Back to school excitement is much different in 2020. With distance learning, remote work, and growing “plug load,” customers who have spent most of their time at home over the last several months are seeing increases in utility bills throughout the country. Managing energy costs is something the whole family can get involved in, and it can be fun!
To start, find ways to engage your kids and help them understand that small efforts, like shutting off the lights, can impact your utility bill and, in turn, will decrease the overall energy production needs of the community – win-win-win! With some simple instruction, kids can become the energy detectives in your home. Some simple tips:
- Television, Devices, and Gaming: The television, computer, tablet, cell phone, and video game consoles run on power, so make sure to turn them off and unplug them when they aren’t in use. Even when a device is powered off, it can draw power from the plug. Better yet, keep them off and pick up a good book or disconnect and get outside!
- Close the Doors: In order for the warm air to stay in your home this winter, keeping the doors closed is so important. Put a bell on the knob so kids can get used to hearing the jingle as the door closes when they enter or exit.
- Natural Light: During the day, get in the habit of using natural light. If you do turn the lights on, switch to LED Energy Star Certified bulbs. When lights are turned on, make sure to shut them off when leaving a room. Kids will do this too, especially if they know they are helping to protect the earth!
- Cold water: Always use cold water from the faucet unless you really need warm water. Each time you use warm water the hot water heater draws additional energy.
With so much time at home, making simple changes to your family routine can help you save energy and money. You may want to turn this into a game or develop an energy reward system to encourage family participation. For some options and activities, please visit the National Energy Education Department (need.org
) or the US Energy Information Administration (eia.gov/kids
If you are interested in taking additional steps to improve efficiency, HG&E offers free home audits to help assess potential energy savings, as well as a variety of rebates and incentives for energy saving improvements. Visit hged.com/save
for more information.