It’s that time of year again – school is back in session. While the kids are away, there are a few things you can do to reduce your energy usage and save money on your bills, including:
Look for ENERGY STAR products
If your child is in need of a new laptop, desktop, printer, or scanner, look for one with an ENERGY STAR label. This label means the product will use up to 65% less energy than its competitors, which means lower energy bills. If you have a college-bound student who’s looking for a mini refrigerator, you can also look for one with an ENERGY STAR label.
Swap out your bulbs
Whether your child is at school during the day or is off living in a dorm room, there will be fewer lights turned on and off on a regular basis. While this will already help you save energy, you can save even more by swapping out your incandescent light bulbs for CFL or LED bulbs. These bulbs burn 10-40 times longer than incandescent and use between 10 and 25 percent of the same energy.
Keep your fridge efficient
If you’re making lunches for your little ones on a daily basis, you can help keep your refrigerator running efficiently by taking out all of the needed ingredients in one trip. Constantly opening and closing the fridge doors lets cold air escape and makes the fridge work harder to replace it, so make as few trips as possible.
Do you pick your kids up from school every day? Leaving your car run while you wait for the final bell uses more gas than turning the car off and turning it back on again. In addition, idling in hot temperatures adds stress to your engine, so give your car a break by parking and turning it off while you wait.
Increase your thermostat
Since there’ll be fewer people in the house during the day, you won’t need to keep it as cool. Turn the thermostat up a few degrees while no one is around and you’ll reduce your carbon footprint as well as your electric or gas bill.
Wash clothes at night
Recess, softball practice, gymnastics, and other back-to-school activities mean more laundry that will need to be done. You can help keep your washer efficient and reduce your energy usage by doing your laundry at night. It’ll not only be cooler, but electricity rates will most likely be lower (they fluctuate during the day).
Have another back-to-school energy tip? We’d love to hear it!