Survive This Economy: Cutting Down On Your Electric Bill

Electric meter. (CBS)

Electric meter. (CBS)

Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s hard in this high-tech world to survive this economy, with all sorts of gadgets using up lots of electricity in our homes.

Remember the Wrights? The suburban couple has four kids, who are always plugged in.

But, after one month and some expert advice, they’re saving big on their electric bill.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker explains how you can save, too.

Before the Wrights experienced their electricity education, they were like a typical family.

“I had my laptop running and plugged in, I had my phone charging. My kids have, you know one has her iPod playing,” Marcus Wright said. “My son’s got a game going on at the same time, while there’s lights everywhere on in the house.”

Then, ComEd’s “energy doctor,” Mary Freestone, paid a visit.

“A lot of appliances will use energy, even if they’re turned off,” she said.

Freestone showed the Wrights how much energy and money they were wasting by leaving small appliances and computers plugged in when they weren’t being used.

She explained they could knock at least $10 a month off their bill, just by turning down the thermostat 6 to 8 degrees at night.

“The fewer hours that you’re heating saves more energy,” Freestone said.

In November, the Wright’s electric bill was $93, but after a month of energy consciousness, it dropped to $71; a savings of $22.

“It’s an attitude change,” Sinora Wright said. “We understand that the lights need to be off.”

“So now I’m like turn them off, turn them off, turn them off. Unplug this. Stop doing that. You don’t really need this right now,” Marcus Wright said.

“I think that’s a big start and I think that’s the key to keeping you on track,” Sinora Wright said.

Let’s recap how much the wrights have saved: $22 on their electric bill, $137 on credit card debt after some advice from a financial expert, and $360 after they cut back on fast food.

That’s a total savings of $519 so far.