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Take the time to unplug this summer


May 24, 2017   By Raechel Blitchington, Summer Intern in Reduce The Use

Does this look like an “energy vampire” to you? If you leave it plugged in after charging your device, it is. For example, only 5 percent of the power drawn by cellphone chargers are actually used to charge phones. The other 95 percent is wasted when you leave it plugged into the wall, but not into your phone. What do to? Unplug your charger when you are not using it or plug everything on a power strip and turn the switch off.

Summer is almost upon us. The weather is warmer, the days are longer and the feeling of summer freedom is within reach. There is no season better suited for de-stress and distraction, so plan your vacations, sip your boat drink and relax. Or better yet, turn off your brain and unplug your mind.

However, despite the countless joys of summer, there is one shortcoming of the season: higher than normal power bills. When an ice cold sweet tea and a dive into Lake Moultrie can’t cool you down, blasting the air conditioning throughout the long, hot day may seem like the only option.

While cranking the a/c can be unavoidable, there is a simple trick to balance out your electricity bill: unplugging.

Although this time, it’s not about beach days and cocktails. I’m talking about unplugging the unused appliances scattered around your home. Between the toaster, DVR, hair straighter and phone charger, you can accumulate a hefty bill... Continue Reading >>

10 ways to save in 2017


December 28, 2016   By Nicole Aiello in

Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower in winter to save energy and money.

With U.S. shoppers averaging $752 on Christmas gifts this year ( statista.com ), your wallet may be feeling a bit too light these days. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, let’s explore 10 easy ways to save some cash in 2017 by saving energy .

10. LED holiday lights : Now that Christmas is over, everything red and green has been slashed by up to 75 percent. This is the perfect time to replace old bulbs with strings of energy efficient LEDs.

9. Turn off the lights: By turning off the lights, especially those hot spotlights, when you’re not in a room or don’t need them, you can shave a little off your electric bill.

8. Better yet, switch to LEDs:  According to Energy.gov , ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20 to 25 percent of the energy of incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer.

7. Install weather strips:  For a few bucks, you can install weather strips around your windows to minimize... Continue Reading >>

On the hunt for holiday LEDs on the cheap


December 21, 2016   By Willard Strong in Reduce The Use

Strings of holiday LEDs are at bargain prices after Christmas, and LEDs can save up to 80 percent in energy costs.

I’m a bargain hunter. Why pay retail this time of year when you can do some bargain hunting and save money, sometimes 50 percent or more?

Although Black Friday, Cyber Monday and pre-holiday sales have come and gone for another year, there are some real deals beginning the day after Christmas when it comes to holiday lighting in general – and energy efficient LEDs in particular.

In my hunting expeditions, I’ve found the LED “happy hunting ground” happens to be two of the big-name pharmacy chains. These stores mark down the multicolored and white strings of 50 to 100 lights (or more) that didn’t make it to consumers’ hearths, wreaths and trees this year. It’s like an Island of Misfit Lights, instead of an Island of Misfit Toys. And when you use them for the first time, you’ll feel like these lights are shining all the brighter because they cost you less.

Although your neighbors, and... Continue Reading >>

Weathering the dark


November 16, 2016   By Jessica Yourko in Reduce The Use

Replacing lighting with more energy-efficient LED fixtures can save you money.

Everyone who knows me knows that this is my favorite time of year.

By now, I have already decked my halls, trimmed the tree and checked my list at least twice. On Nov. 1, with a witch under one arm and Santa under the other, the transition begins. Always. Every year…except for this one. We pretty much just skip fall and go straight to winter.

With the cleanup from Hurricane Matthew still underway, my world has somehow gotten off kilter. I can’t seem to get into the spirit.

Looking forward though, I realize that there are so many things to be thankful for this November. The presidential election is over. Hallelujah! We are almost officially out of hurricane season. Thanksgiving will be upon us in no time (that means family, friends and some delicious food) and daylight saving time has ended.

OK, so everything was good up until the ending of daylight saving time. Going out on a limb here, I’m going to guess... Continue Reading >>

Cool savings during hot summer months


June 29, 2016   By Nicole Aiello in Reduce The Use
We’re all looking for ways to save money, even if it is just so we can spend that extra money on shoes. (I admit it. I have a closet dedicated just to shoes.) Whether you’re into collecting shoes, cars, bikes, books, figurines or those tiny little spoons at tourist attractions, you can save money on your electric bill even when it feels like 104 degrees outside.

No-cost energy saving tips:

My dad used to tell me this every day – Turn out the lights! If you’re not using them, flip the switch to save energy. Close the refrigerator. Every time the fridge is opened, up to 30 percent of cool air escapes. Unplug electronics, especially energy-hogging game consoles, when you’re not using them. Make it easy on yourself by using power strips. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher during the summer. Anything lower and your energy bill can increase up to 5 percent per degree. When the sun shines into your windows, it's... Continue Reading >>