Over the past year, I have partnered Project Envolve, which is sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities, to introduce you to more savings tips for energy efficiency. Here are some of my favorites:
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
Here are some Efficient Cooking Tips to help you cut costs.
- Use small electric pans, toaster ovens, or convection ovens for small meals rather than your large stove or oven. A toaster or convention oven uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a full-sized oven.
- Use microwaves and slow cookers when possible. They use less energy than the stove or oven.
- Keep the inside of your microwave and oven clean. It improves their efficiency.
- Use your dishwasher only when it’s full. You can save 5,000 gallons of water each year and $40 in utility costs by using a dishwasher instead of hand-washing dishes, according to the Department of Energy.
- Use the air-dry option on dishwashers. It saves energy and keeps the machine from using a heating element to bake your dishes.
- For more efficient recipes, check out the PPL Electric Utilities Taste the Energy Savings Blog and PPL Electric Utilities’ Pinterest
Efficient Cooling Tips
- Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any fast and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
- Consider using an interior fan along with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
- Avoid placing appliances that give off heat, such as lamps or TVs, near the thermostat.
- Use a fan. Ceiling fans will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees without reducing your comfort.
- Preheat your grill 12-25 minutes before you start cooking to make sure it reaches the right temperature. A properly heated grill sears food on contact and keeps the insides moist.
- Try cleaning last year’s gunk off your grill when it’s hot. After you preheat, use a long-handled wire grill brush on your grill rack to clean off anything that remains from your last meals. Scrape again immediately after use.
- Need to check to see if your meat is done? The best way is to use a thermometer with instant-read functions.
- To reduce flare-ups, select lean cuts of meat, trim excess fat and remove poltry skin. Keep a squirt bottle of water nearby-just in case.
- Let finished meats rest on a clean platter, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes after they cook and before carving so juices can redistribute evenly.
- Always use fresh plates, utensils and cutting boards to prevent raw meat, poultry and fish from contaminating cooked food.
- Adjust your thermostat. You don’t need to waste energy cooling your home while you’re not there. During your summer retreat, turn the A/C off or set the thermostat to 85-87 degrees. Just be sure the temperature isn’t set too high for any plants or pets staying behind. There is no reason to be cooling your house when you are not home.
- Turn off all fans. If you use fans often in your home, turn them off or unplug them when you leave. Remember— fans cool people, not rooms.
- Close your curtains and shades in all rooms throughout the house. This is something that we have been doing all summer to keep the house cool. Even though you’ve already turned up your thermostat, blocking out the sun will keep your home at a more consistent temperature and your HVAC will have even less work to do.
- Unplug your electronics. Most of the electronics in your home still use small amounts of power, even when they’re turned off. So make sure any computers, TVs, game systems, coffee makers, microwaves or other electronics are unplugged before you leave. Make a list of everything that you unplugged so you will remember to plug them in when you get home.
One of my favorite tips for Winter Preparation comes from my friend Megan at NEPAMom.com on putting insulation behind your outlets on your ehxterior cost of electricity can walls. This looks quick and easy to complete and can safe you some money from heat leaving the house and can also keep your house warmer. Take a feew minutes to walk through your house and feel the outlets that are on exterior walls. Do you feel a draft? Outlet Plate Insulation Kits can help keep your heat from escaping out of your room.
Here are some Tips from Project Envolve
- Use timers on indoor and outdoor lights.
- Reduce standby power and save money. Plug electronics into a power strip and turn it off when they aren’t in use.
- Use natural sunshine during daytime.
- Replace your five most used fixtures with ENERGY STAR® fixtures.
- Use LEDs for your holiday decorations. They last longer, run cooler, and use just 15-20% of the electricity an incandescent light bulb uses.
Money Saving Tips
- Set a goal what you are saving for (for example, is this for Christmas or maybe a special vacation)
- Try not to borrow from the funds (unless there is an emergency)
- Don’t keep the cash in your house – You will be more likely to dip into it
- If you need to skip a week or add less, that’s ok. The goal is to save in the end, not go into debt from saving
- Landscaping for Shade
- Landscaping for Windbreaks
- Landscaping for Water Conservation
*Disclosure: This post is sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities. I am a Project Envolve Ambassador and have received product/compensation to facilitate this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Visit PPL Electric Utilities Pinterest boards for more money and energy-saving tips!