COVID-19 has introduced many of us to a new way of life with working from home, becoming the new reality for many.
People are using more energy due to spending more time at home and school being back in session this fall; many students are experiencing virtual classrooms from their home for the very first time. As the weather turns colder and winter approaches, energy use in homes with natural gas water and/or space heating will begin to see their Washington Gas bills increase.
Fortunately, there are many ways to save energy and money even while working and learning from home. Save money and improve the comfort of your home by becoming more energy efficient with these 10 energy-saving tips from Washington Gas.
- Match Your Pots to Stoves Burners When Cooking – Using a 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner wastes more than 40% of the heat. Using the correct size burner and a lid cooks food faster, saving time and energy.
- Remove Lint from Your Dryer Before Using – According to ENERGY STAR, cleaning the lint screen before each use can save you an average of $34 a year.
- Encourage Your Family to Do Their Part – Encourage your loved ones to assist in energy-conservation practices. Start with one or two tips and then add others as the original tips become habits. For example, on cool but sunny days, open window coverings during the day to let the sun in.
- Use Less Water – Take showers instead of baths and you will use 50% less water and get cleaner faster. Also, turn off the water while brushing your teeth. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save eight gallons of water per day.
- Set Your Water Heater to 120°F – According to the Department of Energy (DOE), water heating is the second largest energy expense in today’s homes, accounting for around 13% of your overall energy usage. Moderating your maximum temperature can decrease your energy costs.
- Repair Leaky Faucets – A leaky faucet can waste gallons of water. According to ENERGY STAR, hot water leaking at a rate of one drip per second can waste up to 1,661 gallons over a year period, which could increase your energy bill by up to $35.
- Install a Smart Thermostat – Smart thermostats automatically adjust heating and cooling temperature settings in your home, resulting in more efficient heating and cooling performance and enhanced comfort. On cool days, keep the thermostat close to 68 degrees. On warm days, move it to 78 degrees. Be sure to adjust the temperature settings when you will be out of the house for an extended period of time.
- Invest in ENERGY STAR Appliances – Upgrade to ENERGY STAR certified household appliances. Appliances account for about 15% of your household’s energy consumption with refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers at the top of the list. Increase savings even further by using a Washington Gas rebate for the purchase of a new ENERGY STAR-certified natural gas clothes dryer.
- Complete a Free Online Home Energy Profile – Washington Gas offers a free online assessment to help discover your home’s cost savings potential. The personalized survey can help you understand your energy use and provide an energy ranking, savings estimate and personalized recommendations for your home. The Online Home Energy Profile takes five minutes to complete. No sign-up is required, and you’ll also find information about high-efficiency rebates available from Washington Gas. You may even qualify for a free energy savings kit!
- Save Even More Money: Get a Rebate from Washington Gas – Take advantage of these tips and save even more with high-efficiency rebates from Washington Gas. Through the Washington Gas Maryland Existing Home Program, Maryland customers can take advantage of natural gas equipment rebates. Washington Gas has made a commitment to lend extra support to residential customers in Maryland by increasing rebates for homeowners by 15% now through December 1, 2020. To qualify, eligible equipment must be purchased and installed by a qualified participating contractor in the Washington Gas EmPOWER Contractor Network. Learn more about the Maryland Washington Gas residential rebates program.