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Nighttime Energy Use Can Save Energy

Instead of running your dishwasher right after dinner, consider waiting until bedtime to turn it on. Same with the clothes dryer. And how about charging your phone and other rechargeables while you sleep?

Most people use their electric appliances at the same times every day: Early in the morning when they’re getting ready for work, right after dinner and at mid-day.

That means there’s a lot of demand on a limited amount of electrical “capacity” all at the same time.

In the summer when everyone’s running air conditioners, that can tax the electrical system. Cooking, laundry and showering put strain on cooling equipment when it is least efficient, and it also costs more to remove heat and humidity from the home during late afternoon and early evening.

Too much strain on the electric grid can even cause a brownout—although that’s rare.

A better solution: Spread your energy use. Do the laundry and the dishes at mid-morning while everyone else is at work or late at night when most people are sleeping.