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Do you use more electricity than the average Minnesotan?

21 June 2011

According to the Energy Information Administration, the average Minnesotan electricity customer uses on average 802 kilowatt hours a month, and has a monthly electricity bill of roughly $80.  If you’re paying more than that, here are a few simple and practical ways to cut back on electricity waste and stop paying more than your neighbors!

Fight Phantom Load.  The average Minnesota family has between 30-40 electronics that are left plugged in all the time – and when electronics like televisions, computers, stereos, printers and video game consoles are plugged in, they are always using electricity!  Plug your entertainment center and home office into power strips, then turn off the power strips when you are sleeping or when no one is home.  There’s just no reason to pay for electricity that you never get to use.
You Have the Power.  With one setting, you can save over $30 a year in wasted electricity – making sure your desktop computer is set to sleep properly.  The hard drive of your computer uses more energy than the monitor – but unless you set it to sleep, it will keep on chugging away even when you’re not using the computer.

Do the Twist. You don’t need to put compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in every single socket in your home to get savings.  Pick the 10 most used lights in your home and replace them with EnergyStar-rated CFLs – they use 75% less electricity and last 7-10 times longer!

Once you’ve set up your power strips, set your computer to sleep and put in your new light bulbs, wait a month and then look at your new power bill.  Feels better, doesn’t it!

:: Find more energy saving strategies on the Minnesota Energy Challenge

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 29 June 2011 1:05 pm

    We averaged 382kWh per month last year, with about 240kWhat the lowest point. We don’t live in a cave, we do have computers and microwaves and washers and dishwashers and TVs and all that. 2 (small) fridges, even! But what we did do:

    * CFLs everywhere
    * Hang out laundry in the summer (this is a BIG one!)
    * Set all computers to go to sleep (every 100W you leave on is 73kWh/month, or $7.30!)
    * Replaced the old fridge in the basement with a CEE Tier 3 Energy Star model.
    * Religiously turn off the stuff we’re not using (vampire loads – although we still have about a 180W base load)

    Line-drying is the only time consuming things, and most other changes above are cheap or free.

    The other thing that helps is seeing your historical usage; if you’re an Xcel customer, https://oam.xcelenergy.gridpoint.com/ will give you two-year graphs, and you can see if you are going up or down in your use!

    • 29 June 2011 1:08 pm

      Eric – great job! Do you mind if I share this on the blog – with a link to yours, of course? I love to share success stories :-)

      • 29 June 2011 1:11 pm

        Sure, that’d be great – please fix my typos though ;)

      • 29 June 2011 1:15 pm

        I’m on it! Thanks!

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