Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Unplug Everything

The first year Daniel and I were married, I didn’t pay much attention to our electric bill. All I did was write a check, stick a stamp and take the envelope to the post office. The second year of our married life things have changed and I began to really monitor our monthly electric bill. Hours of research have helped me understand what was causing our bill, especially during the winter months, to climb up.

I began to pay closer attention to our habits. Sometimes I feel that I am a drill sergeant at our home, when it comes to saving money on electricity. My poor Daniel gets to hear my lovely voice when he keeps the fridge door open for more than 10 seconds. When my hubby stares at the contents in the fridge for what feels like 10 minutes he sees food and I see dollar signs flying out of the fridge. Although the fridge has to work harder to keep the air cold during the 10 seconds that Daniel tries to decide what to eat, I found that something else can have enormous impact on electric bill.

That something else is your plugged in appliances and electronics. After reading that approximately ¾ of the energy that appliances and electronics burn happens while they are turned off!!! Within minutes every single item that was plugged in into the electric outlet in our house was unplugged. Over the course of several months our attitude towards reserving electricity has changed. After coffee is made in the morning, we turn the machine off and unplug it. If we do not use our laptop, we unplug it. During the summer time, we only use one alarm clock, thus the second one stays unplugged for 3 months.

The only thing that I have yet to do is to invest money in a Smart strip. Because we have too many cords behind our TV, it is practically impossible to plug and unplug X-Box, DVD player, TV and tons of other never used gadgets. Smart Strip automatically shuts off the power, when you turn off electronics or appliances. The power returns when the item is turned on again. You can purchase a 10-outlet strip for $31 dollars at amazon.com. Purchasing one is my next project as soon as I am done with school. Also I am planning to make a solar pannel out of copper pennies with my father in law in the fall. I will make sure to document the project.

How do you save money on electricity?


  1. I've done this my self a time or two and weather it saves you money or not, you sure feel like your doing good by it! Great Post!

  2. I would like to know more about this "smart strip". You say "Smart Strip automatically shuts off the power, when you turn off electronics or appliances. The power returns when the item is turned on again."

    However, the only way that modern appliances like TVs turn on when you use the remote control or even the power button is because they were still using a small amount of electricity to maintain a "ready" state, in order to respond to your command.

    How can this power strip be OFF, but still responsive to me pressing ON with my TV's remote control? I truly don't see how that can work.

    If you do get a Smart Strip, I'd love to know the answers to this.