How Much Money Does Turning Off the Lights Really Save?

When I was young, my parents were adamant about turning off lights and were often rather upset with me if we’d leave on a two or three day trip and my bedroom light remained on. Even now, my wife and I traditionally go through the house and turn off lights, even if we’re just leaving for a couple hours.

Is this tactic worth the time invested in it? Let’s dig in and crunch the numbers, but let’s first make a few assumptions.

First of all, it takes two minutes to walk through the house and ensure all the lights are shut off. From the upstairs bedrooms to the laundry room on the far side of the basement, this is about right for our house.

Second, electricity costs $0.10 per kilowatt hour. This is roughly what the nationwide average is, and roughly what we use.

Third, the average bulb in our home eats 20 watts. We use mostly CFLs, so this is a rough estimate. At my parents, where they’re still using almost all incandescent bulbs despite my admonitions, it’s more like 50-60 watts on average per bulb.

Fourth, doing that walk-through causes me to turn off four light bulbs. This is just on average, sometimes more, sometimes less.

Taking those assumptions, let’s say we’re going to leave on a two hour trip. I turn off four 20 watt bulbs that would have run for two hours, so that’s a total of 160 watt hours of energy, or 0.32 kilowatt hours. The effort in that walkthrough, which takes two minutes, is 1.6 cents.

Let’s do the same for an average work day, where the house will be empty for nine hours. Turning off four 20 watt bulbs that would have run for nine hours saves 720 watt hours of energy. That two minute walkthrough here saves 7.2 cents. This is getting better, but still not very cost effective.

Now, let’s look at a weekend trip, which we take about once a month. We’re typically gone for about 52 hours. Thus, if we turn off those same four 20 watt bulbs, we save 4,160 watt hours of energy. That’s 41.6 cents, which is getting to be worthwhile for two minutes of effort.

This is assuming only lights, of course. What about the potential for other electronic devices to be turned on? If you find a television on, which sucks down roughly 150 watts on average. Over two hours, that’s only 3 cents. Over that 52 hour trip, that’s 7.8 kilowatt hours, or $0.78.

Here’s what I concluded from running the numbers.

First, a walkthrough gets more and more cost effective the longer your trip is going to be. For very short trips, it’s probably not worth the time investment – with just the lightbulbs and a two minute walkthrough before a two hour trip, your hourly wage for that effort is 48 cents. However, if you do a two minute walkthrough for a two day trip and find the four lights and the television on, your hourly wage for that effort is $35.88.

Second, the more devices you turn off, the more worthwhile the walkthrough is. On longer trips, I do things like unplugging devices, powering off everything on my entertainment center, unplugging my laptop’s power supply, and so on. This cuts down on a lot of drain and can be done pretty quickly, not adding much at all to the time of the walkthrough.

My strategy? On short trips, I usually don’t even bother with a walkthrough – it’s not worth the time. On weekend trips, however, I’m pretty vigilant about a two or three minute walkthrough to turn things off and unplug a few things – it saves a lot of energy and the value of the time I invest in it is quite worthwhile (I can regularly earn the equivalent of a $50 hourly wage turning stuff off before a long trip).

It’s simple things like these that really make the difference. Taking just a few minutes to look at your behavior and realize when a frugal tactic is cost-effective or not can tell you a lot about whether that behavior is really right for you. For me, I often try to look at it as an hourly wage – if that hourly wage looks nice to me (or there’s some other appeal to it), I’ll do it. That’s why when I bake bread, I usually make several loaves at once, for example, and also why I enjoy trying once-a-month cooking, but I usually eschew most high-intensity efforts at coupons – I’ll browse through them idly at the kitchen counter on a lazy Sunday morning and sometimes search online for them, but the benefit is usually not worth the effort.

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67 thoughts on “How Much Money Does Turning Off the Lights Really Save?

