How to: Conserve energy and save money

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Do you know how much all those buzzing computers and shining lights cost your family every month? Not to mention they may cost the earth a few years off its life. So do yourself (and Mother Nature) a favor and figure out how much it costs and how you can conserve energy.

  1. Grab a sheet of paper or open a new doc to scribble your electric costs.
  2. Pick an electronic item from the list below and write it down.
  3. Figure out how often you use that item. If it’s a computer, how many hours of homework (and games) do you use it for each night? Multiply that by 30 and add or subtract weekend time. If your family leaves a hall light on each night for 8 hours, multiply 8x30. You get the idea!
  4. Multiply the average wattage for your item (on list below) by the number of hours that you use that item in one month
  5. Divide the number of watt-hours you get in Step 4 by 1,000. This will convert that number into kilowatt-hours.
  6. Multiply the kilowatt-hours you get in Step 5 by the cost of electricity per kWh from your utility bill. If you don’t know this number you can use 8 cents per kWh.
  7. Divide the cost you get in step 6 by 100 to convert cents into dollars. This is your total cost for that electronic item each month!
  8. Now that you have your number, reflect on it! Is it totally scary and huge? Maybe it’s just a little bigger than you’d like it to be (come on, you can ditch that night light already!) Write a list of ways you can reduce that cost.
  9. Spread the word: get your whole family in on the act, make sure they’re on board with cutting down costs and kilowatts!

Note: Keep in mind that some appliances (like refrigerators) cycle on and off, so you may spend less money than you calculate in Step 6 to keep those running.

Electronic Average Wattage

Radio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……..70
Stereo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Television . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
VCR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Large Screen TV . . . . . . . . . . . 400
Video Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Computer & Printer . . . . . . . . . 280
Cable Box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150
Refrigerator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 725
Washer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350
Dryer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1800
Microwave Oven . . . . . . . . . . 750