Many of us are working from home or staying at home with our kids because of the coronavirus, and that can mean a higher energy bill. As we shelter-in-place, we are going to consume more energy in the form of water, electricity and gas. As we carefully watch our finances, let's consider how we can conserve energy and avoid sticker shock when we see our next bill.
Only wash laundry when you have enough for a large load. If you live in a warmer area, consider hanging your clothes outdoors to air-dry. If you live in a colder climate, consider an indoor drying rack.
Turn lights off when you leave a room. During the day, open the blinds and curtains to let natural light in. Consider swapping out your incandescent lightbulbs for LED bulbs. Even though the initial cost is high, you'll reap long-term savings as many provide 49,000 more hours of usage than a traditional lightbulb.
Try turning your thermostat down by a couple of degrees to conserve energy. You might not even notice the temperature difference but it will save you money. If you live in a colder climate and the drop in temperature is noticeable, add an extra layer like a long-sleeve shirt or a heavy pair of socks. Better yet, get up and get moving. A walk around the block, a few times up and down the stairs, or a few minutes of lunges, squats, push-ups, and heel raises will warm you up. In a warmer climate, turning the A/C down a couple of degrees is also a good idea.
4. Unplug Devices & Small Appliances
Your electronics could be one of many energy wasters in your home, accounting for as much as 23% of average electricity bills.
- Turn off and unplug your laptop
- Unplug your coffee maker after using it in the morning
- Unplug the clock and lamps in your spare bedroom
- Unplug other small appliances that tend to be plugged in all of the time (ex. small, wall-mounted vacuum)
Finding ways to conserve energy as we shelter-in-place can save us from facing large energy bills. All of the tips in this article can add up to big savings. You might even consider checking with your utility provider to see if you can get a break on your bill. Let's be smart about conserving energy during the COVID-19 pandemic and even after it passes. Stay healthy!