  1. Mrs. Micah says:

    I find it’s easiest to turn off a light if you’re leaving the room. At least if you’re not coming back. Saves the walk-through. But then I might get nervous and walk through anyway. Except in this 1-bedroom apartment that mostly involves craning my neck around. :)

  2. Betsy says:

    There is a gizmo which you can install that is a motion detector which turns lights off.
    Good for you that you use cfl’s. You are not only saving $, but decreasing your CO2 emissions generated by the electricity plant burning fossil fuels.

  3. I just got in the habit of turning lights off if I left a room. A walk-through would annoy me… plus you should be conserving energy by turning the lights off whether you’re in another town or another room. Same principle.

  4. E.C. says:

    I appreciate this post. I’d been fretting about whether it was too wasteful to leave a light on when I go out in the evenings. It’s somewhat silly, but it feels safer somehow to return to an apartment that isn’t entirely dark. Leaving a single 13 Watt compact fluorescent bulb on for a couple of hours should be ok by your reasoning, right? (I know it still contributes CO2, but I try to be vigilant about things like shutting down and unplugging my computer when it isn’t in use, and I’ve only used the heater for a couple of hours so far this fall, so I think overall, I’m doing ok on that front.)

  5. brent says:

    …then there’s that whole global warming thing to consider – you know, the one where it’s suicidally immoral to use any electricity that you don’t actually have to…

  6. Ron says:

    @Brent

    LOL! Wonder when they’ll convince volcanoes to stop going off, you know, the ones where ONE single small eruption puts more pollution in the air than all human activities since the Industrial Revolution combined . . .

  7. plonkee says:

    I’m actually starting to feel that it would be immoral for me to leave the light on. I still sometimes do it by accident, but I generally switch off the light when I leave the room, and switch off any appliances at the plug once I’ve finished with them.

  8. Amanda says:

    Whether leaving the lights on is immoral or not, it makes sense to turn them off to save money. So everyone wins, I guess.

    That said, I don’t think that leaving a small light on to come home to at night is evil. A nightlight or something very tiny like that would probably be better than a lamp though.

  9. Mary McK. says:

    You could incorporate turning off lights into your exercise routine – run through the house switching off lights and then head out the door for a run :)

    While you’re at it, make sure you don’t leave cell phone chargers and other devices with wall warts plugged in since they’re sucking current whether they’re charging a device or not.

    And you users of Christmas trees – will you be decorating with LED light strings this year? Those things are so economical you almost can’t afford to turn them off!!

  10. wow. this blog piece was very informative and had great content. i enjoyed how you broke everything down in numbers for nerds like me. i was brought up being a big energy saver, now when i live with roommates it drives me nuts when they just leave tons of energy sources on.

  11. Jillian says:

    I switch the lights ON before I go out, especially if I’m going away for several days. I’d rather pay for the extra power than advertise my absence by leaving the house dark. Of course a timer would be a more appropriate solution, but I don’t really go away enough to justify buying one.

  12. JB says:

    I also turn off the lights when I exit a room. But I’m guessing this becomes more difficult to do consistenly with kids, or many people in thehouse in different rooms/walking around.

    Does anyone know about the effect of multiple devices that are plugged into a surge protector? If I turn the surge protector button off to make the devices turn off is that still saving electricty or not because the surge protector is still plugged into the wall?

    Timely post, I was just thinking about the surge protector thing this morning…

  13. AaronO says:

    I don’t have one of these, but it looks pretty interesting:

    http://tinyurl.com/22oz8f

    It attaches directly to your power meter and you can see exactly how much power is being used. If you turn on the dishwasher or some extra lights, the meter will show the increase in power consumption.

  14. MS says:

    I ask the kids to do the light check. Just about everything is worth their time :)

  15. That definitely qualifies as one of those money saving things that just probably isn’t worth doing. It reminds me a lot of hypermiling…all sorts of work, for not much of a reason.

  16. Sandy says:

    I’m not much of a math person, but what is the effect of 1,000,000 households turning a couple of lights off every day? And then, how big of a mountain in West Virginia (for coal strip mining) can be saved by a year’s worth of doing this insignificant thing? Alone, it doesn’t seem like any effort is “worth it”. But I think collectivly, it may well be.

