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The Bowery Boys: New York City History

July 11, 2017
A podcast and blog that explores the unique history of New York City.
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How to Save on Your Electric Bill with LED lights!

This first thing I did was buy Kill A Watt to find out exactly how much power I was using.

Kill A Watt; showed 3 watts when anything was plugged into it

This is an inexpensive way of examining your electronics when they are plugged in to see how much power they draw when on or off. Once you start to see how much power that computer, coffee maker, and TV are drawing, you will really start to think about turning off that TV when you are not watching it.

Light blubs; I wanted to reduce my watts around the house. So, I plugged my Kill A Watt into my lamp to compared the incanescent light blubs (65 Watts) to the Sylvania Ultra 11-Watt (65W Equivalent) LED Flood Light Blub. Check out the difference below! The 65W incanescent light blubs varied between 65 watts to 67 watts, which really surprised me. The LED lights were right on target 11 watts!

Check out the difference between these two light blubs!

Light Type
Watts Saved
Incanescent light blubs (65 Watts)
65 to 67
810 to 840
SYLVANIA Ultra 11-Watt (65W Equivalent) Dimmable Indoor LED Flood Light Bulb

We have 15 LED flood lights in our home (cost $8.97 each); we will save $66.58 per year. It will take us just over two years to cover the cost of these blubs. But, over the life of the LED blubs (25000 hours), we will save over $770 bucks!

Cost of kWh at the time of this post: $0.046040 - We bought our LED light blubs at with a coupon code that saved $10 for every $50. I made a few trips to lowes to get the best price on these LED blubs.

Calculate a device's annual cost:

  1. Automatically: If you just want a general idea, many meters can estimate this calculation for you. However, only you know exactly how often you use your devices. Your own calculation will probably be most accurate.
  2. Kilowatts (kW): How many kW does the device use? Plug it in to your power meter to find the answer. If it displays watts instead, divide that number by 1,000 to convert to kW. You'll need to do another, separate calculation if your device consumes different amounts of power while off or on standby.
  3. Hours: How many hours do you use the device per day? Remember, if you are calculating standby usage, this includes hours that the device is in standby mode, even if you aren't using it.
  4. Days: How many days do you use the device per year?
  5. Your electric rate: Should be in dollars per kilowatt-hour. Consult your latest bill or contact us for your current rate.
  6. Multiply: Multiply kilowatts, hours, days, and your electric rate. The result is the total annual operating cost for your device.

More ways to save on your electric bill

  • Insulate your hot-water heater. If it’s more than seven years old, wrap it in a precut jacket or blanket (available at hardware stores and online).
  • Use a programmable thermostat. Set it to raise or lower the temperature setting automatically when you’re not home. Monthly
  • Use electronics wisely. Unplug them when not in use; they draw power even if they’re off. And use a laptop on a hard, flat surface, rather than a soft, cushy one, such as a bed or a carpet. The latter can block airflow and lead to overheating.
  • Clean your electric heating system or air conditioner’s filter and fan. It’s best to do this once a month, but even once a year will make a difference.
  • Launder everything in cold. Ninety percent of the energy used by a top-loading washing machine is for heating water.
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