Dare to Become Energy Aware

Dare to Become Energy Aware

Dare to Become Energy Aware

Each month, my Santee Cooper electric bill shows my energy usage for the current billing period. There is a nice bar chart showing the previous 12 months as well. My latest focus on the bill has been to look at the billing month and go back a year ago for the same month, to see if I cut my usage. It’s reasonable to compare August 2019 to August 2018 and try to lower my usage. For four months in a row, I’ve been able to see a shorter bar on the chart for current month. There are three main things I’ve done to lower my use:

  1. I turn the thermostat down (or up in the summer) so I don’t keep the house cool just for my cat that does well with 80 degrees in the summer. He also does well with 64 degrees in the winter. I have a reminder note on the doorway as I leave to “turn thermostat down” that works for me.
  2. I also recently put a power strip on my entertainment center. If you sit in your living room with the lights out, you see all the little pinpoints of light from things waiting and ready for me to use: TV, stereo receiver, cable box, DVD player, satellite radio receiver (love my Sirius!) I put them all on one strip and turn it off when I shut off whatever I’m using.
  3. The last one is the most innovative. In England this summer, we stayed in Air BNB’s for nine days. Each one had a washer but none of them had a dryer. They each had a drying rack to set up and hang your clothes on. It was easier than I thought, and I came up with a compromise that I like. I set up the rack, and pull out the heaviest pieces – the towels, the pants, the larger and bulker pieces. All the small stuff goes in the dryer and only takes a few minutes. As a kid, my dad pointed out the little flat dial in the meter spinning around and told me that it was spinning fast because the dryer was running. My mom hung out clothes for two adults and five kids and avoided using the dryer unless it was necessary. Throwing clothes over a rack is so much easier than clothespins and a clothesline.

Doing these small things that I can live with has made me more aware of running things that aren’t needed. Become “energy aware” and you can save money too. Learn how to get the most out of your energy dollar on our website.

Author Elizabeth Kress

Elizabeth Kress

Elizabeth “Liz” Kress is a senior engineer with Santee Cooper, working in the Renewable Energy department. She acts as a developer of biomass and solar projects. Liz has been instrumental in increasing Santee Cooper’s renewable generation, and has also been involved in the feasibility work on offshore wind for South Carolina.

She graduated from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., with a Bachelor of Science degree in metallurgy and materials engineering, and has a master’s degree in business from the University of South Carolina.