Keeping Electricity Costs Low

Thursday 30 July 2015 at 10:20 am

One of the most costly monthly expenses is of course, the electricity bill. As one of those things that we can’t do without, one would kind of expect that if the price is high, then they’re stuck paying that high price. But that’s not necessarily true. There are several ways that one can easily lower their electrical use. They can be broken down into 3 separate categories:

  1. Changing habits to avoid waste. This would include things like turning off appliances and lights when not in use, washing clothes and dishes in cold water, etc.

  2. Using energy efficient devices. An example of this would be switching to LED bulbs or buying Energy Star certified appliances.

  3. Getting devices designed to improve efficiency. This would be purchasing items which were designed to lower electricity usage, like programmable thermostats or power saver units.

In applying the 3 above, the results you get are solely determined by, how dedicatedly you apply #1, how widespread #2 is, and the types of devices employed in #3.

With even moderate application of those 3 points above, one should easily be able to reduce their bill by 20%.

So with a little bit of effort, you too can start enjoying a lower electricity bill.

4 Things You Do That Waste Electricity

Friday 24 July 2015 at 09:30 am

Most people probably wouldn’t consider themselves particularly wasteful. Especially when wastefulness usually means having to shell out more money in the end. So it may come as a complete shock to you that you’re probably doing things that are totally wasting power. While they may seem trivial, remember that they add up to hundreds of dollars per year. So what are these wasteful things?

  1. You leave your appliances on. Most people will walk away from their home computer and not even think about it yet there it is, wasting energy. Some also do the same with the TV. But wait, you say that you don’t do that? Well, how’s this: many appliances never really turn off. Things like modern TV sets, microwaves and others never fully are off (notice that there is always a clock or little light on). The solution is to unplug them. That will surely stop the waste and help to reduce power bills.

  2. You set your a/c too low. Now, I understand that coming home in the middle of summer to a warm home isn’t exactly pleasant. But most people will set the a/c way low to try to cool the home down faster. Funny thing about this is that it doesn’t work. It just wastes energy. Your home will be cool in 15-20 minutes regardless of setting the temperature down far lower than normal. So be patient and save some energy.

  3. Opening the fridge and freezer unnecessarily wastes power. The cold air just pours out and then the new, warmer air that enters needs to be cooled down. This is just a waste of energy.

  4. You use hot water far too much. Washing clothes and dishes can be done with the same level of effectiveness using only cold water. Modern soaps and detergents make that possible. Also, baths waste a lot of power and water too, so stick to showers.

The True Cause Of High Electricity Bills

Friday 10 July 2015 at 10:06 am

Ever looked at your electricity bill and wonder why it was so high? Where did all of that electricity go? Could I really have used that much? Well, your questions are about to be answered.

Could you really have used all that electricity? The answer is, NO. Though you were left having to pay for it, YOU didn’t use it. More on that later.

Where did all that electricity go? Aha! THAT is the right question. Where DID it go? Herein lies the key to understanding your high power bills. Ok, let’s get to the explanation already.

The reason your bills are high is due to 2 factors. The first is that some of your usage habits are not exactly the most energy-efficient. The second, and most major, is that many of your appliances are wasting a lot of electricity. So this brings us to the question of how to save money on electric bills. Let's find out.

The first is the easiest to correct as you only have to make a couple of habit changes. Things like remembering to turn off lights, computers and other appliances can go a long way. Washing clothes usually has room for efficiency as you can use cold water to wash instead of hot (and get the same or better results) as well as wash clothes only in big loads. Washing dishes in cold water is also a good way to save on water heating.

The second will require a little intervention in the form of a power saving device. Upon installing one in your home, it will work to collect the electricity that gets wasted by several of your appliances (the a/c being one) and then send this power back to your other appliances for use, thus improving your overall home efficiency.

What Is An Electric Saver?

Friday 03 July 2015 at 09:44 am

There are lots and lots of different tips on how to save electricity that relate to almost every single area of usage. And if you have done any bit of searching, you’ve probably seen them all. But chances are that you’ve also come across a device known as an electric saver (or power saver, or other similar name). This is something that most people are completely unfamiliar with as the device is not all that well-known. So what is this thing?

To put it plainly, it is a device that you install in your home (or business) that will improve the overall electrical efficiency of the area by collecting normally unused electricity and redistributing it to the local appliances for actual use. Sounds tricky? Here’s a little more detailed explanation:

Some appliances in your home will pull in more electricity from the electric company than they really need. This additional electricity will normally go to waste. The electric saver unit contains an energy bank which will store this additional power. It then sends this power back out into circuit where it will not be used by your other appliances. This reduces the amount of electricity that now much be drawn as you are using a higher percent of what was already drawn. This is how your efficiency improves and your bill gets lowered.