  17. M says:

    As the father of 7 year-old twins, I shut lights and radios off all the time. I think nagging kids to shut off the appliances when they’re finished with them is less about pennies than it is about habits. When you’re away from home, the furniture doesn’t need light, or air conditioning.

  18. Susy says:

    We have a timer on our light in the living room and the bedroom and they’re set to come on and go off at the same time every day whether we’re home or not (we have 7W CFL’s in each lamp). It’s nice because we don’t have to turn other lights on to get to either room. They pretty much provide enough light to move about the house at night. Our house is always dark since we only have those lights on (our friends tease us and call us vampires)

    Ditto to Sandy who mentioned the cumulative effect if more people did it. You also have to think in terms of multiple lights (what if you find 2-3 lights on).

  19. Sankar says:

    I think more than cost effectiveness, we have to consider other factors here. Doesn’t matter if you are going on a two hour trip or two day trip, turning off the lights and other unnecessary devices would not only save money for you, but also save power which in turn helps the environment a lot.
    So even though you might only save a few cents, over a period of time and with more people following something like this, it would be less impact on the environment.

  20. Elizabeth says:

    I have to say this post struck me as odd because we never get to the point of needing a walk-through — my husband is too vigilant about turning out lights as we go. As he constantly reminds me: “The greenest kilowatt-hour is the kilowatt-hour unused.”

  21. ScottMGS says:

    I’ll have to weigh in with Sandy, Susy, Sankar and Elizabeth. When we focus only on the monetary cost and externalize the other very real costs we perpetuate the Money Uber Alles attitude that is the cause of so much suffering in the world.

  22. Rob in Madrid says:

    Blogging away debt had an excellent article on how much CFLs can save. Convinced me to make the change. Only negative to CFLs is I tend to leave them on because they need a bit to warm up to brightness are darker and they take a bit of getting used to.

    Electricity costs about 22 european cents a kilowatt hour here. My bill is 90€ for a 3 bedroom apartment every 2 months. Just installed the CFLs so I haven’t seen the difference yet.

  23. Martha says:

    Does it really matter how much the two-minute walk-through “pays off”? It’s not as if someone is going to pay you more for that two minutes, is it? if it saves 7 cents, that 7 cents isn’t competing with any other wage, is it? It’s either a choice of saving 7 cents or not saving 7 cents. If you do it every day for a year, that’s $25.55. However, if you just turn out the lights when you leave the room, that’s the same savings for no time investment whatsoever.

  24. Tim says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if there was a gizmo that switched off all the lights, and everything thing else you wanted to switch off before leaving the house. Perhaps one that would also activate th burglar alarm and bolt all the doors. Like putting the house-on standby with a single switch

  25. Amanda B. says:

    When we bouild our house in the future, we plan on setting up a guillotine switch at the front or back of the house. This switch would shut off all non-essential power. So the microwave would loose power but the porch light wouldn’t and so on.

  26. S. B. says:

    It is my understanding that each time you cycle a light blub (i.e. turn it off and then on later), this contributes to shortening the life of the blub. I believe this is true for both incandescents as well as CFLs. I read an article a long time ago that indicated you would actually lose money overall if the “off period” was small. For example, as an extreme case, if you are only going to be out of the room for 2 minutes, it is better to leave the light on — the money lost on decreased bulb life by cycling the bulb will be more than the money saved on reduced electricity use.

    From an environmental standpoint, it may (or may not) be better to leave the light on for short periods. Decreased blub life means you need to buy new bulbs sooner, and there is of course an environmental impact to manufacturing and transporting the new bulb.

    Wish I had the time to look into this further now. It’s not clear to me what’s the right balance here. Maybe another reader has more knowledge of this issue…

  27. S. B. says:

    Note: Light “bulb” — not light “blub”! Sorry! (WordPress needs a spell checker for comments!)

