Winter is a time when we use more electricity than any other time of the year (unless you’re one who blasts the AC all summer long). It gets dark earlier so we put the lights on at 4p instead of 7p. We don’t want to hang our clothes out to dry because the clothes freeze on the line. Heating our homes also uses a lot of electricity, especially if your home has electric heat as its primary heat source. Here are some ways to reduce your electric consumption during the Dark Time. Start by unplugging all those non-necessary pieces of electric equipment not in use.
When you plug in a phone charger, it draws energy from the grid, even if it’s a tiny amount. That adds up each month especially when each member of the family has their own cellphone. It’s the same with clocks, DVD players, radios, computers, and all the other lovely electronic devices we all have around our houses. Wolf and I put all plugs onto power strips. When we’re asleep at night, or out of the house all day, we keep the strips unplugged, not just turned off, because the power strips still use electricity when plugged in. This reduces the amount of electricity we use each month.
One of the biggest electricity hogs in your home is the dryer. Cat’s post talked about this earlier this year. Now that winter has come to the northern hemisphere, you may not want to hang your clothes outside. Hang them inside on an inside clothes line in your basement (if you have one) or hang the clothes on wooden racks. Sure it takes longer for the clothes to dry, but in the end, a 20-50% decrease in your electric bill is worth it. It is also worth the reduction in your personal carbon footprint and the amount of electricity drawn from nuclear power plants.
Keeping the heat in your house and not outside (after all, you aren’t trying to heat the outdoors are you?) is also an excellent way to keep your electricity usage down. I put heavy drapes over all the doors and windows here on Howling Hill. As soon as dusk starts to settle in, I close the drapes. I am careful not to turn on every light in the house because I’ve made it darker than it was. Use candles you have around the house to light your way. Wear heavy sweaters to keep your body heat in so you can turn that temperature gauge way, way down.
With these simple changes you will see a decreases in your electric bill and you’ll be protecting Mother Earth from all kinds of pollutants.