By John Dodge
Posting in Education
Electricity is not just there anymore. Utilities and appliance have stepped up their efforts to transform the aging electrical grid into a an efficient and thoroughly digital smart grid. Smart appliances, meters and gadgets will empower you make smart decisions about the amount of electricity with little lifestyle sacrifice. Educate yourself now. by John Dodge
So you think you know most of the ways to save electricity: replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, shutting off appliances when not use, buying solar-powered lamps for outside lighting and insulating hot water pipes for starters. That's just the beginning or the low-hanging fruit as it were.
There's much more you can do. Here's a list of five handy ideas you might not have thought about to lower your bill and be good to the environment.
1) Appliances are a new ballgame. Every time you buy a new appliance, evaluate energy consumption using the EnergyGuide labels affixed to each machine. Appliances like dishwashers and the fridge consume at least a fifth of the energy you use, according to the Dept. of Energy (DOE). And generally buy ENERGY STAR appliances. DOE mandated in January, 2007 that washers and dryers use 21% less energy. DOE also rates appliance models based on their annual consumption of electricity, but sometimes the information is out of date. Another good source for appliance energy consumption is Consumer Reports Online which I highly recommend and whose annual $26 subscription fee is well worth the money.
Also, remember, solar panels and some water heaters are eligible for federal tax credits up to 30% of their cost.
2) Look around your house and check for digital appliances that are on, but not in use. Occasionally-used devices such as battery chargers, computer printers and FAX machines should be unplugged when not in use. One easy way to accomplish this is to use power strips that can be switched on and off. Computers should be set to hibernate and when you away go on vacation, unplug the cable modems and wireless routers.
4) Check your hot water system, faucets, toilets and shower heads for costly leaks and fix them. Also, do you need that scalding water temparature? ideally, hot water should be set between 110-120 degrees. And fix cold water leaks too. Water is a precious and scarce commodity in many parts of the world.
At the same time, minimizing the length of your dryer vent will save energy (and reduce the chance of lint catching fire) as well frequently cleaning the lint filter after every use. Also, clean in and around the lint filter periodically.
5) Electricity is not just there anymore. Utilities and appliance have stepped up their efforts to transform the aging electrical grid into a an efficient and thoroughly digital smart grid. Smart appliances, meters and gadgets will empower you make smart decisions about the amount of electricity with little lifestyle sacrifice. Educate yourself now by staying right here at SmartPlanet.com or investigating myriad of others sources about smart grid technology. And bug your utility about its smart meter and smart grid plans. If your not satisfied with it answers, choose another electricity supplier.
Jul 28, 2009
Who would you propose eliminating to make life better for the rest of us? Where do you assume the authority of God? Let's get real about this. We already have pilot plants making biodeisel fuels, as well as ethanol from cellulose (no more ethanol from corn starch and the increases in food prices it brings!) There are pilot plants that are generating electricity using Stirling engines connected to solar collectors. They cost less and are more efficient (~30% efficient vs. solar cells 10% to 20%), and once they go into mass production will be cost competitive with other forms of power generation. And the next generation nuclear plants that use breeder technology in a sealed chamber are now a reality. They can supply full power for about 30 years without refueling. Prototypes already power the newest Astute class British attack subs that can now circumnavigate the world 25 times before needing refueling. What we don't have is a lack of electricity. What we have is a lack of vision by short-sighted ecologists and Gaya worshippers who are more interested in controlling their fell man rather than helping them.
The only "smart" thing about it is the crafty utility companies who have figured a way to cut their costs while raising consumer prices. Who thinks they will save money by not using as much electricity during the day? Are you going to stop running the A/C during daylight hours? -- yeah, I thought not. And how about that fridge? Unplug it at sunup? Hah! And how 'bout those hackers who will be attacking our electrical infrastructure just as soon as it becomes dependent upon the Internet. Oh yeah... I know, they're passing laws to make sure the smart grid is secure. Lemme know how that works out for ya!
@dasprem - I wouldn't say too many people on this planet. I'd actually say too many GREEDY people on this planet.
I checked my electric bill against your suggestions. I live in Nevada and the only line that was the same was the "Basic Service Charge" The other lines with the KWHs were Electric Comsumption, Temp. Green Power Comsumption (we all know how temporary that will be), Renewable Energy Program and the Universal Energy Charge. There seems to be no way when I look at the bill to do as you suggest. You must be living in Utopia to have an electic company give you a clue as to what really is going on.
Since I get my electric bill via online email, I went and looked to compare it to what you wrote. I live in Nevada and, beleive me, the only line that compares to what you said was "Basic Service Charge". Between Eltectric Comsumption, Temp. Green Power Financing, Renewable Power Program and Universal Energy Charge, there was nothing I could find that I could even begin to find a saving nor find a place to negociate a lower rate. You must live in Utopia.
DO AWAY WITH GREEDY MONEY GRABBERS-ELECTRIC COMPANY S THAT RAPE PROPLE-- ( 1 PERSON IN HOUSEHOLD SAME APPLIENCES 25 YEARS-BILL FROM $23.50 MONTH TO $82.00 BUT ISTILL HAVE TO LIVE ON $650.00 S.S. MONTH) AND DUMB PEOPLE PAY TO SEE BALL GAMES-&-PLAYERS MILLIONS!!! SONETHING IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE...
Pimple cream on cancerous tumours ? Too little too late do you think ? The problem is too many people on this planet. What do you do about that?