It’s 2021 and even if there are still lingering impacts from last year’s challenges, there is one area you can take control -- your electric bill. Traditionally winter weather can come in with a bit of shock and awe, but this is your year to stop it and prevent higher-than-normal energy use.
Depending on your situation, you and other family members may still be working remotely, and your children may still be doing school at home. REC encourage you to take this time while you’re still together to become masters at these easy steps to save energy and money.
Use less hot water. A long hot shower can be tempting on a cold winter morning, but that can really add up on your electric bill. Adjust the temperature setting on your water heater to 120 degrees to further reduce your energy use.
Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower in the winter. This is the biggest step you can take to tame your electric bill. If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to adjust 4 to 6 degrees lower when no one is home or when sleeping. Turn it up only a degree or two at a time to prevent costly auxiliary heat from coming on.
Use space heaters sparingly. To run one space heater for 12 hours every day for a month could cost around $76. Instead, consider small electric blankets, which provide direct heat without the cost of conditioning an entire room.
Wrap up your water heater. If your water heater is in a garage or crawl space, use a water heater blanket. This will keep the water heater from using more energy during colder months.
Seal windows and doors. Storm window kits are easy to apply. Also consider weather stripping for older windows. For outside doors, purchase a “draft stopper” to keep cold air from seeping under your door.
Bonus tips: open curtains to let the sun in during the day’ do not run ceiling fans in the winter; check your filters monthly and change when dirty; have your heating system serviced annually.