This time of year in Central Oregon, our electric meters are spinning faster than hamster wheels. The luxury of hot water, warm rooms and bright lights leaves us doing the electric slide every time we open the power bill.

Reducing our need for electricity results in big savings and leaves more money for things that you would really rather pay for. Aside from the direct savings on your power bill, you may also qualify for tax incentives or rebates to further increase your savings.

Following are five tips to reduce your power bill:

  1. Seal air leaks to keep warm air in and cold air out (or the opposite in the summer time). This is where some of your biggest savings can be found. Tips on making your home more air-tight
  2. Turn down the thermostat – or better yet, buy a programmable thermostat. Turn the heat down for the night, turn it down while you’re gone, and turn it down a few degrees, period, for big savings on your bill. It’s OK to wear a sweater indoors!
  3. Change your light bulbs. Replace your incandescent or halogen light bulbs with CFL (compact fluorescent light) or LED (light-emitting diode) light bulbs. A CFL uses 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb and can last up to six times longer.
  4. Use power strips. Plug your small appliances, TV, computers, etc. in a power strip that you can easily turn off with one flick of the switch when those electronics or appliances are not in use. Phantom power usage is what the appliances are quietly sucking out of your outlets while you’re not even using the devices. Not much, but it all adds up over time.
  5. Replace your old appliances or desktop computer. Look for Energy Star-qualified appliances but don’t forget to still compare the energy usage before you buy. Replacing a desktop computer with a laptop or an old refrigerator with a new energy-efficient model will save thousands of kilowatt hours a year.


Here’s a fun, interactive way to go through a house to find energy savings – invite your kids to help out!

Other helpful sites:

Tips from the U.S. Department of Energy

Energy Trust of Oregon

101 tips for saving electricity

What to do with your old electronics and appliances?

Use the “Find a Recycler or Reuser“-tool on our Rethink Waste website, the Oregon E-Cycles site, or the Deschutes Recycling guide.

(And if you still need to do the “Electric Slide” here’s how)



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