Living totally off grid we are very conservative with our energy usage. This was not always the case though.
When we lived in the UK with all the modern conveniences that town living brings, we never really thought about the electricity we were using in the home.
Now it is a completely different matter. When the Sun shines we get electricity which is stored in a bank of batteries, but no sun equals no power to store. We have a generator as a backup but we would rather be ultra conservative in our energy usage and keep the use of it to a minimum.
The following are tips that we have learnt to keep your electricity costs down and with the added (or primary) bonus of helping to keep the burning of fossil fuels lower.
Use energy efficient lightbulbs.
An obvious one but I bet many of you still have high wattage bulbs in your home. Our total lighting for the house does not even add up to turning on one 100 watt bulb! Get some low cost energy efficient bulbs and you could save a considerable amount of money.
Stop leaving things turned on.
We used to be guilty of this one. How many of you leave a satellite box, a laptop, a modem, a DVD player etc, left on all the time? It is something many of us never even think about. It will be costing you a fortune! Whenever you are not using something, turn it off. A basic satellite box or freeview box will use about 50 watts an hour so turn it off until you need it.
Standby doesn’t count.
Do not leave things on standby. Many electrical items use a very high percentage of their full output even on standby. Turn it off!
Use the cold cycle on the Washing Machine.
We always use the cold cycle on the Washing Machine. We save money on detergent by using Eco Balls. See my post on Eco Balls for more information. The cold cycle is more than sufficient for nearly all laundry and saves a lot of money on electricity usage.
Use a Laptop.
Laptops use less than a quarter of the power that a conventional PC with a Monitor. They are so much more energy efficient, with the added bonus that the in-built battery will be charging while it is on. This means you can use it for a few hours a day whilst it is not costing you anything.
Install Solar Panels.
Solar Panels can be expensive, but many countries now have grants in place that make them a much more viable option than they previously were. Prices have also gone down as more people are buying them. They can also be connected to the grid so you can actually sell any excess power to the Electricity Company.
Use A+ rated machines.
Whenever it is time to replace the Washing Machine, Fridge etc, make sure you buy the most energy efficient model you can. An A+ rated machine will drastically cut your Electricity usage.
Don’t buy a big TV.
Sorry Guys, but large TV’s use a ton of power. Buy something decent but reasonably sized. If you already have a large screen TV why not use it less? Make it a treat to watch a movie on the big screen and watch your regular programmes on something that won’t eat a hole in your pocket.
Hopefully these tips will make you a little more aware of how easily you can save on Electricity. None of these tips are difficult it just needs a bit of practise to remember them. In a week or so you will be turning all appliances/lights etc, off as a matter of course.
For a more self sufficient future