LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Many of us are spending more time at home these days using much more electricity than normal.
The Energy Information Administration estimates 10% more has been used than this time last year.
6 News is here for you with some simple changes you can make right away to save big in this week’s Money Monday.
“People are using more energy at home because home is now working as well as home and much less energy in office buildings,” said David Hoschild, chair of the California Energy Commission
The Gurny family from New York is one of those families seeing a big increase: they’re stuck at home, and both their 20-something-year-old children have returned to, what was, an empty nest.
To get some insider tips on cutting the Gurnys costs, we went straight to their power source, New York energy company, Con Edison.
Con Ed’s energy efficiency group completed what is called an energy audit, which asked a series of questions to assess the family’s power usage.
“We do recommend turning your thermostats down as much as it’s comfortable,” said Katelyn Tsukada, Con Edison’s Project Specialist.
The Gurnys make several improvements like switching from incandescent to led lightbulbs. Opting out of the dishwashers heated dry cycle and instead opening the door to airdry .
With the help from products like these wifi connected power strips and light bulbs. Using a simple app you can create on/off schedules for individual plugs.
Now another way to save money is to prevent heat loss and the way to do that is with a thermal gun, you point it at the ceiling, the walls, the doors to see where you might need weather stripping or replace insulation or even patch up cracks.
CBS tracked the Gurnys progress through Con Ed’s app, many major energy companies allow you to track your real-time usage and after four days they see some real progress.
Con Ed estimates just switching to LEDs could save the Gurnys at least $100 a year, and those smart power strips roughly $40 a year, even something small like taking the heat cycle off the dishwasher can save them $20 a year. Those three small changes will save them about $800 dollars over five years.