One of these units normally reduces a residential electricity bill by about 15% monthly. Businesses (depending on what types of appliances they use) stand to save even more. Once the unit is installed, there is literally nothing further to do with it and it will work quietly, 24/7 to optimize the handling of electricity.

They are not all that expensive and can thus pay for themselves after just a few months making it a really great investment for most any home.

2 Easy And Effective Energy Saving Tips

Friday 26 June 2015 at 10:32 am

There are lots of different ways to go about saving electricity at home, but not all of them are really all that effective. Let’s take switching light bulbs for example. Sure, it does save electricity to switch from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs, but so little of you bill comes from lighting that if you end goal is to save money, you won’t be getting very far by doing that. There’s also some tips that are quite difficult to implement. Like turning off all appliances after use. This will again save electricity, but it’s so inconvenient that it’s almost not worth it. So what’s needed are some easy AND effective ways to get this done.

Well, we got just the thing for you. Here’s 2 tips that anyone can apply for easy and effective energy saving:

  1. Install an electric saver in your home. This device will work to recycle the normally wasted electricity generated by certain household appliances (like pool pumps and air conditioners). Once installed, there is literally nothing else that you need to do and it works 24/7. With it alone you can save about 15% on your electricity bill each month. You can find out more at http://electricsaver1200.com/saving-devices.

  2. Reduce your hot water usage. Right behind air conditioning, water heating is the most expensive use of electricity. Fortunately it is very easy to reduce your usage. Start off by only washing clothes and dishes with cold water. Contrary to common belief, cold water works just fine for cleaning clothes (especially with detergents nowadays), won’t shrink your clothes and can actually prevent stains from settling in. Taking a quick shower is also easy to do and is more sanitary than a bath anyways.

That’s all there is to it. With just those 2 easy tips, you can start saving over 20% on your monthly energy bill. So get out there and get your electric saver installed and change your hot water habits.

Can An Electric Saver Really Lower Electric Bills?

Friday 19 June 2015 at 09:06 am

If you have done any amount of searching for different ways to lower power bills, then you have probably come across devices known as “electric savers” (aka power savers). They claim to be able to reduce electricity bills drastically, by 10 to 20%, but do they live up to their claims?

The first thing we’ll need to know is just how they work. An electric saver is essentially a bank of capacitors that works to collect electricity that is normally wasted. This is the “additional” electricity that is drawn by certain appliances, yet not used. Appliances like air conditioners and pool pumps are guilty of this. So once the electric saver collects this electricity, it then sends it back to your other appliances to be used. This boosts the efficiency of your home as you are using more of the energy that is being drawn in.

This principle is sound, in fact your power company uses similar devices (on a much larger scale) to improve their own efficiency. But will it effectively help you to save on electric bills in residential use? The answer is: depends on the circumstances.

If you live in a medium size home and have a central a/c unit that runs for several hours during the day, then you can probably benefit from such a device as it will be working to correct your a/c’s inefficiency. However, if you live in an apartment with only a single, small wall-mounted a/c unit that doesn’t run very much, then you may not see much of a difference in your home electricity bill as you aren’t wasting all that much electricity to begin with. There are of course other variables which will determine the savings one would get but this is the basic idea.

Save Money On Water Heating

Friday 12 June 2015 at 10:28 am

There’s lots of different ways to save money on electricity at home. One of them is to target specific areas of energy usage. That’s what we’re going to be doing today, and we’ll be focusing on water heating.

Keeping plenty of hot water in supply is the #2 most energy consuming thing going on in your home (right behind air conditioning) making up about 20% of your overall monthly power bill. So this is a fruitful area to address in terms of results and energy saving.

There’s a few different ways to attack this one so let’s get started:

  1. First thing’s first. You need to make sure you don’t have any hot water leaks in your home. This, even if only a drip, can cost you big. One small leak could easily account for an additional $50 on your power bill. So find and fix any leaks first.

  2. If you can adjust the temperature of your water heater, then ensure it’s not too hot. If you can burn yourself with the hot water on full, then it’s too hot. Every degree lower will mean less energy used.

  3. Get some more insulation for your water heater. You can find this in most any home improvement store. It will either come as a sheet, or sometimes as a pre made “jacket” for your water heater.

  4. Now let’s move on to reducing our usage of hot water. Showers will always use less electricity (in terms of water heating) than baths. Also, you can wash clothes and dishes using cold water. Hot water actually helps some types of stains to set, so there’s another reason for using cold water. Anywhere you can reduce your usage, you’ll be saving power.

That pretty much wraps it up. You should be able to see a result in your next energy bill after doing the above for a month.