  28. vh says:

    Jillian has got something when she observes that it’s cheaper to pay a few cents more on the electric bill than to recover from a burglary. It’s worth noting, too, that burglars who prowl neighborhoods looking for vulnerable houses can be fooled by chronic darkness into thinking a house is empty when the residents are actually home.

    My ex-boyfriend, the Emperor of Tightwads, was soooo cheap about lights that he would turn on the lights at night only when needed for some specific task, such as cooking. Otherwise, he walked around the house and sit around in the dark (he claimed to be able to see in pitch darkness!) or by candlelight (candles can be had for next to free at yard sales).

    He was plagued by wanna-be burglars. They would climb over his back fence (one of them slipped and brained himself coming over the side wall, dropping a fair number of burglar tools when he fled), and one night he caught a pair climbing in the front window.

    Among our neighborhood characters are BOBs (Burglars on Bikes), who cruise the area at all hours of the day & night looking for places where the residents appear to be gone. If you don’t have the lights on in several rooms during the evening hours, you’re likely to get an unwelcome visitor.

    I don’t leave on every light in the house, but I do have the lights on where I am and often leave on a light in a back bedroom, so it looks like more than one room is occupied. Timers work well to create this illusion when you’re gone. And I have a motion-sensitive light switch in the garage, which turns on the overhead lights so I can get a good look around before unlocking the car doors at night.

  29. Kenny says:

    Trent,

    Is there any surge in power draw to turn lights back on when you get home? They say you can turn of your car’s motor if it’ll be idling at a stoplight for ~30 seconds or more, is there that same sort of thing going on with your lights?

    I am not trying to be a burr in your saddle, I am curious and not ambitious enough to Google it myself. Does the start-up process of a CFL (or “regular” light bulb) pull an extra surge of electricity that we need to consider here?

    Is it more cost effective to keep a light on for an hour if you’re going to be back in that same room within that amount of time?

    For the record, I am a compulsive light turn-offer at home as well, even moreso now that it’s dark at 5:00 p.m.!

    Thanks, Trent!

  30. Paul says:

    I’m agreeing with Martha here. Can you possibly get paid for those 2 minutes? I find it odd that your time has to be turned into how much you can earn, but I suppose it is a way of comparing things.

    I try to get all the lights and other stuff turned off when ppl leave the room, but that is hard with 3 kids running round the place. After they’ve gone to school, I take a minute to check they have turned their lights off in their room. But, hey, I work from home, so I’m getting paid double for that minute ;)

    To be pedantic, have you factored in the time after you get home before you go into a particular room ? Say you turn off a light, go out for 9 hours to work, but they don’t return to that room until the next day. The time it is off has increased from 9 hours to 17 hours.

    @vh: have you considered that if everyone turned their lights off, it would be harder for burglars to work out who was in and who wasn’t? When you go to bed all the lights go out anyway? Or am I insane for wanting to goto sleep in the dark and turning everything off before I goto bed ?

  31. Keri says:

    I’m kind of with Elizabeth and the rest. Even though I’m not sure about this whole “man-made global warming” thing, it can’t HELP but be good for the planet (and in turn, us) to reduce our dependency on electricity and gas. If we ALL did just a tiny bit just think of the differences it could make.

  32. Perry says:

    How big a house do you have that it takes you two minutes to check the lights? I can do it in about 10 seconds.

  33. rstlne says:

    Before I go on a long trip, I flip the switch in the fuse box to cut off everything except the refrigerator. Nothing really needs to be on other than that.

  34. Jon says:

    Light bulbs draw more current when first turned on because the filament is at a lower temperature (lower temperatures generally conduct better, think of superconductors which are mostly kept extremely cold). That is why light bulbs generally burn out when you first turn them on.

    However, it heats up very quickly so the amount of extra electricity used in a cold light bulb is very small — equivalent to an extra second of use.

    Regarding global warming

  35. You should also consider the exercise benefit you gain by walking through your house for those two minutes and add that benefit to your hourly wage. Plus, you may be eliminating the risk of a fire when one of those bulbs explodes and burns down the house! :)

    Ok, the exploding bulb was a joke, but unplugging small appliances is definitely a smart way to prevent fires.

