Stretch Your Dollar: Tips to save on your energy bill

Stretch Your Dollar

(ABC News)– We’re all spending more time at home these days, using way more energy than normal. We are stretching your dollar with tips to save on those soaring bills.

School, work and play. It’s all happening at home these days which means your electricity meter is on overdrive

“People are using more energy at home because home is now work as well as home, and much less energy in office buildings,” said David Hochschild, Chair, 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.

ABC News talked to New York energy company, Con Edison, with these tips to help them save. Con Ed’s energy efficiency group completing what is called an ‘energy audit’ asking 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, Project Specialist.

Armed with tips, the Gurny’s make several improvements like switching from incandescent to led lightbulbs, opting out of the dishwasher’s heated dry cycle and instead opening the door to air-dry. The Gurny’s also eliminate phantom power, items plugged in that aren’t in use, 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.

ABC News tracked the Gurny’s 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 Gurny’s at least 100 bucks a year and those smart power strips roughly 40 bucks a year, even something small like taking the heat cycle off the dishwasher can save them 20 dollars a year. Those three small changes will save them about 800 dollars over five years.

Little changes that can add up to big savings over the course of a year.

Remember on these warm days … draw those shades up to get some natural warmth into your home.

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