Monday, March 3, 2014

How To Save On Your Electric Bill*

For those of you who are set up to live without the electric company, I applaud you! I want to be just like you when I grow up. But for those of us who are bound by ball and chain to the electrical current running from our local provider, take heart. There are ways to lower your utility bill even though we are in the tight grip of Old Man Winter with Alzheimer's. It appears he forgot where he put his train ticket in order to get the hell out of Dodge. Maybe, if we all chip in we can carry him to the south pole. They probably wouldn't notice an increase in cold and snow down there...

Anyway, there are many simple steps that each of us can take to lower our electric usage such as turning off the lights in a room when not needed, opening the drapes to a south window on a sunny day and/or lowering the thermostat a few degrees.

But what if you've been as vigilant as the self-appointed Electric Gestapo, and you still can't seem to make much of a dent in your electric bill. Then I would say it calls for some drastic measures! Keep in mind the following suggestions are not for everyone. It requires an open mind, willingness to try, and an outlook on life as one long adventure to a Survivalists Weekend.

Ready? Many of these tips are multi-purpose. Don't scoff until you've tried 'em:

1. Lower your thermostat another five degrees. If you have carpet in your house, stuffed furniture, window curtains, short ceilings and a sweater, then a person can easily survive in 63 degree temps in their home. The softness of surrounding furnishings seem to help in keeping the chill factor at bay.
Inexpensive alternative: heat with wood that you have cut, hauled and stacked yourself.

2. Use heavy fabrics for curtains. The sheer lacy versions are for warmer weather. Get out the quilts, heavy blankets and sleeping bags to use as curtains over windows and doors in the winter. We're not in a home decorating contest at this point.
Expensive alternative: move to Florida.

3. Use rolled up rugs. One thing about winter is you will always find where the cold is sneaking into your home. And under the doors is one of the places it will leak. Rolling up heavy towels or rugs and placing them along the inside bottom of your entrance doors will help in keeping you and your floors a little warmer.
Inexpensive alternative: make the dog sleep along the bottom of the door.

4. Close off any unused rooms. If you don't need the space, turn your spare rooms into refrigerators. It may come in handy when the electric service fails. And, even if it doesn't, put your food in there anyway and turn off the fridge. This will also give you a chance to give the refrigerator a good cleaning.
Alternative: move to a one room hut.

5. Use the outdoors as a freezer. By placing your frozen items in ice chests and putting them in a safe northern location outside away from sunlight (or in an unheated garage/shed) you can turn off your freezer for a few months. This will also allow you to clean the inside of the freezer without rushing to get the food back in before it thaws. Note: the word "safe" is a key word here. Any type of animal will find a way to get to food if not stored securely.
Inexpensive alternative: go on a diet.

6. Keep blankets and throws handy. Place these throughout the house for chill attacks. Or just drag one around like its your security blanket. Sucking your thumb is up to you.
Alternative: where your one-piece jammies day and night.

* Please Note: These tips are suggestions only. Don't hold me responsible if your other half divorces you, your family disowns you, your neighbor wants nothing to do with you, your dog doesn't want to be your best friend anymore, and the cat finds a way to live with the neighbors. I'm only saying...

Chime in if you have found unique, out-of-the-ordinary ways to save on your utility bills. We can all help each other, even if we think you are a little goofy.