  36. Jack says:

    I find that the cfl bulbs never seem to last as long as their rated life and the closer they are to the end of their life the less light they put out.
    That combined with the higher cost to install them makes them seem so much less desireable than regular bulbs.

  37. J. says:

    I pay 37 cents a kilowatt hour, looking at my bill. The average here(Big Island, Hawaii)according to the electric company is 31 cents for a residential user. A bit higher than the 10 cents per kilowatt hour mentioned in Simple Dollar.

  38. Brian C says:

    In Texas, we pay about $0.14 per kilowatt hour, so our electricity costs 40% more than Trent’s. Wow, that’s a big difference! Ever since Texas deregulated electric about 4 years ago, our prices have skyrocketed.

  39. atlas says:

    FYI – its not light bulbs that consumes the majority of your home’s energy. Its the heating/cooling unit, clothes dryer, and hair dryer.
    For ex., running a hair dryer for 30 seconds uses more energy than a whole month of “flipping off the lights for 2 hours”.

  40. Mitch says:

    I’m confused about how the author makes the conversion from 160 Watt*hours to 0.32kW*h. This should be just 0.16kW*h since all you’re doing is dividing by 1000. The actual costs seem OK though.

  41. I always forget to turn my heater off when I go to work. I know I could be saving a lot of money just by simply turning this off.

  42. Reagan says:

    @Jon-thanks for the link.. great info
    @Brian C – we use Gexa in DFW, TX. $0.125 / kWh and 2 Aadvantage miles per dollar spent each month.

    Does anyone know how a dimmer switch affects utilization? For example, if I turn the lights in my kitchen down half way, am I using half the electricity?

  43. stephen says:

    For the long trips I would just walk to the circuit break and shut off all non-critical areas(i.e. the kitchen/refridgerator, security/fire, etc). That takes way less than 2 minutes, and ensures everything is off.

  44. I don’t power everything off in the entertainment center, because it’s just vampire power, not the full wattage. It also requires me to reset the clock which can be a two-minute chore itself.

  45. PiFreak says:

    S. B. – Mythbusters did an episode about light bulb myths. They discovered that the cutoff point was around 2 seconds for most bulbs. If the light will be off for more than 2 seconds, it is worth it to shut it off, economically. The only exception is like office and school lights (you know, the ridiculously long tube lights). Their cutoff time is around 30 seconds, but even that’s shorter than a bathroom trip. I’m not sure of the exact data, but with regular lightbulbs, they set up a HUGE experiment, and there was no real difference in life time of a light bulb, whether or not you turn it on and off, or just leave it burning.

  46. Macinac says:

    I try to get the “sleeper” devices unplugged overnight — such as the computer modem. My house has hot water heat, with six zones. I only heat as many rooms as we actually use, usually leaving the basement unheated. Although my wife prefers the dryer, I try to get some of the laundry on the outdoor clothesline in summer. Usually she takes the hint.

  47. Eric says:

    I agree with a couple people here that by turning devices and lights off you reduce global warming, reduce fossil fuel use, and prevent fires. In most places I’ve lived, the fire risk is significantly decreased by turning off lights since many times they have been on switched outlets. In that case, I turn off an entire section of wire and several outlets just by flipping a switch.

    The only downside is that if you switch them on and off too frequently, you might lower bulb life slightly. But then, keeping the bulbs on all weekend would certainly lower the effective bulb life since you won’t be around to enjoy the light.

    It seems silly not to just turn off lights when you leave a room. If you have kids, think of it as training for life rather than counting pennies saved.

  48. Mo says:

    Turning off the lights is huge! Connecticut Light and Power offered a rebate if you could reduce your power usage by 10/15/20% between June 30 and Sept 30, you would get the corresponding amount off your bill in October. Since hubby had lost his job in July, we signed up for the program (it wasn’t automatic, naturally) and we became Light Nazis. It was a huge change for us, we were so careless before. We didn’t change our bulbs, we simply turned off lights! In one bathroom there were 6 bulbs burning at once because of the design of the fixtures. When the program was completed we were shocked to see that we had cut back our usage by 27%. We were eligible for the 20% rebate! Woohoo. What a difference that made.

