Not surprisingly, residential energy use has increased with the stay-at-home orders that have been issued throughout the country. Whether it’s repeatedly opening the refrigerator to see if there’s anything new to eat, keeping laptops charged, or powering your kids game system, residents have seen a bump in energy bills.
Some states, such as New York, have already announced that sheltering in place and social distancing will continue to mid-May. As we begin to cope with this new (and hopefully temporary reality), here are four smart ways Good Energy recommends that residents can save money on energy bills:
1. Go green and receive credits on utility bills
If your community is part of a Good Energy Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program, you can sign up to support renewable power. Through your CCA, you can elect to receive discounts through Good Energy’s community solar program. When you sign up for the community solar program, you’ll receive credits on your monthly utility bill based on the amount of solar production and your home’s energy consumption. Some residents on Solar programs have seen significant savings on their bills paid for through this program.
2. Evaluate and change how you use energy
No better time to put in place some energy-saving behavior while the family is all under one roof – constantly. Little changes can make a big difference in your energy bill. A few examples:
- Wash only full loads of laundry. Your washing machine runs more efficiently when you’re washing full loads. And because the hot water heater is one of the appliances that consumes the most energy in a household, use cold water as much as possible.
- Ban refrigerator hunting expeditions. Sure, you’re tempted to scout through the refrigerator, but when you leave the door open to scout the leftover containers, energy – and money – is being wasted. Make a household rule: Only open the refrigerator if you know what you want to grab.
- Resist the urge to frequently check on dishes baking in oven. Like the refrigerator, opening the oven door while baking wastes energy and money. Each time you open the oven door, you release heat, which makes the oven use more energy. Use a timer or just check through the window.
- Nudge the thermostat 2 to 3 degrees. Whether you’re heating in the winter or cooling in the summer, moving the thermostat just a couple degrees can make a big difference in your energy bill. For example, for each degree you turn your thermostat down in the winter, you can save 3 percent of your heating bill, according to Department of Energy models.
3. Audit home for energy use
Take one afternoon (or morning or evening because your schedule is much more flexible) to do an energy audit of your home. One of the easiest ways to save energy is to do a lighting audit. Go through each room of your house to see what kind of lightbulbs are being used. Simply replacing the five most-used light fixtures LED bulbs could save you $75 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Also, check outlets. Chances are you’ve got a lot of unused electronic that are still plugged in consuming energy. For example, a power strip consumes energy, even if nothing else is plugged into it. Power off or unplug other appliances that aren’t being used.
4. Weatherize your home with DIY projects
No need to call a contractor. With a few tools and supplies you can weatherize your home and save on energy bills. In fact, sealing an old, drafty house can save up to 20 percent on heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. To find places you need weather stripping, use your ears. Listen for a whistling sound, then use your hand to detect the draft. Then, use weather stripping around movable parts of your house, such as doors and windows. For non-moving areas, use caulk to seal cracks and gaps. The best part: You can do this yourself and it doesn’t take that long.
About Good Energy
Good Energy launched a business to bring a simple concept to the marketplace… savings via lower electricity costs and superior efficiency lighting solutions. A smarter way to buy power and to use power. With ever changing technologies and product offerings Good Energy has provided new efficiency applications to the market and has pioneered a community centric buying approach that has achieved hundreds of millions of dollars in savings to the residential and commercial segment.