Much uncertainty has risen with the COVID-19 pandemic taking center stage with many people having lost jobs while others remain cautious of spending for things that they once didn’t think twice about. One area of cut costing that most people consider is their electric bill. If you’re not quite prepared to completely go “off-the-grid”, we got you covered with a few more practical ways for you to reduce energy use both at home and for your business.
Energy Savings At Home
The decision to cut electric usage in the home will most likely come with much grumbling from the family so why not try to have some fun with it and use it as a time for bonding instead? Make the call and have a Digital Detox; one day, or night, of no electronic devices…or let one of these other creative ideas spark some action.
Take up the Wim Hoff Method
This tried and true method involves taking cold showers while implementing a specific method of breathing to help influence and control your autonomic nervous system. Beneficial side effects include reduced blood pressure, increased metabolism, better sleep, enhanced sports performance, and of course…cheaper energy costs from using less hot water!
Have a Date Night
Scheduling a regular date night by candlelight will help boost the romance while saving costs on electricity.
Gamify Your Usage
Competitive energy saving is all the rage! First, you need to count all the appliances in your home that draw energy. Next, see how many of these you can unplug or do without each night. Points for single no-use nights, compounding points for each consecutive night without use and max points for eliminating non-essential electronics altogether!
Try Covid Camping
Choose one night per week to go completely analog. Make it a fun ritual for the whole family, aka “Covid Camping”
Install Gravity Lights
Often used as a replacement for kerosene lamps in developing countries, gravity-powered lights are an interesting and effective way to reduce your reliance on the grid. And, of course more traditional solar-powered charges and lights help keep reliance on the grid in check.
Focus on the Kitchen
Pack your freezer. the tighter packed your freezer, the less room there is for air to escape when opening and closing the door. Ice packs, bags of ice, and newspapers are great stuffers. You can also run major appliances like your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer during off-peak hours (overnight) to save some cash. Good rule of thumb is anytime between 9pm-9am.
Wash in Cold Water
Roughly 75% of energy required to do a load of laundry goes towards heating the water. Switching to cold water will help save energy and it may help your clothes last longer
Avoid Energy Leeches
If you’ve ever traveled abroad, you’ve probably noticed how most of the rest of the world unplugs their electronics when not in use. Many appliances are still working even when you think you turned them off. This is called “standby power.” Standby power is actually the minimum power used when something is plugged in. While this simple task may seem like a hassle, savings can add up to hundreds of dollars a year, plus you’re protected from power surges and potential fire hazards
Use Blackout Curtains
10-25% of thermal energy loss goes out the windows. Blackout curtains can curtail this loss by 25%, reducing your utility bills and greenhouse gases.
Energy-saving light bulbs can significantly reduce usage and replacement costs by 20% or more.
Energy Savings For Business
Additionally, energy savings don’t have to stop at your home. Businesses are always looking for cost-cutting measures and doing so by saving energy is not only going to look good on financial reports but also in the eyes of stakeholders.
Find Your Off-Peak Hours
Take advantage of off-peak periods to run energy-intensive processes at your business. Some utility companies offer lower rates during off-peak periods. Try to schedule the use of energy-consuming machinery and the performance of other energy-consuming tasks during these periods. This can reduce energy bills without necessarily reducing your overall energy consumption.
Printers, copiers and fax machines consume a lot of energy and so another great way to save is by making your business go completely (or as much as possible) paperless.
Automate Lights and Install Motion Detectors
Motion detector bulbs are great because they come on automatically when someone enters the room and turn themselves off when no motion is detected after some time so you don’t have to rely on (or rather be frustrated with) employees who don’t turn off the lights when they leave a room or space. Also, automatic dimmer switches are great for automatically adjusting the lighting in the room to suit the lighting needs of the office and reduce the amount of energy being wasted.
Take the Stairs
Skip the elevator and go for the stairs. You could offer employees incentives for using the stairs, especially if there is a lot of travel between different floors in an office building or manufacturing site. Elevators consume a lot of energy when many employees go up and down multiple times a day, causing your electric bills to go up too.
Making simple changes to your and your employees’ daily habits can save energy costs at home and in your business.