We can't get along without electric but if your bill takes a big bite out of your monthly budget, here's some painless ways to economize.
You'll help keep the planet green, too. Since you'll be using less electric, less will have to be produced by burning coal or building another nuclear plant.
1. Stop phantom use
No, it's not a burglar who breaks in to use your microwave but rather power that many appliances use even when they're turned off.
The best way to stop the power meter from registering phantom use is to get into the habit of unplugging appliances when you're done with them. The hair dryer, computer, radio, t.v. - any appliance that you're not using. This helps prevent damage to them from power surges and lightening strikes, too. And don't forget to turn off those lights!
2. Convert to compact fluorescent light bulbs
As your conventional bulbs burn out, replace them with those new, funny looking, cork screw bulbs. They use 75% less electricity than regular bulbs and are reported to last up to 10 times longer.
3. Watch your thermostat
Raise the temperature in the summer and lower the temperature in the winter. Each degree of change you make in your heating and air conditioning will save you 1%. That adds up fast.
4. Convert to a low flow shower head
OK, low flow plumbing has gotten a bad rap but today's low flow shower heads are pretty good. Not only will you save on water but you'll also save on the fuel that's needed to heat the water for those long hot showers.