There are other families in our apartment building with juiced up electric bills. In our case, we think that the air conditioning unit-- used year-round in Florida -- is the culprit. It's an older unit that may work less efficiently than the newer AC units in the building.
Our dog also runs in and out to the balcony and we could be overtaxing our aging AC unit by constantly opening the sliding glass doors. Oh well.
Earlier this week, my teenage son and I tried to play energy detectives. My son pointed to all of the little standby lights -- on the microwave, on the computer printer -- that are apparently draining our account. We shut down as many green lights as possible. We also found another drain: a pretty glass and wood display case with a cabinet light that's constantly on. That cabinet is now dark. For special occasions, we'll turn the small bulb back on.
Our computers -- usually running -- may also be costing us lots of money. We have three computers in our house, but our neighbor with the lower bill has just one PC. I'm on the computer all day and most of the night and the other two systems are also fired up for homework and entertainment.
When we sleep, we often put the PCs in a sleep or standby mode. That habit will change. We're going to be more diligent about shutting down every system and disconnecting all of the standby lights.
I will also request an energy audit from our electric company. I'm appalled that we're wasting so much money and energy. So please help out. Have you dramatically cut your light bill? If so, please leave a comment with your tips or send me an email.
I'll ship out a bundle of three business books (review copies) to the person who provides me with the best suggestions.