Tips For Low Electric Bills When On Vacation

Thursday 04 June 2015 at 2:44 pm

It really stinks to have to pay for something that you’re not using. So naturally it’s a real drag to have to pay for electricity in your home when you are on vacation. Fortunately, there’s a few things that you can do to avoid it.

Mainly, get your service suspended for the time that you will be gone. Just call your provider and tell them to suspend your service until the date when you return and that’s all you have to do.

But what if you can’t do that? What if you need to keep the power going? Like if you have a home server that needs to stay online, or if you have to leave something in the freezer or fridge. Well, you still have a few options. If you do all that is listed below, you should handle it so that you’re paying the absolute MINIMUM for electricity:

  1. Unplug everything! If it’s got a cable, disconnect it. Appliances will actually draw some electricity even if they are turned off just by virtue of being plugged in. So the only real way of handling this is by unplugging them.

  2. Things that need to be left on need to be maintained in as low a state of power as is possible. Take the server example. If you can, reduce it’s performance so that while it will run a little slower, it will use less electricity.

  3. Use timers. Again, sometimes you need certain things to keep running while you are away. Timers are a great way to have them only run when needed. Need your a/c to come on periodically? (again, server example…) Then plug it into a time so it only runs as much as needed during the day to keep things cool enough. A power save device can also help with a/c costs.

If you follow the above advice, you should be able to easily keep electrical use to a minimum while away. This way you can come home and not be greeted with a high electricity bill.

Saving Electricity In The Kitchen

Friday 29 May 2015 at 4:31 pm

There’s plenty of different ways to go about saving electricity. Heck, you can find loads of different tips all over the internet, not to mention this very site as well. But there’s something that is a bit lacking, and that is a collection of tips that focus on various areas of the home. Well, we’re going to change all that.

But why focus on only one specific area? Well, not everyone uses each area of the home as much as others. Some people rarely use their kitchens, for example. While others practically live there. If you do a lot of baking or cooking, then this set of tips is for you, because we’re going to show you how to conserve electricity in the kitchen.

  1. Before firing up the oven, make sure that the microwave or toaster oven wouldn’t suffice. They use far less electricity.

  2. Preheat the oven only once you’re almost done with other prep work. This way you won’t be wasting time with it on while you’re still getting ready.

  3. Unplug kitchen appliances when you’re finished with them as they will still draw some electricity otherwise.

  4. Set your fridge to no colder than 40° and your freezer to 32°. Those temperatures will keep food fresh and not waste electricity.

  5. Clean the dust off of the back of your fridge at least once a year.

With the above tips, you’ll be able to cook for less in terms of electricity. While some of these things may seem trivial, remember that all year long, “small” wastes can really add up, so keep that in mind.

Stay tuned as soon we’ll put out another article teaching you how to conserve electricity in a specific part of the house. Until then, keep saving!

The Three Most Effective Ways To Lower Energy Bills

Friday 22 May 2015 at 2:07 pm

There’s lots of different ways to get a job done. Although not all of them are as effective as each other. The same applies to reducing your electricity bill. There’s dozens of ways to cut costs, but only a few can really give big results.

Now, keep in mind that to get the absolute best results, you’ll need to apply as many methods as possible. Every little bit helps and adds up to the total result. But, if you’re just looking for a couple of tips that will get the most bang for your buck, then read on.

  1. Installing an electric saver is probably THE best way to lower energy bills. With savings of around 15% routinely being gotten, there is no other single method that comes close to this one. It works by recycling electricity that gets wasted by certain home appliances. It can literally pay for itself in a matter of months.

  2. Conserving hot water is another great way to save on electricity. Although not as cut and dry as the one above, this only requires a couple of simple changes and home improvements. Start off by insulating your water heater and connecting pipes. Then, conserve hot water wherever possible, like by washing clothes with cold (same with dishes) water, taking rapid showers, and fixing any leaky faucets.

  3. Finally, we come to the a/c. If you can tolerate it, raising your thermostat by a couple of degrees will really help out. You can also install a programmable thermostat so that you can set it to run only when necessary, and at the optimum temperature. Your a/c consumes more power than any other appliance, so curbing this one’s appetite will go a long way.

So try one (or all) of the above methods, and see what kind of results you can get in your efforts to save money on electricity. If you're interested in more, you can get more information here.

Protect Your Home Appliances And Save Money

Friday 15 May 2015 at 1:39 pm

There is a little thought of threat to your home’s electrical appliances which could literally strike at any time. I’m talking about power surges. These sudden overcharge of electricity can enter into your home and literally destroy your appliances. They can come from malfunctions of your power company’s equipment or from bolts of lightning (making them hard to predict) and the worst part is that most homes are not at all equipped to defend against them.

