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Top 10 back to school energy savings

Washington Energy | 09/03/2015 | Posted in Tank water heaters, Tankless water heaters

Summer is a time of blowing fans, air conditioning, and the continuous opening of the fridge—especially when the kids are home. The back to school season is a great time to get your energy efficiency back on track. The following tips will help you take advantage of the emptier (and we’re guessing, quieter) house once the kids are back in school.


Be in hot water

Is your water heater up to the challenge of multiple, concurrent showers? Getting ready for school and work can put a strain on an old or undersized water heater—making showers chilly. If your water heater is nearing ten years old, it may be time for an energy-efficient upgrade from Washington Energy. Check out our standard and tankless water heaters and ensure your fall mornings aren’t starting colder than they need to.

Stay warm at the right time

You hate wasting energy, but you also don’t want to return to a cold home. The answer is simple: set it and forget it. Honeywell’s thermostats are sleek, smart, and can provide major savings on your energy bills—up to 15%. Set the thermostat to drop the temperature during the day, raise it right before you or the kids get home, and reap the rewards all season long.

Inspect your heating

Speaking of heat, it’s a good idea to get your furnace inspected by a professional before you start using it in full force. A Precision Tune-Up will make sure it stays running smoothly during the back to school season and beyond.


Don’t let the cold out

The back to school season means the return of early morning lunch prep. When you’re making lunches, grab everything you need out of the refrigerator at one time and be sure to shut the door. Leaving the door open, even for short periods of time, can waste a surprising amount of energy.

Remember to unplug

It sounds spooky, but “vampire power” is very real. It’s the energy loss that comes from devices you’re not using, but still have plugged in. Think hair dryers, fans, and video game consoles. Get your family in the habit of unplugging devices before school and work to combat this creepy (and costly) phenomenon.

Close the blinds

If you find your home is too hot or too cold – a culprit might be your windows. Closing your blinds or curtains can mitigate cold air or block hot rays of sunshine.

Don’t let a drip drain your wallet

Be sure to fix faucet leaks, drips and running toilets as soon as possible. If you’re unsure of the overall state of your plumbing, consider a plumbing inspection, which will identify these costly problems.

Time your lighting

Always forgetting to turn off the porch light? How about the living room lamp before bed? As the days get shorter, it’s a great time to program your lights to a timer. You can set them to illuminate at homework time and turn off for bedtime.

Have a backup (generator) plan

Do you have a plan for power loss during an ice or windstorm? A Ggenerac backup generator from WES ensures life goes on without skipping a beat. Homework is done, meals can be cooked, and the family stays warm.

home energy audit

Know where you stand

The first day of school is a great time to maximize your home’s energy efficiency before fall and winter set in. A home energy audit gives you the knowledge and information you need for improvement, including:

  • Customized color report detailing audit results
  • Prioritized list of opportunities to improve home’s performance
  • Tips to improve indoor air quality
  • Utility savings modeling on home
  • Detailed breakdown of available incentives and rebates

While saying goodbye to summer can be tough, the back to school season is a fresh start and an exciting time for everyone. With additional energy savings, back to school can be economical as well.

4 Responses to “Top 10 back to school energy savings”

    • Washington Energy

      We would recommend following the suggestions of the World Health Organization and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If your tank has a mixing valve, set that to 120 degrees and your tank to 140 degrees. This ensures the water in the tank is hot enough to kill any bio-contaminants and the mixing valve will prevent scalds at the point of use. If there is no mixing valve, 120 degrees or higher is recommended, but you could scald yourself at the point of use if it is set too high. If children or the elderly are in the home, scalds would be of a higher concern.

  • Angela Durbin

    thank you for your tips. They have been very useful and successful. The timers on the lights where do you get those or what are they called looked at Home Depot and Lowes but no luck

    • Washington Energy

      Hi Angela! Lots of options are available – some high tech some low tech. These are sold at Lowe’s and Home Depot. Most likely near the electrical section. Ask an associate for help if you’re not having much luck. Amazon also sells them. Here is a list of timers good for indoor lighting: http://goo.gl/kuDqPd.

      If you wanted to go high-tech, there are many options that can be controlled from your smartphone. Try WeMo: http://goo.gl/CpzWiC


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