How it works• Alabama’s power is generated with just under 70% coal fired plants (significant polluter)• That power then reaches your home, goes through a meter, and is consumed by the devices in your home• The less power going into your home, the lower the reading on the meter and the smaller the bill each month
Common Myths• It takes more energy to turn a light off and then on rather than just leaving it burning – False – Turning on a light uses the same energy as that same light burning for .4 seconds•It takes more energy to cool down a house atthe end of the day than keeping it cool all daylong. –No. Cooling a hot house down at the end of the day always takes less energy than leaving the AC running all day, even if its running on a high setting.
How to keep the meter down – with minimal effort• Turn off your computer when not using it - $100-$400/year – If you use your laptop for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, it costs around $5/year. – If you have a high end gaming computer left on 24/7 and a CRT monitor, it costs $400/year. – Screen savers don’t save power; they just protect your screen. Instead, use the sleep-mode or energy- saving feature on your computer. – Save power by turning off your computer monitor when youll be away from your computer for more than 10 minutes
Minimal Effort - continued• Turn off lights/TV when not in room• Use energy saving dry mode on dishwasher• Only do full loads of dishes/laundry• During summer, do laundry/dishwasher at night• Keep fridge closed until you know what you’re getting
Minimal Effort - continued• During summer, turn up the temperature a few degrees and use fans instead – If your air conditioner is on for 12 hours/day for 3 weeks, it uses the same amount of energy as leaving your refrigerator open 24 hours for a YEAR. – Every degree below 78 increases your bill by about 4%. So going from 72 to 76 is 16%. If you’re power bill is normally $100, you will save around $10-15/month.• During winter, open blinds for heat/light, in summer keep them closed – Free heat and light during the winter, and in the summer the less heat you let in, the less you have to pay to get out.
Saving power – some work• Switch to CFLs - $36/per bulb• Add weather stripping around doors• Take shorter showers• Don’t use the oven during daytime in the summer, only at night• Use surge protectors on electronics
• Open windows at night to cool down rather than running A/C• Use a desklamp rather than overhead lights• Only install the number of bulbs you need• Install a programmable thermostat $50- $150/year
The Big Picture• Reducing electricity consumption saves money and reduces CO2 and other pollutants• Some measures may seem trivial, however, collectively they all add up• If everyone in the U.S switched to CFL’S: – Removing 800,000 cars – Saving $600,000,000 in energy