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Save Electricity As A Family

When everyone is spending more time at home this fall, the lights, computers and TV are running almost all the time.

That’s perfectly fine if family members are in the rooms where those devices are switched on. But it’s a waste of energy if lights and electronics are on when nobody’s around.

The best way to get your children to avoid wasting electricity is to point out how your family could do better and engage them in the cure. Some examples:

  • Buy LED lightbulbs for your lamps and overhead fixtures, and challenge your kids to replace all of the less-efficient bulbs with these. Residential LEDs use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
  • Get an inexpensive caulk gun and some caulk from the hardware store and show your little ones how to caulk around windows, doors and openings around cable and phone lines. They’ll feel grown up when they use the equipment.
  • If you don’t have a programmable thermostat yet, assign one of your kids—someone who can reach the thermostat—the job of turning it up at bedtime by about 7 degrees if the air conditioning is still out or down about 7 degrees if the heat is on. Do it every evening and you could save up to 10% on heating.

Note that programmable thermostats generally are not recommended for heat pumps. Do not change heat pump thermostat settings during heating mode more than 1 or 2 degrees. Consult manufacturer’s manual or contact the co-op’s energy advisor for more information.