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Reader Mail Regarding – “13 Ways To Save Money And Go Green” – It Works!

Over the weekend I received an email from Laura, a reader of My Two Dollars. She was writing in response to my article “13 Ways To Save Money And Go Green” that was posted about 2 weeks ago, and this is what she had to say:

“I just had a great experience with keeping an eye on your electric use. I live alone in a studio apartment and decided to try cutting my bill. The only things I leave plugged in all the time are my fridge and stove, my alarm clock, my modem and a power strip I use for my cell phone, computer, and bluetooth headset chargers. (The strip stays switched off unless something is charging.) Everything else gets unplugged unless I am actively using it (yes, even the tv). When I went on vacation for two weeks, I even unplugged the alarm clock and power strip. I just got my newest electric bill and it went down from $62.03 to $19.27!! The most amazing part — I currently have no CFLs in my house. (I just bought one and am getting ready to install it.) With CFLs I can probably save another $10. I have seen the light!! (And then I switched it off and opened the blinds. ;-)”

Laura wanted to share with everyone her results from trying to watch her phantom power use, and you can see the difference – her electric bill went from $62 to $19, an amazing drop. Once she starts doing some of the other things on the list, such as installing CFL’s, her bill should drop even more. Basically, Laura did not spend a dime and saved herself $40 a month on her electric bill…even the freebies can both help you go green and save you a ton of money! What’s your success story? Have you made any changes to “go green” and seen a difference in your finances? Let me know!


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Comments (14)

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  1. Bellen says:

    I applaud Laura for her efforts & results in reducing her electric usage. However, one cannot just look at the decrease in cost – you MUST look at the kW usage.

    For instance, we routinely use just about 1000kW per month (SW Florida requires
    AC for cooling & humidity reduction). Our dollar amount of our bill went from $99 to $120. Why? Well some was additional kW because August was so hot, but FPL is now charging 8% more for the fuel adjustment charge (they don’t care the price of oil is down).

    We have done all we can – CFLs, turned down hot water heater, unplugging anything that is not mandatory to keep on (toaster, coffeemaker,microwave, & chargers), power strips on all electronics (TVs & computer) so they can be turned off when not in use, cooking outside to keep the heat out, closing shades, curtains and using shade cloth on the south & west windows, washing in cold water, etc. In comparison to our neighbors we use & pay about 1/3 that they do.

  2. David says:

    1000kW…AC down there must take up a lot of that! We use just under 250kW a month, and that is with my huge MacPro on all day long for work. Glad we don’t need AC here!

  3. Bellen says:

    Yes, AC does (ours is less than 2 years old so very efficient) – for the months of Dec – March we use about 500kW and never turn on the heat. We do get the occasional frost and any outside temp below 45 we consider ‘freezing’.

  4. Stacey says:

    Congrats, Laura! Keep up the great work.

    We turned off our dishwasher’s heated dry cycle, and slashed $10 per month off the bill. All this from letting our dishes air dry! I believe our KW use per day dropped from 25KW to 18KW per day.

    We also installed a laundry line in the basement, but haven’t seen a big reduction from that. It’s just my husband and me, so we only do three loads per week. It might make a bigger difference once we have children.

  5. David says:

    I wish 45 was freezing for us instead of 10 or 0! We don’t have or need AC here, but we need some heat, both from gas “wood”stove and our fireplaces.

  6. Good grief! That is inspiring! Cut her bill by two thirds!

    I’m replacing all our can lights with CFL’s and still have 29 left to go…ugh. At $5/each, it ain’t cheap. I’ve already replaced every lamp in the house and I’m planning to buy a few more power strips. But for a 2,800 sq ft home with three kids running in and out and living in the sultry South, our current power/water bill is $150. Not bad, but I would prefer to pay $50! 😀

  7. david says:

    Even $150 in the south with 3 kids isn’t that bad, so reducing it is great!

  8. There are simple electrical systems that can be installed to mimic Laura’s actions of flipping off her power strip, but does this for the entire house by flipping one switch.

    It works via a basic master switch, which controls various slave outlets through the home via wireless control to eliminate residual power usage. Just plug in all your cords like normal, through the slave outlets which regulate power from the wall outlets… and you’re good to go. Saves around 30% to 50%.

    Good story David and congrats Laura!

  9. David says:

    Thanks for the info Matt!

  10. […] shows some reader feedback on how big of a difference it can make in your electric bill when you get rid of your phantom power use.  Quite a […]

  11. […] from My Two Dollars shares an email from a reader about how unplugging stuff when you’re not using it really does make a huge difference in electricity us….  I’m amazed by the savings his reader experienced – I’ve been making a big effort […]

  12. I am in the habit of unplugging things for safety reasons, but the electric savings does make a lot of sense.

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