Monday, June 11, 2012

Cutting Back on Electricity

My goal someday is to be completely off the grid. Currently, we are searching for some acreage so we can build our own off the grid house.

In the meantime, we are trying to cut back on our use of electricity. I don't have many kitchen counter appliances that use electricity (most of mine are hand crank) and I try not to use my oven too often. Instead, I use a Sun Oven and cook in the sunshine.

But there is something else that we do to gain a significant reduction in our electric bill.  It is easy and anyone can do it!  Put anything that uses a phantom load on a surge protector.  All of our television sets,  our CD player, record player (yes, we still have one of those relics), DVD player and radio are on surge protectors.  Here is a picture of cabinet where these appliances live in my family room.

Standing directly in front of the cabinet, you can't even see the surge protector. It is on the left of the cabinet. Here is an up close picture of the surge protector.

Notice the stick?  This was a compromise with my husband to get him to turn off the surge protector when he turns off the TV.  I just hit the button with my foot, my husband wanted a stick to hit the button.

When you turn off the TV with your remote, turn off the surge protector. It took a while for this new habit to become second nature in my house.  So the compromise was to turn off the surge protector when you leave the room.  If you are still sitting on the couch, it is OK to leave it on, when you get up to leave the room, it  goes off.

In addition to the surge protectors, I switched all of my clocks to battery power.  I now have an old fashioned clock on my kitchen wall with a battery in it.  (Just like many of us did growing up.) Extra clocks in the guest bedrooms have been eliminated.  I do still have an alarm clock/radio in my bedroom, but it is the only one in the house.

Using these techniques, we saw about a 25% reduction in our electric bill. 

Your savings may vary based on your family's ability to comply with the new procedure and the number of appliances you have in the house .  But once this becomes second nature to everyone in your family, you can watch your electricity bill go down!

For more frugal ideas, you can visit the blog: Frugally Sustainable.


  1. Congrats on the reduction in your electric bill! Aside from cutting energy consumption, what ideas are you looking at for self-sufficient energy production?

    1. Robert,
      Producing our own energy is not a viable option in our current neighborhood. My best bet will be to move and make the new house off the grid.

      Since I can't have any self-producing energy in my current home, I must focus my attention on reducing my energy consumption.

      Having said that, I do use a Sun Oven to cook with and I love it. I will post on that soon!

      Thanks for asking!


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