug them all in to charge at night and then switch off the strip when you grab your devices in the morning. Those charging cables, even when not in use, can still drain electricity. And before you start Googling how much electricity your charger uses, keep in mind that these suggestions aren’t about saving money. They’re about how to save ENERGY. Electricity in America is cheap…perhaps much cheaper than it should be. Even if an iPhone charger doesn’t cost much to suck down 1.5KW per year, that’s still 1.5KW, mostly unnecessarily being used.
Centralize Heating or Cooling
A lot of us in America live in big houses. The average home in recent years is about 2,400 square feet, which is a lot to heat or cool. Most of the time, we’re not utilizing all of that space. We may work, play or eat centralized in certain areas at certain times of the day. For this one, I’m tapping into my mother’s techniques of how to save energy with the simplicity and beauty of space heaters, fans or room a/c units.
If you work from home like I do, this is especially easy during the day. In the winter, I turn the heat down or off, close the door to my office (after inviting in the cat and dog) and turn on a space heater with an adjustable thermostat. In the summer, which can be brutal in Phoenix, a room a/c unit can be a blessing (although it’s expensive). An alternative is to close the doors of the rooms you don’t need to cool. The lack of air circulation from those rooms won’t allow as much warm air from exterior portions of the house to effect the thermostat. Using low-energy fans to circulate air in the other, in-use regions of the house makes everything feel much more comfortable.
Change a Habit, Change Our Lives
Most of these suggestions to save electricity are focused on small, habitual changes. Conveniently enough, we are amazing, adaptable creatures that can choose to enact these possibilities. You may see a change in your electric bill but, most importantly, you’ll see a change in how you choose to consume. Maybe you’ll even begin to see how your part is one small component of the much larger whole which is our social system and society.