Determine Your Electric Usage
Any number of factors can affect your electric usage each month. Was it colder or hotter than normal? Did you finally buy that new entertainment center you've been saving up for? Let's take a detailed look at the main factors that can impact your electrical usage.
There is a direct relationship between the number of people living in a home and the amount of energy that is used. In addition, if friends and relatives are visiting, you can expect to use more energy for cooking, baking, laundry and hot water.
Space Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling your home accounts for 50 percent of your electric usage. However, there are several factors that can affect how much electricity you need to comfortably heat or cool your home, including:
- Whether your house is well-insulated with the proper levels of weather stripping,caulking or storm windows.
- Whether you have trees to shade your house in the summer.
- Whether you use space heaters in the winter.
- Whether you use ceiling fans in the summer.
We have a host of time and laborsaving appliances to help us do our work. These appliances work around the clock whenever we need them.
The number of electric appliances you have, as well as how often you use them, will affect your bill.
For example, do you:
- Leave the lights, television, radio or other appliances on when not in use?
- Have family members who open the refrigerator to see what's to eat every time they go by?
- Leave the oven on "warm" for an extended period of time?
- Own more than one freezer?
- Leave the porch light on during the day?
In the average American home today, about 25 percent of the energy used is for water heating. How much and how often you use hot water affects how much electricity you need.
To use hot water most efficiently, try some of these ideas:
- Take brief showers rather than filling up a spacious tub for a bath.
- Repair leaky faucets immediately so they don't drip and waste hot water.
- Operate automatic washers and dishwashers only when there is a full load.
The standard incandescent bulbs currently lighting your home have changed very little from Thomas Edison's first light bulb in 1879. Only 10 percent of the energy used by these standard bulbs contribute to light; the other 90 percent is wasted as heat. And what about halogen lights? The typical halogen bulb burns 1,000 degrees F. These old-fashioned light bulbs waste energy and can potentially cause burns or other hazards.
A new generation of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) is now available, offering long-life, energy savings, color and brightness. CFLs can provide the same high-quality light as incandescent bulbs, but generally operate at temperatures of less than 100 degrees F.
Check into the use of CFL lighting in your home. Advanced technology enables CFLs to use 75 percent less energy, and last 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb.
Using Your Meter
Your meter is a highly accurate tool that can give you the most precise picture of your electric usage. AMR (automated meter reading) technology gives Mor-Gran-Sou the ability to read your meter right from the office. Readings are recorded hourly, daily and monthly. The data is collected and stored by the AMR system. A usage report can be generated for any electric account. If you are interested in a printout of the usage at your electric account, please feel free to call Jackie at the office, telephone number 597-3301 or 1-800-750-8212.
We're Here to Help
As you can see, electricity touches nearly every part of our lives. The good news is that you control your electric usage.
The even better news is that your local electric cooperative is willing and ready to do whatever it takes to help you make your home, farm, school or business as energy efficient as possible.
Ask the energy experts at your local electric cooperative what else they can do to help you get the most from your energy dollar.