ARRRGGHHHH!  I think everyone in my apartment complex heard me scream when I opened my latest energy bill.  Dear Hubby and I live in a two bedroom apartment and our most recent energy bill was $102.23, which is a $41 increase in just one month.

What happened?!  How could my bill have possibly jumped so quickly? Hmmm…the weather gotten much warmer…we are using our air conditioning much more.  We are leaving the television on during the day when we leave the apartment to keep the dogs company…

Yikes.  I’ve got to make some immediate changes, or my household budget is going to be in scary shape over the summer.  As I’m typing this blog, the air conditioning is taking a break and beads of sweat are starting to form on my forehead.  Unfortunately spending the whole summer at the community pool to keep cool is not an option. What’s a girl to do?  The Debt Diva says “Go Green!”  It’s so chic and it’s so cheap.  You shrink your utility bills and help the environment by reducing energy waste all at the same time.

These are some strategies that I’m implementing today!

·         Close vents in unoccupied rooms of your home. I’m shutting off the lights and vents and closing the doors in the second bedroom of our apartment.

·         Hand wash dishes instead of running the dishwasher when have less than a full load. If you want to use the dishwasher, only run it when it’s completely full and try to run it at night when electricity costs less.

·         Monitor the fridge. Open it only when necessary and set the thermostat only as cold as you need it. I suggest a temp of 36-40˚F. With each five degree increment, it can increase consumption by 20%.

·         Turn the computer off when it is not being used.

·         Set your thermostat at 70˚F in the winter and 78˚F in the summer.  This will save a great deal on the energy bill. (I live in North Carolina, so this is going to be a challenge, but I swear I’ll give it a try.)

·         Turn lights off when you leave a room. Also buy the new energy- efficient light bulbs, they help the environment! (energystar.gov)  

·         Insulate your home as much as possible. Check for places where air has the chance to get in, like window and door frames, with a candle. If you see the flame flicker, you know there’s a draft.

·         If you have a home, plant trees around the house to provide shade in the summer.

·         Run your ceiling fans in the summer to stay cool, the moving air makes you feel cooler. But remember to turn your fans off when you leave the room, because moving the air only works when you are there to feel it.  

·         Don’t overload the dryer and be sure to keep the lint filter clean. In the spring, summer or fall, hang clothes outside on a line to dry if your neighborhood permits it.  

By the way, the doggies will have to do without their Lifetime Television while I’m out of the house.  The television and house lights will now turned off when I’m not home to benefit from their use.  This will give the pooches time to rest and entertain  each other while the Diva’s away!

 If you have any suggestions on ways to reduce your energy bills, please send me a note at Clarky@thedebtdiva.com.  I can’t wait to hear how you are “Going Green!” to save money and help the environment.