ELECTRICITY

  • Plug home electronics such as TVs and Blu-ray players into power strips
  • Unplug electronics and turn off power strips when they are not in use (e.g., TVs, computers, printers, gaming consoles, phone chargers, curling irons, etc.)
  • Use a laptop instead of a desktop PC
  • Use a printer with power management capabilities (i.e., printers with automatic “power down” features)
  • Use smaller lamps to light work areas instead of overhead/ceiling lighting
  • Replace your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR label on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products
  • Turn down the thermostat 10–15 degrees when you’re not at home
  • Never turn a thermostat high or low to quickly heat or cool a home
  • Make sure furniture, curtains, and rugs don’t block the flow of air from vents and air registers
  • Hold a ribbon or feather up to windows and doors to check for drafts
    • If there are drafts, use weather stripping or caulking to keep the outside air out and the air conditioning/heating in
  • If possible, shade your air conditioning unit
  • Use fans to cool your home instead of air conditioners
    • Soak a thin t-shirt and attach it to the fan to blow the air through and cool the room
  • Wait until you have a full load to use your clothes dryer
  • Clean the lint filter thoroughly after each dryer load
    • Separate drying loads into heavy and lightweight items; lightweight items take less time to dry, so the dryer doesn’t have to be on for as long

WATER

  • Look for the WaterSense label on showerheads, dishwashers, and other appliances
  • Set the water heater thermostat to 49°C
  • Install a booster in your dishwasher to increase the water temperature to 60°C
  • Wait until you have a full load to use your dishwasher and clothes washer
    • If you can’t wait for a full load, use the right water level to match the size of the load
  • Use cold water to wash clothes – save washing in warm water for whites and hard-to-clean items
  • Take showers instead of baths
    • Shorten your shower by 1–2 minutes
    • Limit showers to 5 minutes
    • Install a low-flow showerhead
  • Repair toilet leaks
    • Toilet leaks can be detected by adding a few drops of food coloring to water in the toilet tank; if the colored water appears in the bowl, the tank is leaking
  • Repair or replace leaking faucets
  • Make sure there are water-saving aerators on all of your faucets
  • Turn the water off while you brush your teeth
  • Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods
    • Defrost your food overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave
  • Refrigerate a bottle of drinking water instead of letting a faucet flow until the water is cold enough to drink
  • Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle
  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean
  • When doing dishes, fill your second sink with clean water for rinsing instead of running water to rinse
  • Cut down on the amount of rinsing you do before loading the dishwasher; most modern dishwashers do an excellent job of cleaning dishes, pots, and pans all by themselves
  • Minimize use of your garbage disposal
    • Start a compost pile or throw away any garbage scraps to avoid using water with your disposal
  • Use a rain barrel to collect rain and help water your plants
  • Plant a rain garden to add beauty to your yard, while absorbing and filtering runoff

SEASONAL TIPS

  • Make sure furnace filters are changed twice a year
  • Once a year, drain one gallon of water from the faucet at the bottom of your water heater to get rid of the sediment in the water and increase the efficiency of your water heater

Summer Tips

  • Run your ceiling fan counter-clockwise to force the colder air down and draw hot air up
  • Keep the curtains and shades closed
  • Set your thermostat at 25.5°C and leave it there
  • Avoid using appliances that give off heat during the hottest times of the day as they will make your cooling system work harder; do your cooking, washing, and clothes drying in the early morning or late evening

Winter Tips

  • Open the curtains and shades to warm your home naturally
  • Run your ceiling fan clockwise to pull cold air up and force warm air down
  • Set your thermostat at 20°C and leave it there

REMOTE WORK CONSERVATION

  • Remote work, social distancing, and homeschooling are all being encouraged and, in some cases, enforced to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. This has led to an increase in utility usage within the home. Because of this, you may see an increase in your utility charges. If you are working from home, homeschooling, or simply keeping your distance from others, please use the following tips to conserve energy and lower your monthly utility bill.

Use Power Strips

  • Use power strips. Turn the power strip off when devices are not in use.
  • Laptops cost less than $0.01/hour and desktops cost $0.01-$0.03/hour.
  • Shut down your computer. You aren’t using it, but it is using electricity.
  • Most modern operating systems have built-in energy saving setting that can be enabled and adjusted.
  • Unplug unused devices. Phantom power is still power.
  • Turn the power strip off when devices are not in use.
  • Only connect your laptop to an outlet if the battery is low or charging
  • Use natural light or lamps to light your workspace.
  • Bundle up, set your heat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it there, or use natural light to warm your home.
  • Open the windows to create a cross-breeze, set your A/C to 78 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it there, or use a fan instead of the A/C.
  • Remember to follow public health guidelines regarding safely disinfecting your devices.