The College Student’s Guide to Energy Saving

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It’s that time of year!  College students have settled back into their apartments/dorms and are well into the Spring semester. Midterms will be starting soon, and for college students, it can be one of the most stressful times of the year! Of course, second only to finals.  It’s when everything else takes a backseat to those dreaded exams that recount everything (well, almost everything) they learned so far over the course of the semester.  If you’re in college,  sand short on cash every now and then, the tips offered here are for you.  If you live off campus, on your own (or know someone who does), you can save money in another way: your electric bill.  Here are some energy saving tips for college students:


  • Plug home entertainment systems into  power strips to make it easy to turn them on or off. 
  • Set computers to hibernate or sleep mode when not in use for 30 minutes (or even less). 
  • Turn off your TV when you leave the room for more than 20 minutes. 
  • Unplug your phone, laptop, and small electronic chargers when not in use (these items, known as ghost electronics, use electricity when they are just plugged in). 
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). According to Energy Star®, a CFL bulb uses 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and lasts about 10 times longer. 
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room. 
  • When you are studying late at night, turn on the lamp and direct its light on your book instead of turning on all of the lights in the room. 
  • Do laundry only when you have a full load. 
  • Wash your clothes with cold water. This saves energy and protects the life of your clothes. 
  • Clean out dryer lint after each load. 
  • Don’t open the fridge and stare into it.  Your fridge will work harder (use more energy) to keep the temperature at the proper setting. 
  • During the day, open your curtains and let the sun do your lighting. 
  • Take short showers and avoid taking long baths. 
  • Use fans instead of air conditioners to significantly reduce your energy use. 
  • Add shades to windows facing south, east, and west to keep unwanted heat out of your apartment. 
  • Don’t air-condition an empty room. 
  • Turn on your dishwasher only when it’s full. 
  • Use glass or ceramic pans. They allow you to reduce the cooking temperature by 25 degrees while maintaining the same cooking time.

So, did you learn something new?  We hope so!  And the great news is, we won’t test you on it but we do hope you utilize some of these tips so you can be an energy – and money – saver!


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