Simple ways to cut your electric bill

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We often take our electric bill for granted. And as time goes by, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, the bills will creep up. Sadly, even when we see it going up, we just shrug our shoulders and accept that it is the cost of living and maintaining our house.

But it ain't necessarily so. I have discovered that I can cut down at least twenty percent of my electric bills by making some simple changes. It does not take much doing but it saved me a lot of money. Some of the things you can do to save on your electric bills are listed below.

Use fluorescent bulbs

Use fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. They are more efficient and longer lasting. My electric bills have dropped some RM40 per month since I changed to fluorescent bulbs.

Use energy efficient light bulbs

I realized that saving energy is not a big thing in this country. But these energy efficient bulbs - while being just as bright - can reduce your electric bills in the long run. The manufacturers claim the savings to be over 25%. And that's some big money right there.

Use low wattage light bulbs

For areas that do not need very bright lights and illumination, use low wattage bulbs as they are cheaper to run. Of course, you should also ensure that you do not fix a high watt bulb into a low wattage fixture. For example, putting in a 100 watt bulb into a 60 watt fixture is triple doo-doo. Not only it wastes energy and money, but you also run the chance of damaging the fixture. Banyak rugi loh...

Switch off lights when not in use

Maybe obvious. But guess who is guilty of this? That's right. Yours truly. I often leave lights on even when going out of the room on the basis that I may return in a short while. But often time, I come back two hours later. An expensive two hours, I may add.

Not anymore though. I now switch off ALL electric appliances if I'm going out of a room. After all, if it can reduce my bills and save me money, why not? Heck, I'll switch off anything if I can save money by doing so!

Don't set the temperature of your air-conditioner too low

Of course the whole idea of having an air-conditioner is too keep a cool comfortable temperature. But that does not mean that you have to set the temperature down to Arctic conditions. Other than freezing you to death, it is also very expensive. Choose a comfortable temperature setting - say 24 degrees Celsius - and stick with it.

You should know that each degree lower drains your wallet.

Use ceiling fans instead of air-conditioners

Ceiling fans are very effective while being a lot cheaper to run. So whenever it is not too hot, switch on the fans instead of the air-con.

And according to Consumer Reports in the US, by turning both the air-con and the ceiling fan on, you will also save money. For example, set the air-con at 25 degrees and the fan will reduce the temp by a further two degrees. In other words, the room now is a comfortable 23 degrees.

Don't set the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer too low

You can turn up the temperature of the fridge and freezer by a couple of degrees and your food will remain as fresh as ever. But your electric bills will go down. You win both ways!

Of course, do check the owner's manual as to the recommended setting.

And if you want more...

If you like to find out more ways to reduce your expenses, check out the book 1001 Ways to Cut Your Expenses by Jonathan D. Pond. Needless to say, it is full of ideas in which you can save money. Even some far-out ideas that no one will think of in a thousand years. Examples - ask for a modest tombstone or even more drastic, to be cremated instead of being buried! Nothing will top that!

Copyright © Azizi Ali 2006

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