It’s been a couple years since I mentioned Michael Bluejay’s fantastic Saving Electricity site. It’s a treasure trove of practical tips for household power management. Bluejay offers information on:

While doing research for an upcoming post, I discovered Bluejay’s guide to how much electricity different devices use. This single page can answer most of your questions about power consumption. The top shortcut? Look at the label!

But labels generally give power consumption in Watts. What you want to know is how much you’re paying to run your air conditioner. Bluejay explains the math so you can calculate costs yourself. If you’d rather leave the math to someone else, his site also provides a web-based calculator that can approximate how much that air conditioner in the family room costs you each month.


U.S. household electricity usage, 2001 (chart by Michael Bluejay)

Finally, Bluejay offers some basic strategies for reducing energy usage. The two top ways you can cut your electricity bill are:

  • Use space heaters during the winter instead of central heat. (Save $1,000+ a year!)
  • Use ceiling fans during the summer instead of air conditioning. (Save $500+ a year!)

I’ve had Bluejay’s electricity site bookmarked for the past two years. It’s my first stop any time I have a question about electrical usage and costs. (It was from Bluejay that I first learned about the Kill-a-Watt electricity usage meter, which I sometimes use when writing articles for Get Rich Slowly.)

This article is about Hints and Tips, House and Home, Tools