Jonesboro (KAIT)- Look out for those 'phantom users' that occupy your home and waste your electricity. These are all electronic devices such as radios, televisions, and computers. We use them every day, but the amount we pay on our bill for them can be deceiving.
Seventy-five percent of the electricity used to power these devices is actually consumed when they are turned off! By simply unplugging items like cell phone chargers, curling irons, heating blankets, you could save money on your monthly bill. You also have the option to use a power strip for your devices and simply turn the strip off when they are not in use. The power strip will stop the flow of current being used by the devices.
Appliances in your home are responsible for about 20% of your utility bill. Add refigeration to that, and you're looking anywhere from twenty to thirty percent. Another tip to help lower your bill would be to invest in Energy Star-rated appliances. By switching to these devices, you could end up saving 30% on your bill.
The 2009 economic-stimulus package offers a generous tax credit for up to 30% of the cost of energy efficient improvements to your home. However, this tax credit does not include all Energy Star-rated appliances.
Some factors to qualify for this tax break include: the appliance must be "placed in service" from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2010. Also, it must have the Manufacturer Certification Statement in order to apply. Keep all of your receipts. For a complete list of the tax breaks offered by going green, go to the Energy Star website. (http://www.energystar.gov/)
The first steps to becomming more green and more energy efficient come from making yourself as a consumer aware. Also. remember, if you can't afford new appliances, simply take measures to maintain your old appliances so they are running at maximum energy efficiency.
Several great resources include:
Craighead Electric Cooperative: http://www.cecc-ark.com/
Touchstone Energy Cooperative: https://touchstoneenergy.cooperative.com/public/index.html
U.S. Department of Energy: http://www.energy.gov/energysavingtips.htm