Make the Time, Part 1: Energy Efficiency in Five Minutes

Who has time to save energy? You’re a busy person, and we get that—if you spent your life thinking about energy efficiency, well, you’d probably be working for us. But even though you might not have 40 hours a week to spend noodling over ways to save energy, there’s still lots you can do in less time than it takes you to brew a pot of coffee.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll explore a few different ways you can make your home more energy efficient using whatever time you’ve got. Today’s three projects take just five minutes, but could help you see big energy savings.

Project 1: Light Bulb Inventory
Answer quick: How many light bulbs are in your home right now? If you don’t know, that’s okay, but we do want you to check every bulb with two questions in mind:

  • Is it frequently left on when no one’s around?
  • Is it an LED or incandescent?

If the answer to the first question is “yes,” then unplug the lamp at the socket, leave a sticky note on the switch, or find some other way to remind yourself—and your family—to turn the light off when there’s no one around. Because this ain’t a riddle: If a bulb lights a room and nobody’s around to see, it still costs you money.

As for the second? It’s no great secret that we’re fans of energy efficient LED bulbs. And with POWER MOVES rebates of up to $7.50 per bulb, you will be too. We recommend you prioritize the lights you use most—like bulbs in the kitchen or bathroom—but you’d better act fast! The rebate amount will drop in 2017.

Project 2: I Spy, With My Little Eye, Energy Inefficiency
Remember when your parents used to tell you to shut the front door, they’re not paying to cool down the whole neighborhood? Well guess what—you might be. Poorly sealed windows and doors are one of the most common ways to lose out on energy efficiency. But if you’ve got just five minutes, you can find your most glaring problem spots.

How? It’s simple: All you need is an eyeball. On a sunny day, turn off all interior lights before looking closely along the edges of your doors and windows. If you see light shining through the cracks, you’ve got an air leak in need of weather stripping. Alternatively, if you’re a night owl, you can turn on all your interior lights and do the same inspection from outdoors. Fair warning: The latter carries a greater risk of bug bites.

Project 3: Slay the Vampires
Beware the vampires! Energy vampires, that is—those appliances and electronics that use energy even when they’re not in use (we’re looking at you, laptops). So try this project out for a while and see how you do: Five minutes before you leave the house each morning, unplug any appliance or electronic device that isn’t in use. Even if you don’t get to every single one, unplugging a few vampires for an extra eight hours each day can add up fast.

That should get you started! But we hope seeing how easy it can be to save a little extra energy each month will encourage you to come up with your own creative ways. Email us your ideas or post them to our Facebook page and we’ll even give you a personal shout-out for the idea!

For more energy saving tips, or to get more information about our rebate programs, contact your Energy Advisor.

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