woman making chili in crockpot

As the new school season commences, it’s the perfect time for your family to make energy-saving adjustments around the house. Saving energy helps reduce your utility bill costs and contributes to a more sustainable environment. Here are 10 back-to-school home energy-saving tips for your family this school year.

1. Unplug and Power Down
Before heading out for the day, remind your family members to unplug gaming consoles, chargers, and other small appliances. Even when not in use, these devices consume “phantom” energy when left plugged in.

2. Embrace Natural Light
Take advantage of natural daylight by opening curtains and blinds to reduce the need for artificial lighting, while saving electricity and creating a more pleasant learning environment. To save on utility bills and give your HVAC a break, keep your curtains and blinds open during the daytime when it’s cooler to bring in more warmth and close them when it’s warmer to keep out the heat.

3. Upgrade to LED Lighting
Swap out old incandescent or CFL bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights. LEDs use less energy, last longer, and provide great illumination for reading and studying.

4. Optimize Your Thermostat
Program your thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when you’re away at school or work and increase it when you return home. This simple adjustment can lead to significant energy savings.

5. HVAC Maintenance
Before the winter chill sets in, have your HVAC unit inspected and maintained by a professional. A well-maintained system operates more efficiently, reducing energy consumption and ensuring your home stays comfortable throughout the winter.

6. Cook Smarter
Consider using energy-efficient appliances like slow cookers and microwave ovens for cooking, as they consume less energy than traditional ovens and stovetops. They’re also perfect for fall and winter soups, stews, and more. Save the oven for special occasions like Thanksgiving and family get-togethers.

7. Seal Leaks
Inspect your home for drafts around doors and windows. Seal gaps or cracks to prevent heat from escaping during winter. These steps will reduce the workload on your HVAC system.

8. Stay Active After School
Encourage your kids to stay active after school by engaging in outdoor activities or sports. By promoting physical well-being, you will reduce the temptation for your kids to use electronics (i.e., watch TV or play video games!) that can burn through your home’s energy.

9. Upgrade to ENERGY STAR Products
When it’s time to replace appliances or electronics, opt for ENERGY STAR-certified products. These devices meet strict energy-efficiency guidelines and can significantly reduce your energy consumption.

10. Lock in Your Energy Rates
Consider reviewing and locking in your energy rates for the winter to help stabilize your energy bills and protect you from price fluctuations during the colder months. (Learn more about locking in your rates here.)

By implementing these back-to-school home energy-saving tips, your family can reduce its environmental footprint, save money on utility bills, and create a more sustainable home. Remember that every small effort counts toward a greener and more energy-efficient future.

Want more energy-saving tips like these? Download our Home Energy Guide!