The Summertime High Energy Bill Fight
The dawn of the green energy age is upon us. This must be so. The energy companies are exploring & advertising more alternative options. New companies are popping up all over the USA, declaring their brilliant inventions to help save the earth and reduce greenhouse gasses. The hype over energy efficient technology and it’s ever increasing availability is on the rise. It cannot, therefore, be off-base to suggest that we are entering a new green energy era.
There have always been those throughout modern history interested in reducing energy consumption, some for the sake of the planet and others for the sake of their pocket books greenhouse air conditioner. There have been comedians creating acts to entertain by mimicking fathers standing outside looking at the electric meter spinning as in their mind each turn is another dollar of their hard earned money and equates to another hour of overtime that they are going to have to work in order to support their family, therefore reducing the amount of time that they will be able to spend with their family, or simply in front of their favorite football game.
For the sake of convenience, many have forsaken their former ways (or that of their parents) of attempting to save money on energy bills and as such, it is good for a few energy saving tips to be made public in order to remind and in some cases to educate of the ways in which to reduce that energy bill, especially during hot summer months. Now, with the emergence of the green energy age, we have many new options to assist us in our efforts.
There are the old-fashioned ways of washing dishes by hand with a stopped sink full of water to reduce the electricity (and water usage) of the dishwasher. Hanging the clothes out to dry on a clothesline during rain-free days, rather than using the dryer is another big energy saver that is rarely utilized any longer. Many also choose to adapt to a less pampering environment by opening the windows on days when there is a nice, cool breeze and leave the air conditioner off entirely. In some climates people utilize swamp coolers and claim a reduction in energy use as the result. These are all options to consider which have been truly time-tested.
In the past, some chose to purchase lower wattage light bulbs and live in a state of semi-darkness, but now the option to purchase light bulbs which claim to last 4, 7, and even 10 years without burning out, reducing the cost in light bulb purchases over the long run, as well as the claim of producing 45, 60 & 100 wattage lighting effects while actually using only a very small percentage of that & cutting down the amount of energy used dramatically.
For my part, I live with two roommates, who refuse to experience any kind of discomfort. Computers run in the house nearly 24 hours a day. (Another energy saving tip is to turn these computers off during non-use periods.) The air conditioner is set to cool the house down to 68o. Since we live in southeast Texas, that means 90% of the year, the air conditioner is working over-time. They are uncomfortable with the old-fashioned hand washing of dishes because they do not believe the dishes to be clean unless washed in an automatic dishwasher which they run every day. I may not need to mention the laughs of disbelief that I would receive if I suggested they hang their clothes out on clotheslines to dry in the backyard. “What about the birds?” And though I have never seen birds hovering in flocks over the backyard, I cannot deny the risk there.
Due to my living arrangement, my only option is to turn off lights when exit a room. To keep my computer off when I am not using it, and to install electricity saving bulbs all through the house… Thankfully, the roommates do not notice a difference with these. So with little ways I am able to put a slight cap on the energy bills. I can even sneak and wash the dishes by hand occasionally, using bleach to satisfy my conscience about their sterility, of course.