    I agree with Eric- it seems silly to leave them on and kids should be taught to turn the lights off. But don’t get Cheetos on the light switch!

  49. Graham Cliff says:

    Just go to http://www.lightpollution.org.uk and learn the wider issues of NOT turning off unwanted lights at night.
    You will find some of the implications are really frightening for the future of our kids. On the LP 4 Kids page you can download a pdf asking folks “DON’T turn me on and then just leave MEEE!!”
    Kids seem to love this and I have seen them pasted to the wall adjacent light switches in their schools. Maybe the kids can educate their parents to the vital need which we will soon have for energy conservation. Switching off unnecessary lights at night is real easy. You just need to be motivated to bother and just do it.
    Graham Cliff.

  50. dj says:

    I borrowed a WATTS meter from our library. The utility company provides them. I checked out various appliances and electrical items. It was really surprising to find out who was still sucking electricity when you thought they were off. It was interesting to hookup the computer and running various apps, and put the computer in various states. I had just bought an “energy star” refrigerator at the time, so I was able to check the new with the old. The results were disappointing. For the most part now, if I’m not using something, or rarely use it, I unplug it.
    I know Compact Fluorescent light bulbs are the thing now, and I care about the environment. But,I had several CF light bulbs die within a month, so they weren’t cost effective. And two, it takes them too long to get bright. We are good about keeping our lights off, but when we need them we want them and CF bulbs, at least in our house, take too long to get bright so we don’t buy them anymore.

  51. deepali says:

    Mythbusters did an episode on this. I highly recommend checking it out.
    And given how many houses there are in this country, if everyone turned off their lights when not in use, the savings becomes much more relevant. Especially when we’re whining and moaning about foreign dependence on oil, and the high cost of gas, etc.

    And turning off/unplugging appliances makes the savings go up!

    @Ron – your volcano comment is untrue. One single year of human-related emissions is 200x more than one single year of volcano-related emissions.

  52. Lana says:

    The best lightbulbs were made by Phillips, they automatically shut off after 20 minutes, no additional timer was needed. They were great in closets (many times you walk away and forget to turn these off). They were also great for bedside tables and night reading. When you fell asleep the light would shut itself off. These are no longer manufactured and I can’t think of a good reason why. I have one left that I read by at night and I’m sure it will outlast these new CF bulbs which I now understand can become health hazards when disposed of.

  53. roger johnson says:

    Another way to save money is to put the water heater on “pilot” mode, if you have a pilot light. Or even considering shutting the gas off going to it.

  54. steve says:

    Someone asked about dimmer switches and power usage:

    If your dimmer is relatively new, it is a Silicon Controlled Rectifier, which works like a switch turning the light on and off very very fast (up to a couple hundreds of times per second) to create dimming effect, so it does save energy.

    If you have an older dimmer switch that is called a rheostat, it works by creating resistance, dimming the target bulbs by “chewing up” their electricity.In this case, the dimmer actually uses more energy when dimming than when on full!!!

    Hope you don’t have one of those!

    –steve

    No, my understanding is the standard dimmer switch works by creating resistance, dimming the target bulbs by “chewing up” their electricity. So when you dim the lights to 1/2, they are still using the full amount they would when they are on at full.

    Kind of sick!

  55. steve says:

    Recently commercial clients in my state (Massachusetts) were notified that they will be paying 30 cents per KW/HR.

    I expect that residential rates will be heading that way soon, as well.

    So Trent’s savings will be multiplied by three!

  56. steve says:

    “I find that the cfl bulbs never seem to last as long as their rated life”

    –they are not meant to be put in fully enclosed fixtures because wtihout ventilation, there is the heat buildup that affects their longevity. That being said, I have several in enclosed fixtures and they seem to do fine.

