Saving electricity questions?

just curios about a some things, does turning little lights (night lights) off during the day save any? does unplugging thisngs when not in use help? I'm talking money wise btw

Best Answer:

Josh: The important thing to know about is watts. The amount of watts of electricity something uses is the amount it uses per unit of time. You get charged by the kWh (kilowatt-hour) – if something is 1000 watts and it's on for an hour, it uses one kWh. So what you're looking at is
a) using appliances with a lower wattage rating
b) using them for as little time as possible
to keep the kWh count down.

Night lights use very few watts – maybe 5 – so turning those off won't save much. Unplugging things only makes a difference if the appliance still uses a little electricity whenever it's plugged in. Electronic gadgets often do, but simple things like light bulbs, heaters, stove, oven and microwave don't. Though actually my electric oven does because it has a clock in it.

The real electricity hogs are anything that involves heating. An oven can easily be 3000W so it'll rip through 3 kWh every hour it's on, depending on the temperature. Compare that with the average light bulb, which is 60-100W. (And here in European Union countries, light bulbs like that are now illegal to save energy, so we have to use energy-saving fluorescent bulbs. An 11W one of those will give you as much light as a 100W incandescent bulb, so it saves 89% of the money 🙂 It can do that because it doesn't get hot – and heat is where the electricity, and therefore the money, goes.)

Anything electrical should have the number of watts on it. I just looked at my washing machine/dryer – the instruction booklet says "nominal 1900-2300W". Not surprising as it has to heat the water, and it uses heat to do the tumble drying. I also looked at the energy efficiency rating when I bought it – they all have one here in the UK.

So if you have electric heating and you live somewhere cold, that's where most of the bill will go. Could you turn the thermostat down a degree or two, or turn it off more often? Can you cut down on hot water? A bath uses more than a shower.

Cooking in a microwave saves money. Mine is 800W on full power and that would be fairly typical, and it cooks much quicker, so anything you CAN cook in that (which admittedly isn't much) saves money. If you can avoid using the oven and cook on the stove, that will too.

If you have an electric kettle for boiling water, don't fill it. It makes no sense to boil a whole kettleful if you're just wanting to make one cup of coffee or tea. Why boil more than you're going to use right now? (It really annoys me now when people do that.) And it will boil quicker – sure sign you're using less kWh.

A couple of things to finish with that might not be possible for you but they are where I am, so this is just in case you could do this too.

I am billed on an Economy 7 tariff. What this does is I have a meter that gives two readings, one for day and one for night. There is a night rate for 7 hours every night which is about half the daytime rate. I also have storage heaters, which store up heat at night and let it out next day, so I get heating at the night rate. The fact that Economy 7 exists is the main reason for those – but I take more advantage of it! I let my dishwasher run at night, and my washer/dryer has a timer so I can set it to run at night and finish about the time I wake up. So that's a couple of big watt-users I can get at the cheap night rate.

Can you choose what company you buy your electricity from? I can, and I found one last year that charged less per kWh as long as I switched to online-only billing. So I switched and I'm saving £10 per month.

Other answer:

Josh:
the important thing to know about is watts……… the amount of watts of electricity something uses is the amount it uses per unit of time……… you get charged by the kwh (kilowatt-hour) – if something is 1000 watts and it's on for an hour, it uses one kwh……… so what you're looking at is
a) using appliances with a lower wattage rating
b) using them for as little time as possible
to keep the kwh count down………

night lights use very few watts – maybe 5 – so turning those off shall definitely not save much……… unplugging things only makes a difference if the appliance still uses a little electricity whenever it's plugged in……… electronic gadgets often do, but simple things like light bulbs, heaters, stove, oven and microwave don't……… though actually my electric oven does 'cause it has a clock in it………

the real electricity hogs are anything that involves heating……… an oven can easily be 3000w so it'll rip through 3 kwh every hour it's on, depending on the temperature……… compare that with the average light bulb, which is 60-100w……… (and here in european union countries, light bulbs like that are now illegal to save energy, so we have to use energy-saving fluorescent bulbs……… an 11w one of those shall give you as much light as a 100w incandescent bulb, so it saves 89% of the money 🙂 it can do that 'cause it doesn't get hot – and heat is where the electricity, and therefore the money, goes………)

anything electrical should have the number of watts on it……… i just looked at my washing machine/dryer – the instruction booklet says "nominal 1900-2300w"……… not surprising as it has to heat the water, and it uses heat to do the tumble drying……… i also looked at the energy efficiency rating when i bought it – they all have one here in the uk………

so if you have electric heating and you live somewhere cold, that's where most of the bill shall go……… could you turn the thermostat down a degree or two, or turn it off more often? can you cut down on hot water? a bath uses more than a shower………

cooking in a microwave saves money……… mine is 800w on full power and that would be fairly typical, and it cooks much quicker, so anything you can cook in that (which admittedly isn't much) saves money……… if you can avoid using the oven and cook on the stove, that shall too………

if you have an electric kettle for boiling water, don't fill it……… it makes no sense to boil a whole kettleful if you're just wanting to make one cup of coffee or tea……… well, why boil more than you're going to use right now? (it really annoys me now when people do that………) and it shall boil quicker – sure sign you're using less kwh………

a couple of things to finish with that might not be possible for you but they are where i am, so this is just in case you could do this too………

i am billed on an economy 7 tariff……… what this does is i have a meter that gives two readings, one for day and one for night……… there's a night rate for 7 hours every night which is about half the daytime rate……… i also have storage heaters, which store up heat at night and let it out next day, so i get heating at the night rate……… the fact that economy 7 exists is the main reason for those – but i take more advantage of it! i let my dishwasher run at night, and my washer/dryer has a timer so i can set it to run at night and finish about the time i wake up……… so that's a couple of big watt-users i can get at the cheap night rate………

can you choose what company you buy your electricity from? i can, and i found one last year that charged less per kwh as long as i switched to online-only billing……… so i switched and i'm saving £10 per month………

