Time for a Energy Diet

As the child of people who lived through the Great Depression, I grew up on an “energy diet.” My parents encouraged us to turn off the lights when leaving the room, put on a sweater instead of turn up the heat, and walk to the store instead of drive.

My parents ingrained these habits into their children, but were rarely able to afford to undertake the more expensive items on the energy diet list. There are a lot of these big-ticket changes being pushed today too: buy a smaller car, insulate your house well, install energy-efficient windows, and buy an efficient furnace.

These are big expenses, but are good to accomplish – if you have the money. In the meantime, here are so


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7 Responses to Time for a Energy Diet

  1. Julie says:

    I only turn on my hot water heater when I am going to take a shower or use the dishwasher. I have saved a fortune over the past 31 years that I have been doing this.

  2. kerry says:

    @ Julie: that’s an interesting idea, but are you using a tankless heater? I’m not sure my time management skills are up to the task of remembering the water heater before a shower (a mistake you’d only want to make once :) )

  3. Joan says:

    “If you

  4. April says:

    Some old systems with steam radiators don’t have a thermostat. I once lived in such a place. I had on and off. I finally figured out that was why a bunch of places in the neighborhood had windows open in winter. We turned the steam on, then opened various windows to get the right balance.

  5. Benjamin says:

    Great Article!

    Kill A Watts are great, my buddy and I recently did an “audit” of his house and realized that a stereo that he had plugged into an outlet in his basement (that he realized) was costing him over $3 a month in passive energy use!

    Also, that is a great suggestion about the wasteful use of holiday lighting decorations!

  6. ThiNg says:

    Just a quick add-on. You have to be careful about directly cutting the power to certain items. If you own a projection TV, like my 52 inch Sony Grand Vega, when you turn off the power from the remote, the fan stays on for a couple of minutes to cool the lamps. Cutting the power directly could cause your lamp to prematurely burn out – an expensive boo boo to say the least.

    Most items that need to be left on will be pretty obvious – they will continue to whir and make noises or beeps when turned off. Then a couple of seconds or minutes later they will go quiet. Then you can kill the power at the outlet!

  7. I keep my programmable thermostat at 72 Fahrenheit when the humans are gone, 74 when the humans are awake, and 72 overnight. However, it is hard to leave one

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