Power outages — even a full blown black-out — is always a possibility in a widespread storm like Hurricane Sandy, now battering the Northeast, including New York City. Here are ten FREE and easy ways to reduce your electricity use — you’ll save money on your Con Edison bill and also help us all avoid a power outage.
Unplug — Gadgets like cellphone and tablet chargers pull electricity even when not in use. 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. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, such “vampire” and standby power totals as much as 10% of your monthly electric bill.
Sleep — Don’t just walk away from your desktop computer, put it to sleep. You’ll extend the live of the computer while you save electricity.
Kitchen Appliances — Limit use of appliances that require heat, like dishwashers, washing machines and dryers. If you must do laundry or dishes, use the ‘energy saver’ setting on the dishwasher to disable the heated drying cycle, and hang laundry to dry naturally indoors, instead of using the dryer..
Refrigerator — Open the door as little as possible — especially the freezer door — to keep the cold air in and minimize the amount of recycling the fridge has to do to replace the cold air lost by an open door.
These tips save money along with power, and work anywhere any time, in Con Edison territory or not, before or during a storm or not.