If you watch your electric bill closely, you’ll notice it changes throughout the year. In some areas, it’s higher during winter when you’re running your heater non-stop. In Phoenix, where I live, the A/C is running full blast all summer, which can raise your bill three to four times.
There are certain steps you can take to lower your seasonal bills such as better insulation, window coverings, not running appliances at peak hours, and so forth.
Electronics also take up a lot of power – it’s surprising how much. If you keep your laptop on all the time, it can run you up to $65 a year. A desktop can run you nearly $400. Your TV can be a power-sucker too. Depending on the type you can have, you can spend over $100 a year on power alone.
There has to be a way to save some money. There is, and it’s easier than you think.
One secret to saving money
Here’s the way to save money on electricity. Turn your electronics off. We’ve gotten so used to having everything on all the time, we forget that simply turning things off will stop the power drain.
Now this sounds easy, but there’s a hidden catch. The gadgets that you’ve turned off might not actually be off. These are called “vampire electronics,” and I’m going to tell you how to slay them.
Handy idea: If you want to see at a glance how much energy any “turned off” gadget is using, grab an Electricity Usage Monitor at Kim’s Shop now.
If you think I’m overstating this, by the way, the EPA estimates that consumers spend more than $10 billion annually in wasted electricity on vampire electronics.
Another surprising step to take
Besides turning things off, you’ll want to unplug anything you’re not using, including small things like chargers. Even when these aren’t charging your smartphone or tablet, they still use up power.
However, your charger is just a fledging vampire. The big power-suckers in your house are your TV and computer. Sadly, these are also the hardest to unplug, because we tend to hide their cables away.
This is where a surge protector comes in handy. These don’t just protect your gadgets from power surges. When you flip the switch on a surge protector, your gadgets behave as if they’ve been unplugged.
There are some gadgets that need to stay on, though, like an internet modem, router or cable box. These are usually next to things you want to turn off, like a computer, printer or TV.
In that case, grab one of these handy standby killers now. Just plug your TV into it and then plug it into a wall outlet. Whenever your TV is in standby mode, it will cut power to it automatically without affecting the cable box.
Gadgets that will help
There are also some power-savvy surge protectors that have a few always-on sockets. Anything plugged into those stay on when you flip the Off switch. You get the best of both worlds.
The gadgets I’ve mentioned up to this point rely on you to remember to turn off the gadgets. After a long day, it can be tough to remember to shut things down at night. If that’s a problem you have, here’s a great outlet timer you need to get.
You can program it to turn your gadgets on or off as often as you like. You can set it to turn gadgets off right at your bedtime and turn them on when you’re sitting down with your morning coffee.
You’ll save power and feel like you’re living in the home of the future.