Given the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide surge in cases, Americans decide to remain at home, raising their energy bills to an all-time high. How to save energy during COVID-19 is on their mind as home usage bills are up nearly 30% since the pandemic started in March this year.
Many households will be struggling to pay their energy bills this winter. Many others may fall behind on paying at least one household energy bill, mostly due to under-employment, financial stress, or added consumption.
Since they’d be unable to afford to top up their prepayment meters in these vulnerable circumstances, they are looking for new ways to save energy at home.
During this challenging time, here are some tips on how you can reduce and save on your energy usage.
Begin by understanding your energy bill’s different components so you can consciously cut back your consumption by taking small, responsible steps. Modifying your daily habits like turning off appliances and lights when not in use helps conserve energy and save your expenses.
Performing household tasks like drying clothes manually instead of heavily relying on energy-intensive appliances significantly brings down your energy consumption. At the cost of adding to your daily chores, these are worthwhile steps from a long-term perspective.
As a consumer, you depend on your utility provider for inputs that enable you to practically manage your expenses and save energy during COVID-19. Well-structured prepaid energy companies provide a useful solution in these trying times by providing you data on your energy expenses.
Consider signing up for a prepaid energy plan to better manage your usage and subsequently curtail energy costs. When there are no reconnection fees or deposits you are liable to pay, prepaid plans help you keep your overdue energy balances in check. You can clear your outstanding dues while settling your current bill.
A proven way to lower your bills and become more energy efficient is by switching over to LED lightbulbs. When compared to standard bulbs, LED’s have a longer lifespan, are non-toxic, and emit light by utilizing considerably less energy.
Besides being 80% more efficient, with LED lights, you get an increased light output. As you can gather, energy-efficient lighting keeps your bills low, guarantees brightness, and last longer.
Undoubtedly, the emergence of smart thermostats has revolutionized home technology with its user-friendly interface. These thermostats can automatically identify and execute optimal temperature settings, which guarantee maximum energy efficiency.
Since they are wi-fi compatible, you can remotely access your smart thermostat to control, monitor, and track your home energy consumption. Mechanisms like room-specific settings and adjustable timers allow greater flexibility and ensure you save energy during COVID-19.
Your total home energy consumption can skyrocket with a water heating mechanism that wastes instead of conserving. You can reduce such wastage and hefty expenses by investing in an energy-efficient water heater.
The efficient models available today function on demand and are not as bulky as conventional water heaters. Alternatively, you can insulate your water heater to improve its effectiveness and even lower the thermostat when boiling water is not required.
When you turn off your household electronics or keep them in standby mode, they are still consuming power. Smart or advanced power strips are designed to completely shut off your electronic devices’ energy supply, especially when not in use.
You can preset them to kick into action at assigned times during inactive periods and remotely control their functioning. If you’re not using a smart power strip, unplugging gadgets helps to conserve energy and cut down your monthly expenses.
Make the most of daylight hours by keeping your blinds and curtains open to illuminate your home naturally. When you have natural sources of light streaming into your home during this period, give your electricity a break. It is better to turn off your lights when you do not need them, so they serve your purpose once the sun sets.
Heating and cooling costs are a significant contributor to your monthly utility bills. A reduction in the frequency and intensity with which you use these amenities guarantees the most incredible savings. Adopting habits like using your AC less often in summers and in winters, adjusting your thermostat to a lower heat, benefit you in the long run.
When these systems are on, you can shut the doors leading to the rooms you wish to cool or heat. To retain the favorable temperature conditions within, close your windows tight and block any open draughts, so you do not let the air out and vice-versa. Without making your life uncomfortable, it is possible to save energy while enjoying the benefits of your in-house HVAC systems.
If you want your household appliances and gadgets to function to their optimum, you must clean them regularly. Inbuilt filters get choked with constant use, and you will notice your electronic devices sometimes straining to operate efficiently.
In the effort to perform to their utmost capability while dealing with internal woes, your dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, and other appliances waste excessive energy. To improve air circulation, ensure you frequently clean out filters, and whatever else prevents your regularly used household appliances from effectively functioning.
Any cracks or openings in your windows, vents, doors, walls, flooring, or ceiling can result in air leaks that must be curtailed. Air sealing techniques like caulking and weather stripping save energy by retaining heat during winter and keeping the warm air out for the summer.
The level of insulation your home needs depends on its area in square feet. Concentrating on insulating your walls, basement, attic, and floors will adequately help you save energy during COVID-19.
Start small as even the tiniest step forward makes the most favorable energy saving impact. In this manner, you not only act responsibly by preserving the environment, but are also limiting your monthly utility expenses.