Back to School Energy-Saving Tips

August 22nd, 2016

Back to school

Summer has officially ended for many kids this morning as they head back to school. When they board the bus, or use that shiny new license, you may notice your home is empty (or emptier) during the day. Don’t fret – the opportunities to save money on your electric bill have grown tremendously! Use these tips to save energy at home this semester.

Increase your thermostat a few degrees

Many of you across the country have been battling this heat wave. Now with fewer people in your household during the day, you can set your thermostat to be a bit warmer during those hours. Even better – a programmable thermostat makes things easier. A half hour before everyone returns in the evening, you can begin cooling your home by just a few degrees. In the winter, reverse the process and set your home to be cooler during the day.

Unplug unused devices

Many devices will still consume power when plugged in, such as iPods, laptops and especially video game consoles. Make it a habit to unplug unused items and you will see a significant decrease in your energy bill.

Use a smart power strip

Another alternative is the smart power strip. These hubs ensure that electricity isn’t drawn from electronics and appliances that aren’t in use. If you’re a Duquesne Light customer, you can receive a FREE Energy Efficiency Kit and Online Energy Audit for your home! The kit contains compact fluorescent light bulbs, nightlights and a Smart Strip (surge protector with power controls). The energy audit will also help you learn how to cut your energy bill by giving you a detailed analysis of your home energy use. Visit to learn more or contact your utility company to ask about a free energy kit!

Keep blinds and curtains closed

Blocking out the sun will eliminate unnecessary rays that are getting trapped inside and warming up your home.

Be energy smart when using your fridge

If you are preparing lunches for the kids, take out all the food you will need and close the fridge door. Constantly opening and closing it forces your fridge to work overtime to keep a consistent temperature, which results in high energy use.

Understand your energy cost and usage

Knowing how much electricity your household appliances use can help you better manage your overall energy and control your electric bill. If you are a FirstEnergy customer, visit their website for a complete brochure of electricity usage and costs. You can also check with your utility company for time-based rates. Electricity costs vary by time of day, and daylight rates are generally more expensive. Depending on your provider, you will likely benefit from using appliances, such as a washer/dryer and dishwasher, during the evening.

Sending the kids back to school can mean a lot of changes around the household. Don’t forget to make energy saving part of your daily routine. Using these tips can help you save money, which you might consider donating to Dollar Energy Fund so that we can help families who can’t afford basic utility services.

Sources:, Duquesne Light, FirstEnergy

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