Now, maybe you have most of your appliances plugged into a power strip with built in surge protection. While this is better than nothing, this is simply designed to protect against the smaller, day-to-day surges. Not what we’re talking about above. For that, you’ll need a whole home surge protector.

There are various ones that you could choose from, all with varying degrees of effectiveness, but why not get the only one that will also help you to save money on your electricity bills each month?

An electric saver 1200 is not only a good way to protect your entire home against the damaging power of a surge, but it will also help you to save about 15% on electricity each and every month.

When you install the unit at the power meter, any electricity entering into the home must pass through the unit. If the charge is too big, the unit will self-sacrifice and stop the current. This will protect your appliances.

When not stopping power surges, it will recycle electricity that normally gets wasted in your home, to the effect of a lower power bill.

This makes it the only surge protector that can pay for itself in a matter of months, surge or no surge.

So don’t take any more chances with your electronics and give them adequate protection all while saving money at the same time.

Lower Your Electricity Bill: The Big List

Friday 08 May 2015 at 6:09 pm

Over the last few months, we’ve published several articles containing various ways of lowering your electricity bills. And while there are a lot of different tips strewn around the site, there’s no big and comprehensive list with all of the various tips, tricks and devices listed.

So let’s fix that. Below you’ll find a big, big list of every single way to reduce electricity bills that we can think of. Let this be your ultimate guide to have a smaller monthly bill.

  1. Set your A/C 2 degrees higher if you can tolerate it. If not, try in combination with a fan.

  2. In the winter, use a small space heater if you’re only needing to warm up a room or two.

  3. Wear more clothes during the winter indoors so you can set the temp a bit lower.

  4. Install an energy saving device in your home to reduce the amount of electricity the A/C wastes.

  5. Turn off lights not in use.

  6. Use LED bulbs.

  7. Insulate your water heater.

  8. Wash clothes and dishes with cold water.

  9. Use natural light during the day.

  10. Open blinds to let sunlight and heat in during the winter.

  11. Install dimmer switches for your lights.

  12. Unplug unused appliances.

  13. Change your a/c filter regularly.

  14. Use the microwave instead of the oven.

  15. Set your fridge and freezer a bit higher.

  16. Use fans during the summer.

  17. Buy appliances certified by Energy Star.

  18. Close vents going to unused rooms.

Following the majority of the above list will surely give you a much reduced bill. You can probably save over 20% on electricity monthly! So don’t keep waiting. Over the course of a single weekend, you can get most of those point into action.

How To Reduce Home Lighting Costs

Friday 01 May 2015 at 1:57 pm

While most of your electricity bill may not go to lighting, it still adds up. Lighting makes up about 13% of your monthly bill, so some attention should be placed on it, especially since it’s one of the easiest areas to address.

So let’s take a look at the different ways that you can save on electric bill costs through lighting.

First of all, you’re going to need to make the switch to LED bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are being phased out due to their inefficiency. CFL bulbs are a good replacement, but nothing is as energy efficient as an LED bulb. They also last much longer than the rest of the competition.

Next, you’ll need to install dimmer switches for the most commonly used lights in your home. This will let you only use as much light/electricity as you need. Be sure that you buy dimmable LED bulbs as not all of them can be dimmed.

Now, installing motion sensors for your outdoor lights is another good idea. Rather than leave a porch light on all night long, this will only turn the light on when needed.

Where you have multiple light bulbs for the same area (like in a bathroom), only use as many as you really need. Some vanity mirrors have slots for 5 or more bulbs. Do you really need all that light? Unscrew a few and see just how many you really do need.

Finally, remember to turn your lights off when you don’t need them. This also goes for rooms with windows during the day. Open the blinds to let natural and free light in and spare the bulbs.

These simple tips can help you to spend a fraction of the electricity on lighting as you were before. They are relatively easy to implement and can all be done in a day. So get started saving on electric bills.

Lower Energy Bills Through Smarter Purchases

Thursday 23 April 2015 at 3:29 pm

If you are one of the many people seeking to get a lower monthly electricity bill, then you have quite a few options at your disposal. Various tips and tricks and products exist that will help you to get a lower monthly power bill. All of these are indeed great and effective ways of keeping your energy costs down, but there is another and often overlooked method of doing it. And that is by being more careful with the appliances that you buy. Actually, this is one of the most overlooked of all the energy savings solutions.

Although we don’t frequently buy new, large appliances (by that I mean refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, etc), when we do, we have a great opportunity to get something energy efficient which will help in the long run with our energy savings campaigns.

So when buying new appliances, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The first of these is to make sure that the appliances that you are purchasing has the Energy Star logo on it. This means that it has been tested and is more energy efficient that other similar appliances. It will typically use 10% or more less energy, depending on the type of appliance it is.