Toni:
the important thing to know about is watts… the amount of watts of electricity something uses is the amount it uses per unit of time… you get charged by the kwh (kilowatt-hour) – if something is 1000 watts and it's on for an hour, it uses one kwh… so what you're looking at is
a) using appliances with a lower wattage rating
b) using them for as little time as possible
to keep the kwh count down…

night lights use very few watts – maybe 5 – so turning those off will definitely not save much… unplugging things only makes a difference if the appliance still uses a little electricity whenever it's plugged in… electronic gadgets often do, but simple things like light bulbs, heaters, stove, oven and microwave don't… though actually my electric oven does 'cause it has a clock in it…

the real electricity hogs are anything that involves heating… an oven can easily be 3000w so it'll rip through 3 kwh every hour it's on, depending on the temperature… compare that with the average light bulb, which is 60-100w… (and here in european union countries, light bulbs like that are now illegal to save energy, so we have to use energy-saving fluorescent bulbs… an 11w one of those shall give you as much light as a 100w incandescent bulb, so it saves 89% of the money 🙂 it can do that 'cause it doesn't get hot – and heat is where the electricity, and therefore the money, goes…)

anything electrical should have the number of watts on it… i just looked at my washing machine/dryer – the instruction booklet says "nominal 1900-2300w"… not surprising as it has to heat the water, and it uses heat to do the tumble drying… i also looked at the energy efficiency rating when i bought it – they all have one here in the uk…

so if you have electric heating and you live somewhere cold, that's where most of the bill shall go… could you turn the thermostat down a degree or two, or turn it off more often? can you cut down on hot water? a bath uses more than a shower…

cooking in a microwave saves money… mine is 800w on full power and that would be fairly typical, and it cooks much quicker, so anything you can cook in that (which admittedly isn't much) saves money… if you can avoid using the oven and cook on the stove, that shall too…

if you have an electric kettle for boiling water, don't fill it… it makes no sense to boil a whole kettleful if you're just wanting to make one cup of coffee or tea… well, why boil more than you're going to use right now? (it really annoys me now when people do that…) and it shall boil quicker – sure sign you're using less kwh…

a couple of things to finish with that might not be possible for you but they are where i am, so this is just in case you could do this too…

i am billed on an economy 7 tariff… what this does is i have a meter that gives two readings, one for day and one for night… there's a night rate for 7 hours every night which is about half the daytime rate… i also have storage heaters, which store up heat at night and let it out next day, so i get heating at the night rate… the fact that economy 7 exists is the main reason for those – but i take more advantage of it! i let my dishwasher run at night, and my washer/dryer has a timer so i can set it to run at night and finish about the time i wake up… so that's a couple of big watt-users i can get at the cheap night rate…

can you choose what company you buy your electricity from? i can, and i found one last year that charged less per kwh as long as i switched to online-only billing… so i switched and i'm saving £10 per month…

Ricki:
Likely very little. Nightlights only use a few watts.

Let's say you pay 10 cents a kWhr.

5 watts * 24 hours * 1 kW / 1000 watts * $0.10 = $0.012 per day or a cent a day.

Feel the device, if it's warm it's using power. If it's cold and doesn't have a lighted displace, it's likely not using much if any power. Lots of things like a toaster doesn't use any power if it's not running.

DON W:
Night lights? A small amount. Consider getting a night light that automatically shuts off during the daytime–they are only a few dollars.

Unplugging things? Depends on what they are. A device that doesn't draw any power when it's off, such as a desk lamp, won't save anything by plugging it when not in use. But, a device that has "brains", such as a computer chip inside, will generally save power when unplugged, although you may have to reset it when you plug it in again.

marys.momma:
"Wattage" is the information you're looking for. It measures the amount of electricity a device or light uses over time. So a 100-watt light bulb uses as much electricity in one hour as a little (incandescent 7-watt) night light uses in about fifteen hours.

Some advanced electronic things do use a trickle of electricity when plugged in, even if they're not in active use. Pilot lights, memory stuff for "instant on", and so on.

It's your heat-producing appliances – electric stove and oven, clothes dryer, hair dryer, space heater, microwave – that really burn the watts, which is what your electric bill is based on. They don't use watts when they're not running, unless you count the tiny little pilot light.

So the best way to save money on your electric bill is to be sure to turn off the stove and those other greedy appliances as soon as you're finished with them.

There should be labels on most of them giving the wattage they use. Limit your time with those biggies, and your bill will be less.

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