Tuesday, October 19

Making Smart Energy Choices While in Quarantine

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The coronavirus public health crisis has impacted almost every aspect of American life. From work and school to meals and entertainment, Tennesseans are spending more time at home than ever before.

The kids are playing video games when they would normally be at school, and you are cooking meals at home when you might otherwise eat out. With this extra activity, many families will see a surge in home energy use — and in upcoming electric bills.

“Sometimes we all need a good reminder — the more energy you use, the higher your electric bill will be,” said David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Some families are already feeling financial pressure because of the pandemic, and we don’t want anyone to be surprised by an energy bill that is higher than expected.”

Electric co-ops encourage Tennesseans to take small actions now to prevent higher bills down the road.

“These are simple money-saving steps you can take today to lower monthly electric bills without sacrificing safety or comfort,” said Callis.

Visit tnelectric.org/efficiency for even more tips to save energy and money.

Small actions to save big money


Program your thermostat to maximize energy savings.

Setting your thermostat 1 degree lower when heating or 1 degree higher when cooling can reduce energy use by up to 5 percent.

Do full loads of laundry and wash with cold water.

Using warm water instead of hot can cut a load’s energy use in half, and using cold water will save even more.

Air-dry dishes.

Stopping your dishwasher before the heated drying cycle kicks in can cut your dishwasher’s energy use by up to 50 percent.

Substitute LEDs for conventional lightbulbs.

Lighting can amount to up to 12 percent of monthly energy use. LED bulbs can cut lighting costs by 75 percent.

Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use.

Small appliances and electronics use energy even when not in use. When powered on, game consoles, televisions and similar electronics are responsible for up to 12 percent of energy use.


About Author

Trent Scott serves as vice president of corporate strategy for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. In this role, he coordinates the corporate communication efforts of TECA and The Tennessee Magazine and provides assistance to member utilities. Trent holds an undergraduate degree in marketing from Freed-Hardeman University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee. Trent and his wife, Suzanne, have two children and live in Henderson.

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