An electric meter is enclosed in a glass case. Inside the case is a disk that revolves and rotates a number of dials. The dials measure how many kilowatts of electricity are being used. The speed varies depending on how much electricity you are using in your home. The faster the disks are rotating, the more electricity you are using. The only way to stop the electric meter from turning so fast is to cut down on the amount of electricity being used.
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Turn things that are powered by electricity off when you leave the room. This includes lights, televisions, computers, stereos, video games and DVD and CD players.
Fill your dishwasher, washer and dryer (if electric) to capacity before running. Do not run half-loads.
Don't place furniture in front of heating or air conditioning vents. Ensure curtains are not so long that they cover the vents and block air flow.
Install a programmable thermostat that lowers the heat and raises the air conditioning when you are not at home or when you are in bed. There is no point in heating or cooling an empty home.
Put insulation around the pipes going to and from your water heater. Purchase a "water heater blanket" at a home improvement store and place it around the water heater.
Change the furnace filter twice a year. When filters are clogged, the furnace works harder and uses more electricity.
Check the insulation in your attic. It should be six to 12 inches thick, add more if necessary.
Close doors and vents to rooms not using. If you have a den, guest room or family room not being used, don't use electricity to heat or cool the room.
Check windows and doors for drafts. If air is coming in, then air is going out. Use weatherstripping if needed.
Use less water. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and doing dishes. Take shorter showers. This saves the electricity it takes to heat and pump the water.
Turn off lights during daylight hours. Let the sun light up your home at no cost.
Use one large light bulb instead of several smaller ones. One 100-watt bulb gives off almost as much light as two 60-watt bulbs and uses less energy. Use bulbs of low wattage in areas of your home that don't need much light like stairways. Alternatively switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, which substantially reduces costs and saves money.
Vacuum the coils on the refrigerator every few months so the condenser does not have to work as hard and use more electricity. Don't stand in front of an open refrigerator door deciding what you want to eat.
Cool down hot foods before putting them in the refrigerator. The refrigerator will not have to work harder to cool the food down.
Use the oven to cook all your dishes for dinner. Don't cook one in the oven and one on the stove.
Thaw frozen foods before cooking. They will take less time to cook and use less energy.
Turn your heat down at night and use an electric blanket. This reduces energy consumption.
Tips and warnings
- If you have to cut back on the amount of electricity you are using and still feel the meter is moving too fast, contact the electric company. It is illegal to tamper with, or try to repair, the meter yourself. The electric company will test your meter free of charge.
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