Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Easy Ways to Conserve Power

With the current cold weather, holiday baking, Christmas lights, and so on, power consumption is spiking. Save yourself some money and help delay the construction of new power plants and transmission lines by doing your part in reducing electricity consumption:

  • Run appliances such as washers, dishwashers, and clothes driers later in the evening or on weekends, during times of low power demand
  • Use timers on your vehicule's block heater, and only heat the engine for a couple of hours before you need to use it: heating it overnight wastes energy and costs you money!
  • Turn off electric (space- and baseboard heaters) except when needed.
  • Convert to energy-efficient lighting: compact fluorescents or LED bulbs use MUCH less power than traditional incandescent lights. Outdoor holiday light displays are wonderful, but can use $27 of power in a month, at 6 hours/day. By comparison, inexpensive LED Christmas lights will cost you 47¢.
  • Unplug any "beer fridges" that are not in use.
  • Use the smallest burner you can get away with on your range, and use a microwave instead of the full-size oven when possible.
  • Unplug "vampire" electronics: cell phone chargers, instant-on televisions, and unused little power adaptors. They all draw power even when not on, costing you money!

None of these tips should decrease anyone's quality of life. Better scheduling and smart choices means saving money and ensuring that Alberta doesn't build more coal or nuclear power plants.

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