BTW: The Kill-A-Watt meters are great for checking a plug-in appliance or two (to see how much current it draws). But in my experience one of these "whole house" meters is well worth it, if you really want to see "the big picture":
Yea I just shut off power for 90% of the day starting yesterday to the following. Xbox, TV, Stero, PS2, 2 Computers w/monitors and speakers, Printer, and the vonage phone box(im getting rid of it anyways). The only thing I left on is the Internet modem and router. Im on the wireless laptop most of the time so I figured I would just leave it on cause im lazy.
I'll check my next few bills and see what happens.
Korax - waiting for your bill is like filling up at the gas station. Use your house's Scangauge, man! Go play meter reader and you can see the impact of what you're doing more or less instantly.
Well it's the hot month right now so the electric bill is higher do to the A/C. when the average temps is around 100 you need to use it lol. And I keep the house @ 75 all day do to 4 dogs in the house. And 73 @ night. But my A/C bill is usually still under $100 a month and around $24 without A/C use.
And my A/C unit has a 12 seer rating on it so it's pretty efficient.
I've always wondered: Do those motion-sensored light switches save money? Or does it take more juice to operate them to compensate for the energy savings of the turned off bulb? I used to have one in my bedroom.
Turn your thermostat for heating down by a degree or two (or, increase the temperature by a degree or two if you are using air con).
More extreme : In the winter, open all curtains on the sunny-side of the house, so that those rooms act like a greenhouse.
Get some plastic sheeting which sticks over the window (if done well, you don't notice it). You leave a 2-4cm air gap, and it acts like double glazing, and saves a lot of heat!.
In the summer - open the curtains at night for places where you can (e.g. not your bedroom or downstairs ones if you are in an area where crime is a problem) - let the heat escape overnight.
Make some french-style shutters for your windows (external shutters), and shut them in the midday sun, when the sun is shining through that window! The french style ones have slats in them, so light gets in, but not direct sunlight!. This combined with the opening curtains at night may well remove most of your need for air-con (assuming you have colder nights).
Buy two large extractor fans, have one installed at the top of a wall at one end of the house (or upstairs if more than one storey), and have another one at the bottom of a room downstairs. Make sure they are rated at e.g. 100w max - get the most efficient ones you can.
When it is colder outside than inside - switch them both on. The upstairs one blows the hot air out of the house, while the downstairs one blows cold (and fresh) air into the house!. Again, this would save a lot of power that might be wasted on air-con.
I can't wait till I build my own house
__________________ Team GasMisers5 - #1 for first three rounds of the original GS Fuel Economy Challenge
Miles displaced by e-bike since 1 Jan 2008: 62.6 (0 kWh used)
I had a instant hot/cold water cooler I got from a buddy, plugged it in and my electric bill jumped $20.00 a month. after 3-4 months I unplugged it, and I got back my $20 a month
90% of my lights are the florescent kind that I noticed a diff. in my bills. but the wife likes to fall asleep with the big screen on ,grrrr 5xs this week I woke up for work and had to shut it off.