Saving Money- Am I Doing It Right?

Saving Money- Am I Doing It Right?

Green Money

If you’re looking at your budget and thinking it could use a little tightening, your first thought for saving money is probably looking at your house and the utilities.

If your utility bills are stifling, it’s important to make sure you’re at least avoiding some of the easy, basic stuff in order to avoid costs that will add up, such as:

  • Turning off your lights Sounds pretty basic, right? Yeah, pretty common sense. But if you’re leaving a room for a length of time, make sure you turn your lights off.
  • Using the correct bulbs Speaking of lights, have you made the switch to all CFL bulbs? Those bulbs can save you $57 in energy costs during the bulb’s lifetime.
  • Unplug the unused If there are some items plugged into the wall that you barely use, simply unplug them! Just because they’re turned off and inactive doesn’t mean they aren’t sucking up electricity and energy. Items like televisions and stereo equipment will continue to draw power when plugged in, even when they’re turned off (sometimes called “vampire drain”).
  • Turn off electronics When you’re not using the television, computer or whatever electronic, just turn them off! It’s common sense, just like the lights, but sometimes forgotten.

But if you’re still not happy with your utility bill, you can measure your energy use.

The first step is to look at your utility bill, and look to see how many kWh (kilowatts) you’re using and your total cost.

Take the “Total Electric Cost” divided by “Total Electrical Consumption” to get your Cost Per Unit:

$175.83 / 1314 kWh = $0.13381 per kWh (or round to the nearest penny, so $0.13 per kWh)

Now, to calculate your costs, you can estimate your expense using the manufacturer’s label, which offers you a rough estimate, according to To do this you’ll have to look on the label that indicates the product’s power consumption—it’ll say “Max Power ###W.”

Watts X Time Used / 1000 = kWh

So say your computer uses 500 watts, and it’s on 10 hours a day:

500 X 10 / 1000 = 5 kWh

However, HowToGeek points out that your computer will not be running at maximum wattage for all those hours (when it sleeps), so you can cut that estimate down.

For a more accurate result, you can purchase energy use monitors like the Conserve Insight from Belkin, which you will plug your electricity-using items to see how much energy is used by the item, which includes: cost of operation, amount of carbon dioxide generated and the watts.

Talk with the experts at Fountain Hills to discuss the energy usage of your home comfort system and how you can be saving money and be more energy.