How to Reduce your Energy Costs during the Pandemic
The global COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet, and its impact can be felt in America even now, vaccine or no vaccine. The impact has included people staying indoors and the closure of companies, educational institutions, recreational centers, and even transport, amongst others. As people stayed at home to maintain social distancing as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the usage of energy in households seems to have increased. With many people working from home and children studying online, utility companies have faced increased demand for gas and electricity from family households.
Pre COVID, when people used to go out on weekends to watch movies or dine, they are now cooped up in their homes. According to Steve Cicala, a researcher at Tufts University, residential energy consumption went up by an average of 10 percent during Q2 of 2020. However, the increased residential consumption has been offset by reduced energy consumption in the commercial and industries sectors to the tune of 12 and 14 percent, respectively.
Reducing residential energy consumption when working from home
The report of Steve Cicala showed that due to increased residential energy consumption households in America are spending six billion more dollars now than what was spent pre-pandemic. For most households in the USA, electricity bills have seen an increase of USD 20 each month. Even though in the working from home model, employees can save money on transportation and clothing, the resultant electricity consumption can hit through the roof. Now that the pandemic may linger for some more time how about reducing the energy consumption while working from home?
Spending more time at home, either working or studying, can mean more use of water, lights, fans, air conditioners, and cooking appliances. Even though one cannot wish away the additional costs for electricity consumption, they can be mitigated.
Use LED lights: It is better to replace the conventional light bulbs in your home with high-efficiency LEDs. Today, thanks to the advancements in LED technology, you can get eye-soothing LED lights that can even match your room décor. These lights can bring down the energy cost significantly since they consume five times less electricity than ordinary incandescent lights and last twenty times longer.
Be smart about the drapes: Working from home has meant sitting in front of computers for long hours and keeping the lights on all the while. How about opening the drapes or curtains on the windows and letting the sunlight in. However, you may want to keep the drapes closed on a hot sunny day.
Switch your utility supplier: If you haven’t benefited from energy deregulation yet, it is high time you switch gas electricity suppliers and add to your savings. Deregulation allows you to compare energy suppliers’ rates in your area and choose one that offers gas and electricity at the optimum rate. Visit utilitydiscount.com to see the cost of electricity in your area.
Lowering your thermostat: According to the Department of Energy, as a consumer, if you can lower the thermostat by a few degrees in the winter and raise it a bit in the summer, you can reduce your electricity consumption substantially. Consider a smart thermostat that adjusts the temperature according to your selected schedule.
As a consumer in the pandemic when more people are staying at home, it is important to apply suitable measures to reduce your cost of energy consumption. When the rates of gas and electricity can fluctuate without rhyme or reason, you have to use your choice of switching gas electricity suppliers and get the best-fixed rate. Don’t let a Texas-sized price spike devastate your budget.
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