Simple Cost Effective Ways to Save Money
I will start this page off with the letter that went out to our January 09 Mailing List.
If you have any money saving ideas to share please send a detailed email note covering what people would need to do in order to put your idea to work in their home.
I hope that this page will end up being the largest information page in the TLG Windpower website, and with your help it can.
Original mailing list letter from 1-26-09
This will be a long read but I promise it will be well worth your time.
The propose of this letter is to provide everyone with a few money saving ideas, things that can save you anywhere from $30.00 to $150.00 or even more per month depending on how you currently do things around your home.
What I am going to share with you are things that I have been doing all long with great success.
If you are not already running LED or Compact Florescent lights (also known as CFL's), then this is a must do step.
It's not hard nor is it that costly to convert, and your investment will pay for itself in a month or two, three tops, then it is all savings from there forward.
The easiest way to do this is to go around your home, shop, garage, etc. and take an inventory of the incandescent bulbs you currently have.
Write down how many of each wattage bulb you have on a piece of paper. Make a few phone calls to find the best pricing on CFL's and go buy what you need. Replace every bulb with a comparative wattage bulb. Example, if you have a 60 watt bulb in your Kitchen, replace it with a comparative 60 watt CFL. A 60 watt CFL will only draw about 13 watts of power and provide you with a comparative amount of light that the old 60 watt incandescent light did. From this point forward you are already starting to save money.
If you have the 4 foot shop light setup in your shop or garage don't think you are saving energy because you are not!
Take those energy pigs down and throw them away now. If you have receptacles on the ceiling where those pigs were plugged in get an adaptor that will plug into the receptacle just like the power cord did and leave you with a standard screw in base for a CFL to screw in.
Here is the kind of difference getting rid of the 4 foot dual florescent lights can make for you.
Here at TLG in one section of the shop I had four of the 4 foot dual florescent lights mounted on the ceiling. Each one of them drew 128 watts of power.
Each bulb drew 40 watts a piece and the rest was consumed by the ballast which provides no light whatsoever. I replaced all four of them with four 100 watt CFL's which only draw 26 watts each.
The savings on this change is almost instant when you look at the math.
128 watts time 4 light fixtures equals 512 watts, meaning I was consuming a Kilowatt of energy every two hours that they ran. Since these lights run about 14 hours per day this ended up being a chunk of change and here's why. All four fixtures together drew 512 watts per hour, times that by the 14 hours run time equals 7.1 Kwh per day (rounded), and 213 Kwh per month. With the four comparative 100 watt CFL's drawing only 26 watts each my consumption now goes as follows. 26 watts times 4 is 104 watts per hour, 1.4 Kwh per day, and a total of 42 Kwh per month.
Currently I pay .085 cents per Kwh. So going from 213 Kwh per month to only 42 Kwh per month for the same amount of light dropped that portion of my bill from $18.10 per month to $3.57 per month. With a monthly savings of $14.53 per month and a yearly savings of $174.36.
The lighting is not quite the same but you will get use to it and it is a huge savings. So please get rid of all your ballast type florescent lighting as soon as possible.
Phantom loads consuming energy like a thief in the night:
Most people don't even know about phantom loads so they end up paying for several Kwh per month of energy that they don't need to.
Phantom loads come from a variety of different items and can be found in most every room of your home. Once you rid your home from these energy thieves you will see a remarkable difference in your electric bill.
Walk around each and every room in your home. Look at what is plugged into each receptacle. If the item is no on and had not been on for a while feel the top of it. If it is warm it is drawing energy while doing nothing. We all have cell phones and the plug in adaptors that are used to charge them. Make real sure that you feel your wall adaptor to see if it in warm before you plug your cell phone in to be charged. If it is then you need to unplug it from the wall after your phone is charged. Most of the wall adaptors don't draw that much energy however there are some that get pretty warm doing nothing and those are the ones that can draw around 40 watts a piece.
Stereo receivers, VCR's and TV's can be massive phantom loads. If you feel the tops of the items I just mentioned and they have been off but are warm to the touch you might consider a power strip with an on/off switch. Like I said, just check every receptacle and decide what really needs to be on and what doesn't.
Old Deep Freezes and spare Refrigerators:
If you have an old deep freeze it may be costing you way more than you think. It is not uncommon for older units to consume as much as $50.00 per month in electricity. You could probably rent to own a new chest type freezer and still have money to spare. Why not spend your money in a way that benefits you rather than send it to your utility company.
A lot of people have spare refrigerators running in their homes, if you don't need it unplug it and crack the door open until you really need it. if you run a spare refrigerator and think that its only costing you a few dollars per year take a close look at the energy efficiency chart and the cost of a Kw on for that rating. It may surprise you how much more you are actually paying per Kw over what they used on the energy efficiency chart provided with your unit. Remember to read the fine print and cross it to the "Real World" as we say here at TLG.