    However, I put the date of purchase on the base with a Sharpie and put the receipt in a dated file folder. When one goes out (has never happened to me yet) I will check against the warranty.

  57. steve says:

    dj wrote,

    “But,I had several CF light bulbs die within a month, so they weren’t cost effective. And two, it takes them too long to get bright…so we don’t buy them anymore.”

    With the correct power supply, these bulbs should come on in less than half a second. If your bulbs are taking a long time to come on, it could indicate a problem with your electrical supply. That might be worth checking out, for safety reasons.
    You could have an electrical problem in your house. If your fixtures are seriously undervolted, then that could affect the CF bulbs. Fluorescent ballasts “pump” up the voltage at the start phase to around 5000 Volts (yes, I wrote 5000 volts). If the incoming power supply is not to spec, they would have trouble reaching starting voltage, hence the hesitation in starting that you describe.

    Or, you just bough a bum batch. Return them. They aren’t supposed to die in a year, let alone one month.

    Just don’t throw them in the trash, they go to hazardous waste disposal!

  58. Eleanor says:

    When I leave the bathroom cum laundry for 2mins my husband turns the light off and i tell him that it cost more than to leave it on.

  59. Eleanor says:

    I really enjoy the comments. I argue with my husband that if it is a matter of just a few minutes your leaving the room,less than five, you shoud leave the light on. He insists in turning them off if I leave for a minute or two.

  60. Lori says:

    I recently heard that you really should unplug, not just turn off lamps, small appliances, etc.. but found that it is a pain to turn off televisions that use a satellite dish because then you have to reset it every time you turn them back on! Is it using much energy to have 3 televisions plugged in, but off?

  61. Sense says:

    That hourly wage doesn’t make sense…you say that’s what your hourly wage would be for a two minute effort…problem is it’s more like a bid job. You get paid for what you do, or only save what you’ve managed to do. In this case you turn off your 4 bulbs and only saved pennies because after your 2 minutes your job is done and that is all you saved…there was nothing more for you to do that day let alone the hour. So savings is still only pennies and you shouldn’t try to make it look like it’s more than it is by computing to an hourly wage. You are doing a construction job on a bid and you are going to get paid the same if you finish it in 2 minutes or 3 days. You get what you get for doing the job which in this case is turning off the lights for a couple pennies. Hardly seems worth it to me.

  62. Richard says:

    What if you consider in the equation that leaving a couple of lights on during a weekend get-away might be a cheap/easy way to deter break-ins…

  63. Connie says:

    This is slightly OT but its part of the unplugging routine. There was a Canadian morning news show (Canada AM) that had an insurance adjuster on talking about the biggest causes of insurance claims on household insurance. 1) electrical fires from counter appliances *explanation – when you can buy a toaster or coffeemaker for $10-20 the switch and the thermostats are not of the highest quality. Doesnt matter if you turn it off, the switch fails, you need to UNPLUG all small appliances like toasters kettles etc.
    2) burst hoses for washing machines, diswashers toilet feeds etc. In most cases, by replacing the supplied hoses (which have a life expectancy of about 2 years) with the stainless steel shielded and strengthend hose (about $5-20 per hose) This one came to light for us when a toilet hose split in our basement. It was just lucky that I was sitting in the family room when it happened because if I had been upstairs it could have been hours and we had just come back from a 2 week vacation. Scary. The point – small changes can have big consequences.

  64. Santa Clause says:

    Im doing a science ploject and this is really worth it! This will $ave alot of money!!!!!!!!!

  65. Giorgio says:

    This is silly. Just turn the lights off whenever you leave a room. Turn the TV, radio, etc. off, too.

  66. BRUCE says:

    Is it worth leaving the lamp light on for 8 hours rather than turning it off after 1 hour, turning it on an hour later, off two hours later, ad nausea, until after several more on’s and off’s, at last turning it off after the 8th hour? No kidding … I was taught – by a very intelligent although miserly friend – to believe saving on electricity is to leave the lamp until the 8th hour and turning it off thereafter until the next day.

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