Braving the cold on a budget

While most underclassmen may not be able to utilize this advice immediately, it’s important to know how to brave the cold of Athens now that we’re on the semester system (which, coincidentally, is another thing that underclassmen don’t understand… I’m old). Anyway, it’s a tough life being a college student living paycheck by paycheck, especially with the ever increasing electric bill as the temperatures unfavorably drop.

But there are ways to save yourself some money and energy, some of which are all too simple.

First, instead of turning your heat on and off, simply lower it at times when it’s needed the least, such as during the night or when your roommates aren’t home. According to an article on Discovery.com, “A company called EnergyHub analyzed Michigan winter thermostat data and found consumers could potentially be saving more than 5 percent (about $10) for each degree they turn the thermostat down.” So plan accordingly, as you’ll be saving more than you expect.

But how do you combat the night cold?

One word: electric blankets. Contrary to popular belief, many (if not all) electric blankets today use low-voltage wiring and are a way to contain heat in a centralized area, as opposed to an entire house or apartment. Not to mention, becoming more power-efficient (and money-efficient) can be as simple as remembering to turn off lights, electronics or whatever else you’re using when you’re done. Calculating your energy rates and savings and energy use is an excellent way to put this into perspective.

Unexpectedly, your social life can also result in a smaller bill. Why, you may ask? Because the more people there are in your apartment/house, the warmer it gets. So take advantage of your friends, educate yourself and spread awareness to your roomies. There are plenty of ways to brave the cold of Athens, ways that don’t involve seeking refuge in our sauna-like library (or getting drunk enough to not notice it).

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