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Energy Saving Tips for Students

As a university student, you may be paying for the electricity you use for the first time in your life. So, there is no better time than now to learn how to save energy to save money on your electricity bill.

  1. Find out how you will be charged for electricity. Is a flat fee included in your rent or will you be paying for your electricity and water separately?
  2. If you will be billed for your electricity, find out if you are on Time-of-Use rates for electricity. (You probably will be.) Under this pricing schedule, you will be charged a different amount for electricity depending on when you use it. The good news is that if you are burning the midnight oil or working on weekends, electricity is charged at its lowest rate at those times. Start off by trying out our Time-of-Use Calculator to see how much your electronic devices will cost to run at different times of the day.
  3. Air conditioning uses lots of power. Open windows and avoid using the air conditioner when possible or set it no lower than 26 degrees Celsius.
  4. Turn off any unnecessary lights and, most importantly, don't forget to turn off lights if you are going to be out during the day. Yes, you probably have heard your parents say this. They were right.
  5. Turn off the television if you aren't watching it. LCD and LED models are more energy efficient but, if you have been given someone else's old TV, you may have an energy hog in your midst. 
  6. Unplug electronics when not in use. Did you know your laptop, cellphone or personal mobile device continues to consume power even when it is fully charged? Worse still, the charger itself consumes power even when it is not plugged into anything! Take a few minutes to learn how to eliminate Phantom Power. Programmable power bars may help. Download $4 off coupon for programmable power bars.
  7. Minimize the use of electric heaters. They burn up lots of electricity. Keep doors and windows closed, dress warmly, hang thick-lined curtains to keep heat in and install weatherstripping around doors. Download coupon for weatherstripping.
  8. How is your hot water heated? If you have an electric hot water heater, the amount of hot water you use will impact the amount of your electricity bill. Many students love to take long showers but, if you are paying for your own electricity, keep them short to save money. Also, be sure to ask your landlord to fix any leaking taps. One dripping hot water tap can add up to a lot of cash.
  9. If you have a washing machine in your unit, always wash in cold water and do your washing at off peak times if possible. And be aware that clothes dryers consume a lot of energy. Air dry clothes outside, on balconies (if permitted) or in the bathroom and save money. At a minimum, dry clothes during off-peak hours. (Or do what students have always done...take your laundry home for Mom to do.)
  10. Install compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or LED lights - Compact fluorescent light bulbs and LEDs use significantly less energy than incandescent bulbs. If CFLs and LEDs are beyond your budget, these $5 and $3 off coupons for CFLs and LEDs may make them more affordable. Also, try using lamps to light your work area instead of lighting the whole room.
  11. Going home for the holidays? Be sure to turn off all lights and unplug all electronics before you leave.
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