Making The Most Out Of Your Monthly Energy
Conserving electricity is something that more people should participate in. Whether it’s for financial or environmental reasons, there’s nothing wrong with having a little extra cash in your pocket or giving help to mother nature. But while for some it’s a choice, for others it is a necessity.
I’m talking about those people that whether by choice or necessity, live an off-grid life. These people have to generate their own power (if they use any at all) to survive. And in case you didn’t know, there’s almost no one that generates enough power to live a “normal” electrical lifestyle. No, less than 1/3 the power one normally would use a month is generated. This means, that with no power company to rely on, each off-grid resident must be careful of their own energy consumption. This has led them to find inventive ways to save on power. Some of it is just good sense, while the rest is pure innovation in the face of a challenge.
And so even if you don’t live off the grid, you can totally take advantage of some of these great tips on how to reduce energy bill costs the off-grid way.
First let’s address the biggest source of electrical expenditure in your home: the air conditioner. For an off-grid dweller, this is not something that can be sustained, and so other ways to keep cool are found. For example, houses that will be off the grid are made out of good insulating materials to keep the temperature inside easily regulated whether in the summer or winter. This would translate to ensuring your own home has adequate insulation. These homes are also designed with ceilings that tilt up to a peak so that an extractor can be placed there to suck all the hot air out of the house. Something like this could be implemented in your own home as well, with a fan blowing up into the attic. Next, many people living off grid do have access to ice (as a freezer uses less electricity than an a/c) and so construct “cooler a/c units” which are basically a cooler full of ice, with holes put into it for a fan to blow air inside and over the ice, and for it to exit nice and cold. All of these innovations could be applied to a regular home.
Also, if you want to keep the convenience of air conditioning, consider installing some energy-saving devices, like an electric shaver or a programmable thermostat to help reduce the amount of electricity used. Keeping filters clean and not setting the temperature too low also can help with reducing cooling costs.
The next thing that off-grid people will do is usually get rid of the upright refrigerator. These units are very inefficient in that every time you open the door, all of the cold air will literally pour out onto the floor. Instead, a top-loading freezer can easily be converted into a refrigerator with the help of a temperature controller. These would even work well in a regular home. While they are a little less convenient to use, they use less electricity and still get the job done.
If you want to keep your regular fridge, you can first clean out the bottom and the coils on the back. This will help the unit run more efficiently. Also, make sure you aren’t having the unit go colder than it needs to. 40 degrees for the fridge and 30 for the freezer should be cold enough. Opening the fridge unnecessarily (as we just learned) will also reduce its efficiency, so only open it with you’re sure you’re going to get something out of it.
Finally, off-grid living people will only use the barest necessities of power. Meaning, they will use natural light on a sunny day rather than electric lighting. Or they will open windows on a cool and breezy day instead of running a fan. Anyone can apply these methods to whatever home they live in for additional energy savings. It’s easy to do and will go a long way toward reducing your overall electricity bills.
So don’t feel that if you’re not living off-grid, you can’t save electricity. With the above methods, you could literally see a 15 to 20 percent drop in your electricity bill, which reflects your actual electrical conservation in action.