The next rule to follow is to ensure that you are getting the proper size of appliance. Getting a refrigerator that is much bigger than your needs is a great way to spend too much at the point of purchase and on electricity in the following years. So before you buy, make sure you know how big the appliance will have to be to meet your family’s needs.

Finally, ensure that the appliance that you get is from a reputable brand. While any brand may qualify for an Energy Star certification, appliances do suffer from wear and tear and the efficiency may drop as time goes on. So get a reputable brand to ensure that it lasts a long time, with its energy efficiency still intact.

How To Really Cut Your A/C Costs

Friday 17 April 2015 at 3:01 pm

We recently posted an article about cutting the costs of summer cooling using various tips as well as installing an electric saver device. All of those tips are still perfectly valid, but there is yet another way that can really take the bite out of summer electricity bills.

It is called an HVAC Maximizer, and it helps you to further the efficiency of your air conditioner. It works on a pretty simple principle. You see, most air conditioners and heaters will start a heating or cooling cycle, and the fan will activate to push the cold or hot air throughout the home. Once the temperature has reached the desired level, the whole system, fan included, shuts off. This leave much cold or hot air in the ducts of your home to slowly dissipate and not be put to work in cooling and heating your home.

What the device does is automatically adjust your fan’s settings to draw that cooled or heated air into the home thus keeping it the desired temperature for longer.

Though it sounds pretty simple, people typically save an average of 14% on their electricity bill.

So if you put the HVAC Maximizer together with an electric saver device as mentioned before, you’ll be able to reduce your electricity bill by up to 30% each month.

This doesn’t only work during the summer, you will save money all year round.

Couple that with the rest of the tips that you’ll find in previous articles and you should be enjoying some of the lowest electricity bills you’ve ever seen.

If you want to find out more about these energy saving devices, you can check them out at:

HVAC Maximizer: http://hvacmaximizer.com/

Electric Saver 1200: http://electricsaver1200.com/power-save/

The 10 Step Plan To A Lower Electric Bill

Friday 10 April 2015 at 3:52 pm

Sometimes, all you need is a guide to help you reach a destination. If that destination happens to be getting a lower electricity bill throuhg power saving, then you’ve found the right guide.

In just 10 simple steps, anyone, regardless of whether they live in a house or an apartment, will be able to have a much lower power bill each month. These steps aren’t hard to do and don’t require that you make any major changes in the way you use energy.

Ok, so here we go into the super 10 step plan:

  1. Get a home energy audit. This will identify any major faults in your home’s efficiency. Things like poor insulation, energy-hogging appliances and air leaks will be revealed here.

  2. Correct the problems found in the last step. Get your insulation up to snuff and change out any offending appliances.

  3. Insulate your water heater. Water heating accounts for a good deal of your monthly energy bill, so improving the efficiency of your water heater will go a long way.

  4. Stop your a/c from wasting so much electricity by installing a power saving unit. This device will recycle the power that the a/c normally wastes.

  5. Change out you incandescent bulbs for LED or CFL bulbs. They last a lot longer and use much, much less electricity.

  6. Get some smart power strips. Appliances that are turned off but left plugged in will consume some electricity. Since unplugging and plugging in appliances all the time isn’t exactly convenient, get smart power strips instead as they will essentially do this for you automatically.

  7. Wash clothes the energy efficient way by doing fewer, larger loads. Less loads means less electricity spent. One large load of laundry still uses less than 2 smaller loads.

  8. Wash clothes with cold water. This one again helps to save on water heating.

  9. Use natural light during the day.

  10. Enjoy a lower electricity bill.

That’s all there is to it. With just the above steps, you can literally reduce your energy bill by over 20%.

How To Reduce The Cost Of Summer Cooling

Friday 03 April 2015 at 4:09 pm

Spring is not upon us and we can start to enjoy some fresh and comfortable weather and the lower than average electricity bills that go with it. This time of year when we can open our windows and save on heating and cooling will not last too long, summer will be here soon, and our electricity bills will once again spike back up as we keep our homes cool and comfortable.

But, there is a way, several ways in fact, that we can work to reduce the amount of electricity that we spend on cooling so that the summer doesn’t have to be so brutal on our wallets. So let’s look at some of these various methods we can use to save on electric bill costs:

  1. Keep your air filter clean. This will reduce the amount of the work the system needs to perform in getting the air to circulate. It also keeps the air in your home nice and clean.

  2. Set the thermostat 2 degrees higher than normal. If you can keep this up all month long, you’ll save a ton on electricity (2 degrees may not sound like much, but it really adds up after the month has gone by)

  3. Use a programmable thermostat to automatically set your a/c to turn on and off when you want it to. YOu can also make it turn the air up a bit at night when it’s not as hot outside and save even more that way.

