Good Energy Habits for the New Year

energy-saving-tipsCut Electric Usage and Costs

Your parents (or grandparents) were right when they told you to put on a sweater instead of turning on the heat and turn off the lights when you leave a room. Of course, there are many different ways now to both be more comfortable in your home and save energy. Here are a few good habits you and your family can try to adopt in the New Year.

Switch to LED

Both LED and CFL bulbs are 1/6 the cost of standard incandescent lightblubs. By switching to long-lasting LEDs, and turning off the lights when you aren’t in a room, you can both save money on your electric bill and on the cost of replacement bulbs.

Unplug Appliances

If you can easily unplug a household appliance, such as a stereo, or a device like a computer or printer, keeping it unplugged when you aren’t using it will save energy. For cell phones and other devices that you frequently recharge, keep chargers in a common basket or other location. As soon as your phone is charged, get in the habit of removing the charger and placing it back in the basket. Try to avoid keeping your phones and tablets on chargers overnight. It might not make a difference day-to-day, but over time, keeping appliances from constantly drawing electricity will shave some money off of your utility bill.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

If you don’t already have one, a programmable thermostat lets you set a time for the heat or air conditioning in your home to come on and shut off. If your house is empty during the day in the summer months, you can program your air conditioning to come on just before you arrive home. In cold weather, you can set a time for the furnace to kick on in the morning. There’s no need to heat or cool your house around the clock.

Dimmer and Sensor Switches

Install dimmer switches in the dining room, living room and other rooms where you want to control brightness and change the feel of the room. In addition to gaining atmosphere, you will save energy. Installing motion sensor switches in closets, attics and basements eliminates the chance that someone will forget to turn off the lights in those areas. And it lets you carry laundry or storage boxes without having to fumble for a switch.

In 2017, make it a goal to pay attention to how your family uses electricity on a daily basis, and to make some small changes to benefit both your wallet and the planet.