Here’s How to Keep Your Con Ed Bill from Being a Million Dollars
7 ways to save this winter
You’ve got your shower routine down to seven minutes, you turn off all the lights when you leave the house and you never, ever fall asleep watching Broad City (well, except that one time).
So why is your Con Ed bill so damn high?
Make these seven quick changes to your routine and you’ll save some serious cash this winter.
DO A LIGHTBULB SWITCHEROO
If you’re still using incandescent lightbulbs, this is definitely the reason your energy bill is through the roof. Switch every lamp in your house to compact fluorescents--or better yet, LED lights.
TURN DOWN THE HEAT
Living in NYC is weird, because typically you don’t get to control your own thermostat. If you do, you’re insanely lucky--lower the temperature five degrees right now and you’ll save 5 percent on your heating bill. If your landlord is the keeper of the heat, ask him or her to lower it for you. (Throw on an extra blanket; you’ll be fine.)
LET THE CON ED DUDE READ YOUR METER
If you’re not home when the meter reader comes knocking, Con Ed sends an estimated energy bill for the month--this means you might be paying more than you should be. Submit your reading online, or make sure someone’s home on your meter-reading date so you’re not overpaying. (If you’re in a larger building, this might be something you need to take up with your landlord.)
JUST SAY NO TO (ENERGY) VAMPIRES
You know that 50-inch TV you got a great deal on? Well, it’s an energy vampire--even when it’s turned off, it drains power. It’s sucking money out of your bank account as we speak. The best way to combat energy vampires is to connect as many appliances as possible to a power strip, then turn off the strips when you leave the house and every night before you go to sleep. Just turning off your cable box when it’s not in use will save you almost $20 a year.
PUT YOUR COMPUTER TO SLEEP
Every night before you go to bed, you plug in your computer to charge it for the next day, right? That’s fine, as long as you’re putting it into hibernation mode first. Otherwise, your cute little laptop is probably racking up charges on your bill. Put it to sleep (or turn it off completely) and you’ll be pocketing an extra $50 per computer.
DON’T STICK HOT FOOD IN THE FRIDGE
Yep, leftover spaghetti carbonara could be costing you hundreds of dollars a year. Of all the refrigerator no-nos that could be running up your bill (filling your fridge to the brim, leaving the door open, not cleaning the coils), putting hot food in before it’s completely cool is by far the biggest energy waster. Just don't leave perishable food out on the counter for longer than two hours.
EAT BY CANDLELIGHT
OK, here’s a resolution: For the rest of the year, turn off the lights and eat dinner by Diptyque light. It’s fancy, it’s romantic and, best of all, you’ll be a few dollars richer by 2017.