A couple of years back, I was watching Oprah Winfrey interview a woman in her home talking about how she was able to cut her monthly electricity bill down by approximately one-third of what she previously used to pay each month. The woman stated she unplugged everything in the home except for the refrigerator and electric range. That included the television set, video game console, lamps, computer and the microwave. Nothing was left plugged into an outlet and items were plugged in only when in use.
According to the woman’s electric company, power is generated although plugged-in household items are not in use, including power strips with off switches. Also a 22o watt plug-in uses more electricity than a 110 watt plug-in. For example, an electric range is 220w and a refrigerator is 110w. Therefore, the range produces double electricity. The woman states that it is a bit inconvenient to plug in and unplug but the savings is well worth a little inconvenience.
I wanted some relief from high electricity bills too but really I was more curious. My household’s monthly electricity bill ran approximately $340. So I decided to try the plug in and unplug routine as an experiment. Truthfully, I got lazy many times with unplugging items. I have to admit it was a hassle to move something, plug it in, set it back in place to be able to use it and then have to reverse the process. But what I did manage during the month the payoff was a $65 savings. I was thrilled about the savings but I wasn’t satisfied because my bill was still very high for a household of 5 and no one at home all day, except on weekends.
My thoughts floated back to Oprah’s interview and I remembered the part about wattage. The more wattage an item needs, the more electricity it had to generate, therefore increasing electricity dollars. I got an idea for another experiment.I needed to control the 220w outlets that powered the clothes dryer, electric range and electric water heater. Also I needed to change every room’s light bulbs and lamp bulbs to compact fluorescent ones, so I did that. As far as the 200w outlets, I simply flipped off the double-switches on the electrical panel that sent current to dryer, range and water heater outlets. When I wanted hot water, needed to do some cooking or dry laundry, all I did was go to the panel and flip on the appropriate switches and flip them back off when done.
I hated plugging in the television system and computer every time I wanted to use them. So I made an exception to leave those things plugged in. When my next month’s electricity bill came in the mail, it was a shocking $201.
That’s a $139 savings every month, totaling a $1668 savings a year.