Energy Conservation Tips While You Stay Home to Stay Healthy

On April 2, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee extended the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order through May 4, 2020. This decision was made to protect Washingtonians and ensure we are working together to flatten the curve. The City of Seattle has many resources for those that are financially impacted by COVID-19 including utility bill assistance and new unemployment eligibility.

With most of us now spending more time in our homes, it’s important to be mindful of our electricity usage.

General Tips

  • Turn off lights and use as much natural light as possible. This will not only save electricity, but the sunshine is good for you, too!
  • Use efficient heating and cooling practices. Put on a sweater or slippers before turning up the heat, and open a window before turning on fans. You can also save energy by only heating or cooling the room you’re in.
  • Beware of phantom loads. Many electronics draw power even when they are switched off, which could add an extra 10% to your monthly utility bill. Unplug devices when you aren’t using them. You also can use smart power strips that have features like timers and activity monitors that make it easy to save energy.
  • Stream content on the smallest device that makes sense for the number of people watching. Avoid streaming on game consoles, which can use 10 times more power than a tablet or laptop. Streaming content with electronic equipment that has earned ENERGY STAR certification will use 25%–30% less energy than standard equipment.

Telecommuting

Telecommuting often has large environmental benefits including cutting down on carbon emissions from commute travel. However, working from home can increase your home’s current electricity consumption. The following tips can help you save energy when using computers, office equipment, and electronics while working from home:

  • Turn off computers and other equipment when they aren’t in use.
  • Use power management settings on computers and monitors, which will send your equipment into low-power “sleep modes” after periods of inactivity. Avoid using screen savers. Smart power strips can prevent peripheral electronics from drawing energy when they aren’t being used.
  • Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged, or the chargers are not in use.

If you have found ways to conserve at home, we want to hear from you. We’re all in this together, so let us know on Twitter or Facebook!