  4. Install an electric saver 1200. This device will recycle the electricity that the a/c is normally wasting. It can help you to save on electric bill costs all year long actually.

  5. Keep curtains and blinds closed to prevent sunlight and heat from entering the home.

These tips should help you to keep your energy bill in check throughout the summer.

How To Get Real Results In Energy Saving

Friday 27 March 2015 at 4:20 pm

Many people have made the decision to do something about their high electricity bills. While this is all well and good, it doesn’t exactly guarantee results. Unfortunately, many people found this out the hard way and have gotten little to no results in terms of a lower electric bill. This usually leaves one feeling discouraged and prompts one to give up in their efforts. Which is a shame as there are results to be had if one only knows how to go about getting them.

Acquiring good results depends upon knowing where the majority of your electricity comes from, i.e. how much electricity is going where. A typical bill would break down as follows:

50% goes to heating and cooling

15% goes to water heating.

15% to appliances.

10% to lighting.

10% to the rest.

So obviously, the thing to target is heating and cooling as reducing the amount of electricity spent on that would have the biggest impact on your overall bill. That’s not to say that you’d be wasting your time with the others, but for the biggest and fastest results, attack the air conditioner.

So how can one do this without having to suffer through hot summers without air conditioning or bitter winters without heating? Through SMARTER usage. The main reason that so much is spent on heating and cooling is because the average air conditioner is extremely inefficient. It wastes electricity regularly, electricity that still has to be paid for despite the fact that it is never used. Why it does this is reserved for another article (search for power factor if you are interested in the technical explanation) but how to prevent this is what is relevant. This brings us to an electric saver.

An electric saver is a device that will actually collect this wasted energy and recycle it back to your appliances where it will be validly used. This will improve your home’s electrical efficiency and lgive you a lower electric bill as a result.

Think Again About Going Solar

Friday 20 March 2015 at 2:50 pm

If you’re one of the many individuals seeking to lower their monthly electricity bill, then before considering solar panels as your energy saving solution, you need to know a few facts.

First of all, solar panels will never fully free you from the power company. The average solar array can produce enough electricity to keep your home fully powered only at peak sunlight hours when the skies are clear. The amount of days like this will depend on where you live. The rest of the time, you’ll need to continue buying power from the electric company.

Secondly, this is not cheap to do. We’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars. It’s not so much that the panels themselves are that expensive, it’s all the other stuff you need to go with them. The inverter, batteries, controller, installation, maintenance, etc. So if you spend $20,000 on a system capable of generating $75 of electricity a month, you’re looking at over 20 years to see a return.

So if your main goal is to save electricity to help the environment (or some other non, financially motivated goal) then go for it. Home solar panels put us a step closer to a green energy future. But if you only want an energy saving solution to lower your electric bill, then this may not be the right option for you.

There are plenty of other options available. There are simple devices that you can install in your home that will help you to save energy without any major home modifications (like programmable thermostats and power savers). There are also lots of tips on usage that you can use to keep your waste and costs down low. So don’t think that because solar panels are out, that there is no other solution to your high electricity bills.

Hopefully this information will help you to make the right decision for your home energy saving campaign.

Some Useful Tips For Saving Energy At Home

Friday 13 March 2015 at 3:55 pm

Electric bills can easily become on of the largest monthly expenses. Especially during the summer or winter when the air conditioner or heater (which use more electricity than any other appliances) are running at full force. So learning some ways to reduce your heating and cooling costs would really go a long way towards reducing your overall monthly expenses.

So let’s look at each one. We’ll start with the heater. This one sounds simple and obvious, but it is effective. By wearing more layers indoors one can set the temperature a little lower and thus save a bit on heating. Also, opening blinds during the day allows more sunlight to enter and will actually help to keep your home warmer. If you only need to keep one or two rooms heated (like at night when people are in their rooms sleeping), then using a small space heater will help you save even more on energy. Just be sure to not place it anywhere a fire hazard could be created.

For the summertime and reducing cooling costs, try these next tips. Close vents in unused rooms so that you’re only cooling the spaces that are occupied. Just don’t close the vent in the room containing the thermostat. You can also install a programmable thermostat so that you can set your a/c to run more efficiently. Keeping the filters clean is always a good idea as it will run more smoothly and with less energy.

Finally, in addition to all the tips given above, using an electric saver unit can help in both heating and cooling. It works by recycling electricity that usually goes to waste (of which A/C and heating systems are guilty of). You could see results as high as a 20% reduction of your monthly electric bills.

Hopefully these tips have put you on the right track to saving energy at home. Use them well and may you be saving money soon!

