Use fluorescent bulbs!
Best bang for the buck: change out the garage, attic, storage, and closet light bulbs first. Believe it or not, they use the most energy! Why? Because they are typically large wattages, and easily to forget to turn off-so they burn through a lot of electricity when this happens.
Next, the living areas in this order: bathroom, kitchen , living/dining/family rooms. Bedrooms last. This is the typical ranking of usage in a typical household.
Turn your computer off! Modern computers are designed to be turned off/on thousands of times-this includes hard drives. If you want faster booting, then use 'hibernation'; offers similar power savings as OFF, with a shorter boot time. Anything you have been told about 'hard drive wearing out' due to off/on cycles is rubbish.
TV sets: If you are gone for more than a day or so, turn it OFF, and unplug it. Most modern sets will remember all the settings, and will still consume small amounts of power when OFF. Pulling the plug shuts it completely off. Same thing for receivers, recorders, cell phone charges, VCRs, etc.
Spas: If you are willing to spend a few bucks, get a gas heater for the spa. You wonÂt have to run it very often, and it will heat up 10+ degrees in less than 15 minutes. The electric heaters require a long time to heat, so they are on frequently. In the long run, you'll save money. Pool heaters are nearly always gas-you couldn't heat it fast enough with electric to overcome the heat loss!
All of the above items can be surveyed, and recommended by the SDG&E Energy teams. For more info:
You will also find many free programs that can do some/all of the above work and NO cost if you qualify. At the very least, they will survey your home, and make recommendations specific to your situation. It takes about 1 hour, and is FREE.
Thanks to Scott B. for this article!