Gathering heat and keeping some of what you create: Winter Only!
If you allow the sun to come into your home it will provide you with lots of free heating options. The difference is weather or not you take advantage of it.
If you have windows where the sun can shine in by all means let it! Place black or at least dark colored objects in the sun lights path. Dark colored rugs on the floor to dark colored jackets on the backs of chairs makes a difference. Keep in mind every BTU of heat you create for free is a BTU of heat you don't have to pay for. Dark colored rugs in doorways help to heat the floor around the rug as well, and we all know heat rises which equates into warmer rooms during daylight hours and less runtime of the furnace.
If you bake remember to crack the oven door to let the heat out when you are finished baking (cold weather only). Lots of people remove their baked goods and close the door which lets the insulation in the oven absorb the heat. Put it in your home if you need it.
Get a dryer vent bypass box and install it where you can get to it. Leave it closed until the last 15 minutes of each drying cycle. Then open it up and let the heat out into your house. I would recommend having a Humidity gauge in your home because if your home is too dry you can open the bypass from the start and utilize the humidity and heat until your home is in the proper range for humidity, then go back to the last 15 minutes. This one is a tough one sometimes because I forget to go and open the box. But when I do remember it really helps.
As for the information in the above section please reverse all the details for Summer, close blinds to keep the sun out, and if that is not possible make sure the sun light falls on light colored objects, keep your oven door closed, and never open the dryer bypass, etc.
What I have covered here are the things that I have found that make the most impact on your electric bill, with some assistance on the heating bill. If you do the things I mentioned you will see a difference right away.
This letter will also be posted on the Tips and Tricks section of the TLG Windpower Products website for everyone to read and I hope it will grow to be one of the largest pages on my site by input from others.
I ask anyone who has a money saving idea to share it with everyone by sending an email to terry @ tlgwindpower.com. I will post your helpful information on the page in Tips and Tricks section giving you full credit for your idea.
I never ask anyone to forward an email, but I am going to ask you to share this one with those you care about. I personally never forward an email to anyone especially the ones that say I have to or else.
But this is not one of those, I think this one is worthy of sharing with others even if you already knew about what I covered here. I guarantee you that you have friends and family that don't know these things and they could benefit greatly from having this information.
I can tell you with utmost certainty that money cannot buy happiness but it does help feed and clothe your family. Hopefully this information will provide you, your family, and your friends will a few extra dollars each month.
Being a part of something that makes a positive impact on someone's life leaves me with an Indescribable feeling of accomplishment. I invite you to be a part of this effort and help put a few dollars back in the pockets of our family and friends. The more people we can get this information to the more we can help.
Thank you to all, and happy savings!
Terry Galyon: Owner TLG Windpower Products
Helpful advise from
Don’t forget about the flat screen TV’s and TIVO units. My flat screen and TIVO consume about 80 watts of power when they are OFF. When they are on, they run around 300-400watts of power depending on what is on the screen. The brighter the image, the higher the watt consumption. Anything with a remote control consumes power when it is off. And if you are REALLY into saving watts and money is no object, then LED lights are the way to go. But don’t expect a lot of light output (lumens) from LED’s. The light they produce is very directional and has a different light spectrum, so colors in your room will look different.
Also, radiant barrier systems in your attic are a great way to save energy. I installed a radiant barrier system in my house this summer and realized about a 20% reduction in cooling costs. If you install the radiant barrier on the ceiling joist instead of on the roof joist, you will also save in energy during the winter months. The radiant heat going thru the ceiling of your home will be reflected back into your home. Our house is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Just make sure you have a radiant barrier system with a “permeability” (perm for short) rating that will allow moisture from your home to escape. You can tighten up your home too much and cause a mold and mildew problem by trapping moisture within your home. You need a certain amount of air transfer in and out of your home to prevent a buildup of excess humidity. If you are considering new construction, then some kind of a combination water/radiant barrier system should be thought of BEFORE you build.
The biggest bang for the dollar is replacing your windows. Make sure you use a window with a ”U” Value of at least 28-32U or LOWER. Walls are rated by the “R” or resistance value (so you want a high “R” value) while windows are rated by their “U” or conductivity value. The LOWER the “U” value, the better the window is at conserving energy. You will need soft coat Low-E glass and Argon or Krypton gas in the window. (if you would like an explanation of why, just let me know, but it will take a little time to explain Low-E and gas filled windows) Just because a window says it is “Energy Star Certified” doesn’t mean it is a good window. LOOK at the specs of the window as a system, not just the glass. Don’t forget to insulate in the wall around the window especially if you have old windows with the lead weights. There will be at least a three inch space around the window that will have no insulation.
Later on I will talk about air conditioning/heating and what to do about the exterior of your home.