By New York State Electric & Gas Corporation
This summer, many of us are spending more time at home than ever before due to COVID-19. From video work calls to keeping the cool air flowing all day long, the extra time at home is inevitably increasing your home energy consumption. As a result, it’s essential to make your home as energy-efficient as possible.
“There are many easy steps we can take to better manage our home energy usage while still enjoying comfortable living and more comfortable energy bills,” Jen Turner, supervisor of conservation and load management programs at NYSEG. “We encourage customers to take advantage of NYSEG’s energy-efficiency programs. Our goal is to empower our customers to understand their energy usage and what adjustments can be made that best fit their family and lifestyle.”
To help promote a smart energy mindset to manage utility bill costs, Turner recommends customers engage in these seven actions this summer.
•Turn up the temperature: The easiest way to improve energy utilization is by turning your thermostat up – even a few degrees can produce some of the biggest energy savings and manage your utility bill. In fact, each degree above 75 saves 3% of the energy used to cool your home. Smart programmable thermostats have the technology to make savings a snap with varying temperature settings throughout the day.
•Tackle small tasks: A few small tasks can go a long way to improving your home’s energy efficiency. Check your air filters monthly and change as needed. Dirty filters make your home air conditioning system work harder expending more energy. Trim back bushes around the air conditioning unit, and weather-strip leaky doors and windows. Inside the home, leave interior and hallway doors partially open to keep air from your central unit flowing freely throughout your home.
•Manage your lights: Get into energy saving mode by examining your light sources and adjusting your habits. The most common behavior is leaving the lights on. Turn off lights whenever you leave a room or don’t need them. Additionally, upgrading old light bulbs with new LED bulbs will help save energy – LED bulbs use five times less energy and last up to 15 times longer than traditional incandescents.
•Control your “standby” power use: If you look around your home, chances are you’ll see smart devices, appliances, and more all plugged in. All of these items are using energy even if they’re not in use. Use advanced power strips to eliminate any “standby” power that many devices consume even when turned off, or pull the plug on anything not regularly in use. Cutting out the energy use on devices not in use is smart energy management.
•Right-size your chores: Running your dishwasher or washing machine on full loads will maximize energy use, but you should avoid overfilling the dryer. If the dryer is too full, it takes much more energy to run for a longer period. Right-sizing your chores saves you in the long run.
•Can’t stand the heat, get out and grill: When it’s time to cook that favorite meal, reconsider using your indoor oven and step outside to use an outdoor grill. This reduces heat in your home, and grilling outdoors is more efficient than oven or stovetop cooking.
•Manage usage with virtual tools: Take advantage of virtual tools to manage your energy savings. Smart thermostats make controlling your home heating and cooling system a breeze all year long. Plus, you can help to manage electricity demand in your community.
To learn more about these tips and the energy savings programs RG&E has available for residential and business customers, visit YourEnergyNYSEG.com.