Here are ten FREE and easy ways to reduce your electricity use. You will save money on your Con Edison bill and also help us all avoid a power outage.
While last weekend’s blackout of parts of Manhattan was due to a transmission glitch, a larger and longer power outage is not out of the question
Gadgets like cellphone and tablet chargers pull electricity even when not in use.
According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, such “vampire” and standby power totals as much as 10% of your monthly electric bill.
Don’t leave them plugged in unless they are actively recharging a device.
Ditto, unplug the coffee pot, microwave and anything else you can think of when not in use, for the same reason.
Don’t just walk away from your desktop computer, put it to sleep. You’ll extend the life of the computer while you also save electricity.
Set your controls to put the computer to sleep after five or ten minutes, or another length of time convenient to your pattern of use.
Limit use of heat-making appliances like dishwashers and washing machines during the hottest part of the day, and use the ‘energy saver’ setting on the dishwasher to disable the heated drying cycle.
Close the blinds or shades
All that sunshine, especially in rooms facing south and west, heat up the room, and make your air conditioner work harder.
Each degree below 78 will increase your energy use by 3-4%. Raise the thermostat and lower your bill. Also, don’t leave your air conditioner running when nobody is home.
Clean the filter regularly to get rid of NYC dust and grime, because a clogged filter makes the air conditioner work harder.
Wash it off in the bathtub, and be sure it’s completely dry before you put it back into the air conditioner.
Take a shower instead of turning up the AC. Use the cold water cycle on the washing machine.
And drink lots of cold water, especially after the gym.
Put a bandana or washcloth in the freezer and wear it around your neck, in the gym or at home.
Candles and flashlights
Be sure you have a flashlight with working batteries, or candles, or both, so you don’t have to draw down the power on your cellphone for light.
It’s also a good idea to have a couple of portable chargers, fully charged, for your phones, for emergency re-charging, in case there is another blackout.
These money saving, power saving tips work anywhere, in Con Edison territory or not.
This article was first published on NYC on the Cheap in 2012 and has been updated for 2019.