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Watch Your Use and Save

19 October 2009

When most of us receive our energy bills, we grimace at the cost and pay it.  It’s easy to not even realize what we are paying for or how we could change it.  Don’t fall prey to the pay and dismiss act!   A recent NY times article shows that one way to lower utility bills is simply to pay attention to your use.

Giving people the means to closely monitor and adjust their electricity use lowers their monthly bills and could significantly reduce the need to build new power plants, according to a yearlong government study.  The results … suggest that if households have digital tools to set temperature and price preferences, the peak loads on utility grids could be trimmed by up to 15 percent a year.  Over a 20-year period, this could save $70 billion on spending for power plants and infrastructure, and avoid the need to build the equivalent of 30 large coal-fired plants, say scientists at the federal laboratory.

That would be great, right?  And you can do this same study in your own home.  Make your energy use visible, instead of just an abstract monetary value that comes in the mail once a month.  You can start by noting your electricity and heating use on your current utility bill (spreadsheets are good for this).  Now try turning your heat down by just two degrees and see how your next bill compares.  A programmable thermostat is also a good investment!  Congratulations on becoming more energy conscious!

:: NY Times

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