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Step Five

Follow up.
When you finish calculating your utility costs, you may be surprised and disturbed by the monthly operational costs of individual appliances. To check if you calculated with some accuracy, compare your estimate with your utility bill.

If your monthly bill is around US$35, but your refridgerator cost estimate is US$62, you've made an error in your calculations. (And, you're probably assuming that your refrigerator is on 24 hours a day for a month. Actually, it cycles on and off all day and night long. You may have heard it while sitting quietly in your kitchen?)

Perhaps you've checked the bill and your calculations are correct, but are still more than you can comfortably afford. Don't shout at your housemates or family members, or even scold yourself! Hit the books instead.

  • You can now research whether you can cut the cost of running that particular appliance. The Internet, your utility company, and a public library are all good sources for information about energy conservation measures from the simple (don't leave your refrigerator door open) to the complex (install solar paneling).
  • After looking into what energy conservation measures are suitable for your situation, you may decide to replace an appliance to reduce its operating costs. If you go with replacement, you'll want to conduct some product research to determine which product will operate the most efficiently without compromising dependability.

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