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Blossom Your Budget this Spring with These Money-Saving Energy Tips.

Last updated: 03-27-2021

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Blossom Your Budget this Spring with These Money-Saving Energy Tips.

It’s been a little over a year since many of us began spending significantly more time at home due to COVID-19, although at times it feels like a decade has passed. From teleworking to “Zoom-schooling” to virtual gatherings with friends, our habits have changed significantly, and unsurprisingly, all of this at-home and online time has led to increased home energy use.  We’re taking a look at some of the key energy saving tips we’ve learned during quarantine that can keep our wallets and our environment happy. And these are practices that we can maintain even as we start to return to a “new normal” this year.

LED and ENERGY STAR-qualified lighting saves energy and money spent on utilities over time, using up to 90% less energy and saving up to $75 annuallyon utility bills. Updating energy-efficient lighting can make a huge difference in overall energy consumption for your household. Habits matter too: Turn off lights when you leave a room or when you head out for a walk to save even more.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve chosen a spot by the window as a prime home office location. But more than offering a nice view, a window spot has the added bonus of using natural light to replace lamps or overhead lighting. Make sure that the window is airtight: Sealing drafty windows such as with caulk or weatherstripping will minimize air flow through your home to give your cooling/heating system a break.

Leaving devices plugged in even when they’re turned off can contribute to as much as 20% of your electricity bill, so pulling the plug on idle electronics saves up to $200 on annual electricity costs. Advanced power strips that can switch off all devices connected to it make it even easier to save energy.

This trick will save the battery life of your PC or laptop, save energy by decreasing the need to recharge your device as frequently, and reduce eye strain from looking at screens throughout the day – an important factor to keep in mind in our increasingly digital world.

Heating and cooling systems are the biggest energy guzzlers at home – heating alone can contribute to 42% of your utility bill. Opting to use your fan instead of cranking up the A/C can save a lot of energy and money.

Contrary to popular belief, using a dishwasher saves more energy and water than hand washing dishes. Using a dishwasher can save about 24 gallons of water compared to washing by hand. If you have the option to use a dishwasher, make sure to fill it up all the way before you run it.

Check the air filter in your heating/cooling system monthly to keep clean air circulating smoothly. Replacing clogged air filters can reduce the unit’s energy consumption by up to 15%.

An easy way to save energy is by using your clothes dryer less. Let your clothes catch the warm air outside and give your dryer unit a much-needed break.

One of the best things about the spring and summer seasons is the opportunity to grill outdoors. You can save on cooling costs by using the stove and oven less, and cooking out when possible.

If home renovation is in your budget this year, consider making energy efficiency part of the plan. There may even be programs available to you through your utility, local government, or the federal government to make upgrades more affordable. For example, see if you qualify for the Weatherization Assistance Program for a whole-home retrofit, and check your utility’s website for information about rebates for energy-efficient appliances. And, with Tax Day just around the corner, make sure that if you made an energy efficiency investment in the past year that you’re claiming it on your return for an up-to $500 credit.  

Energy efficiency enables us to become more environmentally-conscious and intentional about our energy use. Adapting your current lifestyle to include some of these tips contributes to the global energy efficiency fight while crucially saving on utility operating costs in the home.

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