Back to school means back to energy savings

I love back-to-school time.

I mean LOVE it.

Even as a kid, I would count down the days until school started again and then would lie in bed, wide awake, too excited ...

Tagged: back to school, save energy, school supplies

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Back to school means back to energy savings

Preteen points to drawing of light bulb on a chalkboard

What I don’t remember is how much everything costs. All those glue sticks, back packs and markers can really add up. Thankfully, having the kids at school all day might lead to some energy savings at home to help offset some of those expenses.

Key Points

  • Back to school expenses can add up, but energy savings can help offset them.
  • After the kids are away at school all day, a few changes at home can save energy.
  • Opt for energy efficient tech, unplug unused devices and adjust the temp while kids are away.

I love back-to-school time.

I mean LOVE it.

Even as a kid, I would count down the days until school started again and then would lie in bed, wide awake, too excited to sleep the night before the first day.

And now that my kids are in school, I get to buy school supplies again and even go sit in a tiny desk for kindergarten orientation.

It’s just as much fun as I remember.

What I don’t remember is how much everything costs. All those glue sticks, back packs and markers can really add up.

Thankfully, having the kids at school all day might lead to some energy savings at home to help offset some of those expenses.

 Here are a few tips to help:

Opt for energy efficient tech

My kindergartener probably won’t need a computer this year to write her dissertation about how to do a perfect cartwheel. But older students might start to require extra hardware at home — like printers and computers. According to the Department of Energy, an Energy Star-approved monitor can save you as much 90 percent since this tends to be a device that’s on frequently. Check for the Energy Star label on all your electronics to save some energy and money.

Unplug

Even if all your electronic devices are considered energy efficient, they still use some energy even when not in use. Unplug things like video game consoles, iPods and laptops when no one is using them to avoid wasting energy. You could save 5-10 percent on your total household electricity bill.

Adjust the temp at home

Now that the kids are away during the day, you can raise your thermostat a bit when it’s warm outside and lower it a few degrees when it’s cooler out. You can save 4-8 percent on your cooling or heating with each degree you change it.

Now go ahead and get yourself a few new, freshly sharpened No. 2 pencil. You know you want to.


Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned a degree in political science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the governor’s office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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