Saving Electricity

During the recent days of economic problems, there have been many suggestions as to how people can save money by not being wasteful of electricity and water in their home.  This morning on television we saw a good demonstration1 of how one family has started saving considerable money by following a few suggestions given them by their local power company.  Don and I watched with interest since we’ve been trying to use/waste less power since reading Al Gore’s book AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH2 several years ago.

According to what we heard this morning, the single most important thing is to turn off lights when people are not in the room.  Don and I laughed a bit about that because we grew up with parents who were constantly admonishing3 us to do that;  then when our children were growing up, we kept telling them the same thing.  So, we are already doing what is most important.  Next important is to replace the traditional light bulbs in one’s house with the newer energy smart fluorescent type4.  Supposedly they last ten times longer as well as use less power.  We have already done that so we gave ourselves another “point5” for our “greenness6.”   Also, people were told to keep their refrigerator doors closed except for the moment they are in use.  We’ve always done that, so are on target7 there too. 


In addition, we decided to have an automatic thermostat8 installed so that our furnace and air conditioning units will automatically set our temperature after we go to bed at night and when we awaken in the morning.  We also agreed that we could save electricity by keeping room temperatures a bit lower in the winter and wearing heavier clothing, and in the summer by wearing lighter clothing. This is easy to do and saves energy.


One thing I listened to with special interest concerned the use of my electric dishwasher9. I use my dishwasher a lot, and even though we heat the water for it with natural gas, the drying cycle10 uses a lot of electrical energy.  The energy expert11 suggested that people turn off the dishwasher heat and permit the dishes to dry naturally rather than with heat.  Don and I discussed this and realized we’d never done it, so when the program was finished, I went into the kitchen and checked to see how it could be done.  Our dishwasher has a simple button we can push whenever we choose to do this, so in the future, I think we’ll try to remember to do so. 


There were other things mentioned this morning, but the above items were the things that were stressed12 and that anyone could take advantage of.  Because much TV is of little interest to me, it was refreshing to see a program of such interest this morning.



1. demonstration: an action that proves that someone or something has a particular ability, quality, or feeling (证明,论证).

2. An Inconvenient Truth: a book by Al Gore, former Vice President under Bill Clinton, and an environmental activist ( 《难以忽视的真相》,该书由阿尔•戈尔著,他是克林顿当总统时的副总统又是保护环境的积极分子).  His highly successful book, also made into a movie, addresses the problem of global warming.

3. admonishing: telling forcefully; giving earnest advice (力劝,忠告).

4. fluorescent type: a tubular lamp containing mercury vapor which emits visible light when electrons pass through it (荧光灯,日光灯).

5. another point: one more reward given for doing something of value (再增加一分).

6. greenness: in this case, showing consideration in saving energy (节能/环保意识).  This helps keep the Earth green.

7. on target: correct, or doing the right thing; meeting a goal (正确,达到目标).

8. thermostat: an automatic device for regulating temperature (温度调节器).

9. electric dishwasher: a large kitchen appliance in which dishes, silverware and pans may be washed with hot water and detergent (洗碗机).

10. drying cycle: the period during which  heat dries moisture from the dishes, etc. in the dishwasher (烘干过程).

11. energy expert: a professional person who analyzes energy use and makes possible the saving of energy (节能专家).

12. stressed: emphasize a statement, fact, or idea (强调).




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