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Power Down Energy Use: Save Money

4:46 PM, Jan 14, 2010   |    comments
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SILVER SPRING, Md. (WUSA) -- In this economy, Rachell Goldberg keeps track of what goes on the table. But she's also got her eye on how much energy her family consumes.

"We think about it everyday," says the Silver Spring mother of four.

Especially since Pepco wants to raise rates for Maryland homeowners by 2.5 percent. The power company says it needs the money to maintain it's poles and wires under increasing strain, in part, because of our voracious appetite for energy zapping technology.

Energy expert Reuven Walder says, "the devices that we're using today, some of them, are using excessive amounts of electricity."

Turns out your plasma television is one big juice box.

Walder's home energy company, Ecobeco, is about to tell you how much you'll pay to drink up some of your favorite shows.

"This tv being on for about four or five hours a day would cost $48. At the proposed rate, it would be approximately $55.50."

And, that's just for one television. Wait until you hear about your cable box.

"With the cable box turned on, this device uses about $35 a year. Compared to $30 when it's off," says Walder.

Either way, you pay.

If you think a space heater will help you cut that cold weather bill, consider what Rachell's family pays to warm up one room for eight hours over four months.

"That's costing her about $133 per season."

Walder says a smart strip can cut your electric costs, but the biggest way to save is to cut your energy ingestion.

"That will really help your bills. And, hopefully, it will help you delay the need to raise our rates."

Walder says if you do purchase new devices, look for an Energy Star seal to help you save.

Goldberg says, she's ready to make changes.

"It makes you think twice about unplugging the appliances or putting on another sweater instead of turning the heater on."

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