Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Smart Shopping: Energy
Tough times for the economy means every penny counts, and utility bills can really add up. In today's Smart Shopping, Seven's Reed Cowan shows us how you can do some Smart Shopping and save money on your power bill.
WSVN -- During South Florida's steamy summers, we turn down the A/C, use the pool and spend more time inside watching TV or playing on the computer, and this can all cause our power bills to skyrocket.
Richard Martinez: "Our bill is about 30 percent higher in the summer than it is in the winter."
But the Martinez family is now conserving energy and saving money.
Richard Martinez: "We noticed about $500 savings per year."
It's all thanks to their daughter Nicole.
Richard Martinez: "She has become the house advocate for being green."
Nicole is learning from Dream in Green, an organization teaching people how to save energy.
Nicole Martinez: "Our school participated, George Washington Carver. Our challenge was to lower the energy bill, and we did so. We lowered it by $21,000."
And Nicole figured if a school could save that much, she could help her parents save at home.
The first step, focus on the big appliance that sucks up the most energy, the air conditioner.
Jane Gilbert: "You want to make sure, first, the doors, windows, etcetera are well sealed. That can save between 10 and 20 percent in your energy cost."
Jane Gilbert of Dream in Green says another good way to save is getting a programmable thermostat.
Jane Gilbert: "A degree or two can save 10 percent in your energy cost."
You set it higher in the day when you're not home and cooler at night. For maximum savings, try installing a ceiling fan, it can help the A/C circulate air better. Just remember to turn it off when leaving the room.
Jane says another good money saver, energy smart light bulbs.
Jane Gilbert: "It can cost a little more money upfront, but they last much longer, and they will save you an average of $50 a year in your energy cost, each light bulb."
Reed Cowan: "Also, if you're in the market for new appliances, look for ones with the Energy Star label. That means they use less energy than traditional models, and make sure to unplug electronic devices when you're not using them."
Jane Gilbert: "If you see a little clock on that or a light, that means that it's still drawing energy."
The Martinez family is now trying to help their family and friends follow these energy-saving habits.
Nicole Martinez: "I e-mail my friends about new things that are coming up."
Richard Martinez: "We feel that going green not only makes sense for the environment, but it makes sense for your personal finances also."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dream in Green