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Below are the best seven ways to reduce your energy usage for springtime, starting this month. The key is to find a balance between being comfortable and being mindful. Learn more by visiting

  1. Lower your thermostat. If possible, set your thermostat to no warmer than 68°F (in Winter!) The U.S. Department of Energy says you could save about 1% on heating usage for every degree you lower your thermostat over an eight-hour period. Even 70 instead of 72 can make a difference.
  2. Better yet, consider getting a Smart Thermostat. Smart thermostats are great because they learn your habits and adjust automatically, reducing energy usage when you’re not home or in a different room. You can also adjust the heat in your home remotely.
  3. When cooking, smaller is better. When it comes to appliances and cookware, you want to try and go small. So that means toaster ovens and microwaves instead of the oven and stove. And with longer days, perhaps consider grilling occasionally. It consumes almost no energy and is a great way to bring the family together.
  4. Keep your (fridge) cool. Be decisive when getting something out of the fridge. Repeatedly opening the fridge or freezer drives up your fridge’s energy usage. And when storing food, covering liquids will prevent humidity from building up inside the fridge, so it’ll take less energy to keep your fridge cool.
  5. Check your air vents regularly. The air in your home should be distributed effectively. If something is obstructing the vents, it can make the system work harder, thus using more energy.
  6. Use natural light. Open the windows facing the sun to let natural light in. Use translucent curtains to maintain privacy and create diffused lighting. Sunlight can not only provide light but also warm your home on chilly mornings and boost your mood!
  7. Run fewer, full loads. You’ll want to run fewer, larger loads of dishes and laundry rather than more, smaller loads. Do back-to-back loads, whenever possible, to take advantage of the heat buildup and energy use.

BONUS TIP: One thing to also consider. Since Pennsylvania is an electricity choice state, you don’t have to settle for the one price fits all the utilities offer. Instead, you have many choices. Many companies, like NRG, offer a variety of electricity plans that suit a family’s lifestyle and electricity usage, including fixed price plans that allow customers to lock-in their supply price for a set period, which can protect them from potential unpredictable energy price hikes and other factors. Some plans offer smart thermostats. Others offer renewable energy, which can basically offer many of the benefits of solar or wind, without having solar panels on your roof.