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It’s an odd time for us all. Whether you’re still going into work every day, working from home, or laid off during this historic epidemic, you’re no doubt spending more time than average at home and indoors.

While the boredom and isolation are bad enough on their own, that much extra time spent indoors is bound to raise your electric bill. Thankfully, we have some tips to help you reduce your energy use during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Slay the Electricity Vampires

This one is simple, but sometimes tough to remember: unplug anything you’re not using. Standby power on appliances you aren’t using accounts for up to 10% of your average energy use–that’s a LOT of wasted energy! And remember, hot water uses electricity, too. Reduce the energy used to run your water heater by taking shorter showers and turning off the water when you brush your teeth, shave, or wash your hands.

Turn Off Unnecessary Lights

As you’re home more often, it might feel like you need lights on all the time. Utilize natural light where you can. If your home doesn’t have the best lighting, strategically placed mirrors can help. Task lighting might also be a good solution. Ceiling lights and lamps use a lot of energy. Especially if you work from home or are trying out a new hobby, install track lighting in your workspace.

Manage Temperatures

Especially in Minnesota, Spring temps fluctuate from day-to-day. Lowering the thermostat by just a few degrees saves you big in the long run. On warm days, utilize the warmth and fresh air by opening the windows and shutting off the heat.

In your fridge, the temperature should be around 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer should be around zero. Any lower and you’re wasting energy. Remember, when we’re bored, we tend to take unnecessary trips to the fridge, opening and closing the door more often than necessary. Be mindful of this and try to break the habit.

Wash Full Loads Only

It’s important to stay busy while you’re bored. There are many ways to stay busy, with hobbies, DIY projects, and cleaning tasks you have put off. Be sure to wait to run that load of laundry or dishes until you have a full load. Otherwise, you waste water and electricity.

Speaking of laundry, if you have a newer model washing machine, you don’t need to run your clothes through hot water each time. Colder loads will save energy and clean your clothes just as well.  When drying, utilize the spring breeze when you can instead of running the dryer and hang your clothes outside or on a drying rack. When you do run the dryer, don’t mix heavy materials like towels with lighter fabrics, or your load will take longer to dry. Adding an already dry towel to the load will speed the drying process still further.

This is an unprecedented time for us. Nies Electric has proudly served the St. Cloud community for over 30 years, and we hope to continue to do so for years to come. Please stay safe, stay home when you can, and should you have an electrical issue, call the experts. We’re happy to help.