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Saving on the use of electricity is not only a way to save money, but great for sustainability. Many people these days organise an electrician to install solar systems for their power needs, but this is still quite expensive and it takes a while to recoup your investment. If you intend to stay in the house for 10 or more years, that will allow you to recoup, but if you are planning to move soon, don’t go to the expense; you are not likely to get it back in the sale price.

However, there are many other ways to save on the use and thus, the cost of electricity and in doing so, you help save the earth’s resources. Here are some tips to help you.

  • Don a jumper and fleece track-pants before switching on the heater of an evening.
  • Some evenings you can stay warm on the sofa until bedtime with rug.
  • Wear warm socks and slippers if your feet feel cold.
  • Make sure all those cracks and gaps are filled in. Putting a sausage pillow at the front or back door will close that gap up. Sliding windows have a gap in the centre that can be minimised with fuzzy stick-on seals.
  • Don’t stand talking on the porch with the door half open if you have heating or cooling on.
  • Rather than turning the heat or cool up, increase the fan speed if using an air conditioner. This circulates the air more efficiently and you may not need it to be any different temperature.
  • Use rubber backed curtains over your windows to help prevent heat or cool air escaping.
  • If your heater or air conditioner is ancient, purchase a new one because it will be more energy efficient.
  • Have your water heater set to switch on during the night hours when the power use is less and the cost is less too.
  • Switch everything off as soon as you’ve finished with it including lights, stove, computers, a/c, heaters, fans, computers, printers, television, dvd player and anything else – but not the fridge!
  • Have power boards for electronic equipment so you can switch it all off with one switch.
  • Use a landline for phone calls where possible as they don’t need to be recharged.
  • Consider installing a solar hot water system. These are cheaper than a full solar system and help cut the cost of heating water, one thing that takes a great deal of power. In fact, some people estimate it accounts for 40% of their power bill.
  • Use a microwave to cook your peas and other things. It only needs to be on for a fraction of the time it takes to cook on the electric stove.
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