Back-to-School season can be an opportunity for saving energy
by Dan Kaneko | Aug. 10, 2021
Growing up, I always had mixed feelings about the end of summer vacation. I’d feel the excitement of seeing my friends and starting a new school year but also some disappointment that my summer break was coming to an end. These days, the end of summer doesn’t affect me too much. It does, however, present an opportunity for us to save some money on our electric bills.
Adjust your thermostats
As we begin to spend less time at home, the need for home-cooling is reduced. It’s time to adjust the temperatures on our thermostats or completely turn off our air conditioners and fans when no one is home. If your kids will still be at home for distance learning, encourage them to use the air conditioner at the warmest comfortable setting or opt to use fans instead.
Shop ENERGY STAR
When purchasing a new computer, printer or other device, I try to look for the ENERGY STAR label. Appliances with the ENERGY STAR label use less energy and can save money in the long run.
Turn off or unplug unused devices
Many of us are guilty of leaving the TV on in the background or running a fan in another room. In situations like these, phantom energy can be quietly costing us money. By turning off, or better yet, unplugging unused devices, we can eliminate the possibility of this energy leak.
Don’t let the cold air out
I’ve always had a bad habit of leaving the refrigerator door open while preparing meals. To correct this, I try to take out all the ingredients I’ll need at one time, so I don’t have to open and close the door multiple times. Before walking away from the refrigerator and freezer, I always make sure the door is properly shut to prevent cold air from escaping, which would force my appliances to work harder.
Keep busy with extracurricular activities
Growing up I didn’t even realize my afterschool activities were helping to lower our home energy needs. Less time at home means less electricity is being used. For parents whose kids spend more time at home, encourage your kids to turn off the electronics and do more reading. And on the weekends, you can head outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather of Hawaii.
Set a regular (and early) bedtime
Putting my electronic devices away and turning off the lights off early makes falling asleep effortless. Setting an early bedtime not only reduces your electricity consumption, it also improves your health and mental aptitude to help you perform your best at school or work!
For educational resources on energy conservation, emergency preparedness, electrical safety, renewable energy and careers, you can visit hawaiianelectric.com/distancelearning.
Dan Kaneko is a digital communications and social media specialist at Hawaiian Electric Company.