How to reduce your energy consumption while sheltering at home

COVID-19 shutdowns have reduced overall energy consumption greatly in the US. Without businesses, factories, and offices running, it is estimated that the country’s overall energy use will drop by 3 percent in 2020. However, energy use in many homes is on the rise. Isolating at home has people using energy more which has a negative economic and environmental impact. We have some tips to help cut down on your energy use for the sake of the planet and your wallet. 

  1. Use natural light to your advantage. Place your work-from-home desk near a window and enjoy the benefits of fresh air and sunlight. Opening up blinds is an easy way to take advantage of free sunlight! If you’re up for a big adjustment, wake up and go to bed earlier to take advantage of your hours of daylight. 
  2. Trade out electronics for a creative project. Instead of watching TV, commit to spending some time drawing, reading, knitting, or doing any other activity that will give your brain and your screens a break. 
  3. Check your thermostat. Spring weather brings temperature fluctuations. Adjust your thermostat daily and turn it off during days when the weather heats up. You can also turn it down a few degrees and throw on a sweater for easy energy savings.
  4. Consider unplugging devices. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that standby power racks up $100 of the average American’s electricity bill each year. Unplugging and replugging in the microwave every time you use it might be a bit extreme, but consider leaving devices that you rarely use unplugged until they are needed. 
  5. Turn off the lights. This old classic is the first step to energy saving in any house. Condition yourself to turn lights off when you leave a room and encourage your family members to do so as well.
  6. Get into an energy-efficient laundry routine. Always run a full load when using your washer (and dishwasher!) and use wool dryer balls to reduce drying time. Adjusting your temperature from hot to warm can also reduce energy consumption by half. If you’re at home all day and the weather is nice, why not hang a load to dry outside occasionally?

When it comes to saving energy, little changes can make big differences. Small adjustments to your daily routine will save you money and make your home greener. What better time to start than right after Earth Day?

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