How Reducing Electrical Use Can Help Save The Planet

Friday 06 March 2015 at 3:48 pm

Sometimes, it’s hard to think how one person could make a big difference in a global problem, but the truth is that one could. Currently, we are faced with a big problem on our hands: the chemical composition of the Earth’s atmosphere is changing, due in no small part to our pollution of CO2. Each year, billions of tons of the stuff gets thrown into the atmosphere, and this is paving the way for a global climate change that has untold destructive potential.

So what does that have to do with the small, individual person? Well, a lot, actually. Most of the CO2 that is being produced comes from power plants that generate electricity by burning coal and other fossil fuels. The amount of coal burned would be determined by the overall demand for electricity. The more people use electricity, the more CO2 gets generated as a byproduct so obviously, we need to look for ways to conserve energy.

So if individual people started to reduce their own personal electrical consumption, the demand would come down, and with it, levels of CO2 production. This is something that must happen. While it is true that there a greener and more sustainable forms of energy generation that are going in place, they are decades away from being the majority, all the while we continue to harm our atmosphere.

So how can one help? By reducing their electrical usage. This can be done in a variety of ways, from switching to high efficiency appliances, to remembering to turn off lights and other things when not using them, to installing electric savers in one’s home. The point is that there are many ways to go about doing something, but no matter how, we must implement some ways to conserve energy.

So please, do your part in helping to bring about a healthy atmosphere capable of sustaining not only human life, but all other forms of life with which we are intimately connected. It’s not too late to make a difference if everyone acts now.

4 Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption and Costs

Wednesday 04 February 2015 at 3:17 pm

Posted By : Nate Nead

reduce energy costsMany organizations and enterprises today want to reduce energy costs and consumption. In fact, depending on the industry, many companies are even mandated to reduce energy costs and consumption. With the demand and cost of energy continuously on the rise, more and more enterprises and organizations are in the business and market for driving energy costs down.

So what are some tried and true ways to reduce energy consumption and overall costs? Here are some tips on how plant managers, facility managers, and project managers can implement new energy consumption goals.

Set Goals. Before implementing any type of new work flow or system to being monitoring and measuring energy consumption and process, a team must first set specific energy consumption and cost goals. Start small and basic. For example, facility and plant project managers might first strive to reduce energy cost consumption by 5% or 10%, to start. This will instill confidence and boost productivity within teams and to get everyone on the “norming” project phase where team members begin to see performance success and results.

Identify Risks. Managing any new project, even a goal-oriented project related to energy management, can come with its own set of risks. The risks that a plant or facility project manager is likely to identify when implementing strategic energy consumption goals can include financial risks and opportunity risks. Even though the overall goal is to reduce energy consumption costs, sometimes reaching these particular goals can acquire some financial costs up front. However, over time, organizations and enterprises are likely to see a higher return on investment.

Identify Opportunities. Similar the point above, with any element of project risk there are also opportunities that can transpire from a project’s outcome. In addition to meeting and reaching energy consumption goals, other opportunities may be discovered. For example, other investments or discoveries can be found when implementing and executing a new work flow, system, or resources that could prove to be more useful to a project, team, and even benefit the organization as a whole.

Executing New Standards. In order to effectively calculate and analyze data metrics related to energy consumption and costs, align the data with project goals, risks, and opportunities, and then assess overall performance outcome, a plant or facility team lead or project manager must then execute new standards. What worked? What didn’t? Is a post-mortem needed? What did the team learn? All of these questions can be asked when analyzing the overall performance of a project. From there, plant and facility project managers can then execute new standards for all team members to follow across the board.

All in all, the above four points can easily be implemented into any energy management team’s goals to effectively reduce overall energy consumption and costs. Even though executing a new energy management and consumption project might appear like a huge undertaking for an energy management team, the facility and plant project manager can effectively manage the overall project by following these four crucial steps to successfully meet energy management and consumption goals.

A Promising Outlook for Solar Energy Forecasting

Wednesday 04 February 2015 at 3:09 pm

Posted by Amy Sinatra Ayres

solar power
Solar energy continues to grow in the United States, but its relative unpredictability remains a hurdle in deploying it on the grid. Now a research team is working to create detailed 36-hour forecasts of incoming energy from the sun.

The three-year effort, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), is funded by a $4.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. NCAR is working with universities, utilities and other energy companies, as well as commercial forecast providers, to predict with far more accuracy and specificity when cloud cover could reduce the amount of energy coming from the sun.

More than half of all states in the U.S. have required that utilities increase their use of renewable energy, but renewables are inherently variable. The hope is that solar can follow the example of wind, which now has far more reliable forecasts from a previous NCAR effort. (Related post: “Focusing on Facts: Can We Get All of Our Energy from Renewables?“)

The team is designing a prototype system that would forecast sunlight and the resulting power every 15 minutes over specific solar facilities.

