One Man Cuts His Electric Bills by 80 Percent

5 years 8 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, March 27 2012 Mar 27, 2012 Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:36:00 PM CDT March 27, 2012 in News
By: Zheng Hwuang Chia

COLUMBIA - The public was invited to watch the documentary, 'Kilowatt Ours: A Plan for Re-Energizing America,' on Tuesday at 7pm at the Columbia Public Library.

After the documentary, Tom O'Connor, an electrical engineer shared how he managed to cut his electric bill by 80%.

"There are a lot of people who make a lot of money when we do things the dumb way," Connor said.

"If electricity was an employee, you'd be paying wages of two cents an hour."

Connor said his electric bills went down because he started being interested and paying attention to his electric usage at home. His method was "clue in, count up, cut down." 

He replaced his regular electric meter with a digital meter that was easier read so he could log his daily usage.

And from there, he realized he could be cut back on much of the electrical equipment used at home, such as his central air conditioner. 

"It uses power not just in the summer, but all the time, all fall, all winter, all spring, all day all night." So, Connor decided to turn it off, at the breaker box. He said he turns his central air conditioner off for a couple hundred days and then turns it on in the summer.

The air conditioner was not the only appliance targeted, his refrigerator was on his radar too. Connor said running his refrigerator in the winter has always been a pet peeve of his.

"When it's below freezing outside, we use the refrigerator a bit like an old-school ice box." Connor said he freezes containers of water outside and put them in the fridge to help keep it cold.

Connor said now, he only pays $10 dollars for his monthly electric bill.

"We can choose how our utility operates and where our money goes."

The event was sponsored by League of Women Voters of Columbia-Boone County,Osage Group of the Sierra Club,and Columbia Climate Change Coalition.

 

 

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