Simple tips for cutting your electric bill (and emissions!)

(This article originally ran on Money Minded Moms, Suze Orman’s online community, where I’m a featured writer.  I wanted to  post it here also since the underlying theme of my articles are not only money-oriented but always address issues that relate to the environment.  We know that the environment gets the brunt of the greenhouse gas emissions created by excessive energy usage, so I hope you can take these tips to not only save money but also do something good for our planet while you’re at it!)…

powerstrip 2Have you ever received an electric bill that caused you to gasp? Or does your bill seem extraordinarily high every month? You might find yourself wondering what you did to create such an expense.

The problem may not be what you’re doing, but what you aren’t doing.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 20-25% of the energy used in our home is actually consumed by electronics in stand-by mode or even “turned off”. They still consume energy as long as they’re plugged into an outlet. They also estimate that this collectively costs us $7 billion per year.

Here are a few simple tips to cut those costs:

  • Use power strips – plug-in computers, printers, scanners, monitors, TVs, DVD players, TiVos/DVRs and game systems. (Up to 75% of the energy they pull is actually consumed when they aren’t being used!) With the flip of one power strip switchcphone chrgr you can nearly eliminate this “phantom” power. To cut consumption completely, unplug the power strip once you’ve flipped the switch.
  • Keep it unplugged – this includes microwaves, radios, clocks, lamps, etc. that you don’t often use. Consider even unplugging your washer and dryer. When you need them, just plug them back in.
  • Computers – your monitor consumes substantially more energy than your hard drive. Instead of letting it sit idle while you temporarily move on to another task, turn off your monitor or put it in rest mode.
  • The little things – constantly leaving your cellphone charger and infrequently used appliances plugged laptp compinto an outlet consumes energy, even when they’re not in use.

Survey your home. Use power strips or simply pull the plug from the outlet to reduce excessive energy usage. By not doing this, you could be allowing your electric bill to skyrocket (and remember, the environment pays the price right along with you!).

Mom Goes Green goes “Money Minded Moms”!

I’m thrilled and incredibly honored to announce that I have been asked to be a featured writer and contributor for Suze Orman’s latest and greatest online community, Money Minded Moms! I was blown away by the invitation but now, as the site launches… well, I’m even more blown away!

So, what IS Money Minded Moms, you ask?  (I knew you’d ask!)  Money Minded Moms is a place where you can interact with other moms and tackle all of our money issues, from smart saving, to investing, to tips for stretching your every dollar… and that’s where Mom Goes Green comes in!

MMM contributor

You can read my first article, “Go green” AND “save green”: Dispelling the myth, but in a nutshell my contributions will be focused around actually showing readers all of the ways we can live green, keep our families healthy, and benefit the environment without sacrificing anything, including our money. Living green, environmental consciousness and a healthy well-being do NOT need to be a costly commitment. The only investment is taking the time to do the right thing!

The site is going to be truly spectacular.  Suze is amazing and inspiring, and to be a part of one of her projects… wow.   And she’s assembled quite a team.  You can check out all of our profiles here and see that I’m in wonderful company too!

headshotAs Mom Goes Green, this blog will continue and I will forge ahead with my mission, but Money Minded Moms will get the “money perspective” of all my greatest tips and tricks.

I hope you join me! We can have great discussions there too! And once again… that “honored” thing… oh yes… INCREDIBLY honored!