One of the biggest challenges energy companies face with solar power is the ability to anticipate how much of it will be available — and when — so that they can reliably work it into the grid. (See related: “The Big Energy Question: What to Develop Next?“)

If an incorrect forecast shows that there will be more solar energy available than there is, a utility has to buy more on the wholesale market to make up for it — likely at a higher price than they would pay if they could plan ahead for it.

“What happens when a cloud comes over and cuts the production in half, and we as an ISO [independent system operator] have to go out and procure that energy? Then when you go to buy that energy it’s like buying an airline ticket” at the last minute, so it’s more expensive, explained Jim Blatchford, who helps integrate renewable energy into the smart grid for the California ISO, one of NCAR’s partners in the project.

“If we can predict what’s going on and we can line up that generation and buy it in the future instead of in real time,” the company can save money, he said.

Likewise, if more sun than is expected produces excess solar power, that extra energy can go to waste because currently there is no cost-effective way to store it.

“It’s critical for utility managers to know how much sunlight will be reaching solar energy plants in order to have confidence that they can supply sufficient power when their customers need it,” said Sue Ellen Haupt, director of NCAR’s Weather Systems and Assessment Program and the lead researcher on the solar energy project, in a statement. “These detailed cloud and irradiance forecasts are a vital step in using more energy from the sun.”

Nick Depmer, one of the managers on the trade floor at Xcel Energy in Colorado, knows that firsthand.

“You have to be able to unload or load up other assets to fill in that void,” he said. “If you can anticipate that issue, then you can react to it. The more accurate your forecast, the better.”

NCAR worked with Xcel to create a detailed wind energy forecast that saved Xcel ratepayers an estimated $6 million in a year. But determining cloud cover accurately and specifically always has been a challenge for meteorologists, because there are different types of clouds, and they’re affected by so many factors, including wind, humidity, surface heat, atmospheric gases, and more.

Russ Bigley, a meteorologist with Xcel, said the NCAR-led research team will start with the same atmospheric model that was used for wind, and tweak it to work for solar. He said solar forecasts that look further out might be easier than those for wind, but “solar on a five-minute basis is probably going to be a lot more difficult than the wind.”

Both Bigley and Depmer said that wind forecasting had come a long way with the NCAR project, in large part because information that companies might otherwise have kept to themselves was released. They’re hopeful the same will be true for solar, but they’re not convinced better forecasting will be the ultimate game changer because of solar’s cost.

Utilities do currently use solar forecasting, but they are looking for more detail.

“We do use computer models and we push that into a solar forecast based on cloud cover,” Bigley said. “I think right now … the state of the forecasting is probably in its infancy, and that’s partly because the penetration level of solar is not that great compared with other generation assets.”

The California ISO uses some solar forecasts in the two-hour range, but “we want to get it in closer to real time,” Blatchford said.

The research team will put in place a range of observing instruments, including lidars (laser-based technology that takes measurements in the atmosphere); specialized computer models; and mathematical and artificial intelligence techniques, according to a press release. A key part of the system will be placing groups of three sky imagers in each of several locations. They will observe the whole sky, triangulate the height and depth of clouds, and trace their paths across the sky.

Researchers plan to test the system in several geographic areas and during different weather patterns throughout the year.

The forecasts would then be able to predict when, where and what type of clouds would form over a specific area, as all of those factors have a varying impact on the amount of sunlight that gets through.

The utilities and ISOs can then look at the forecast and determine, “Where’s the sun in relation to those clouds? How’s it going to hit my solar farm?” said Blatchford. “This is all really just in its infancy. We’re [becoming] a little bit smarter, a little bit more advanced.”

Solar, Not Kerosene, Is What the World Needs

Wednesday 04 February 2015 at 3:01 pm

by Antonio Pasolini

solarLike in cartoons, sometimes a brilliant idea appears in the shape of a light bulb. This is because solar lights are some of the most brilliant ideas being developed to make the world a more sustainable place and to promote inclusion for those people living in remote areas.

Around two billion people in the world rely on burning biomass for cooking and power and a great portion of that live in off-grid regions. There’s a great opportunity there to bring alternative energy such as solar to those people, as we have seen in previous articles. And sometimes an idea can be really simple and take the shape of light bulb.

Nokero’s N200 solar powered LED lamp light bulb is one of them. Nokero is a short for no kerosene, in reference to the dirty fuel that so many people rely on. The company was founded in 2010 by American inventor Steve Katsaros. From his base in Denver he works on solar LED design innovation and orchestrates the business development, marketing and public relations of the company. The Hong Kong office deals with manufacturing, shipping and logistics.

  • 1