These Easy Tips Save Energy and Money — But Most People Don’t Use Them

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When I moved into my new apartment, I started a novel practice: I unplug my microwave after each use.

Now, the energy-conscious among you will probably scoff, thinking what’s the big deal?

But to others, keeping a microwave unplugged during most of the day is pretty odd. You can never glance over at the appliance to check the time when you’re in the kitchen. You have to deal with the awkwardness of plugging it in each time you want to nuke something, elongating a process that’s supposed to save you time.

But what I’m saving instead is energy — and, in turn, money.

I haven’t done a comparison to know exactly how much cash I save, but no matter how small, it’s better than nothing.

Yet, despite the fact that small energy-saving hacks can lower one’s power bill each month, people still aren’t following through.

Wasting On Energy-Suckers

Save On Energy surveyed 1,000 Americans, asking if they sealed their homes, used energy-saving light bulbs, shut down their home computers and unplugged their printers.

The majority did not apply these energy-saving methods to their day-to-day lives, passing up a potential savings of about $679.28 a year.

The individuals surveyed were most conscious of using energy-saving LED or CFL light bulbs over incandescent bulbs. That may be because the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 phased out the sale of standard 40- to 100- watt incandescent light bulbs. When asked if they switched to energy-saving bulbs at home, half replied that they did, which shaves an estimated $180 a year from their power bill.

Unplugging a printer when it wasn’t in use was the least popular among the energy-saving methods. Over 85% of survey respondents said they kept their printers plugged in — and missed out on an estimated $131 annually in the process.

More Ways To Save Energy

Save On Energy offers additional recommendations for saving on your power bill, including washing clothes in cold water, unplugging gaming consoles and disconnecting the DVR.

For more energy-saving tips, check out these posts:

Save the planet and save your budget at the same time.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.