Think Big. Start Small. Energy Hacks
Check out these simple energy hacks to increase energy efficiency, reduce your carbon footprint and lower costs.
Explore these simple, cost-effective hacks you can easily employ whether you own or rent
- Electric appliances and electronics, large and small, become less energy efficient as they age. And newer versions are designed to use less energy. Start by making a list of older appliances and electronics that you want or need to replace, create a budget, and do a little surfing on the Web to find the best deals.
- Most electric appliances and electronics come with a label that includes the amount of energy each requires to operate. Energy.gov provides a guide to calculate the amount of energy an item uses, and to identify the most power-hungry. Take PGE’s free 5-minute energy checkup to discover your home’s biggest electricity gobblers.
- Anything that plugs in should be on your list—from your fridge, clothes washer and dryer, vacuum cleaner, electric heater, air purifier, toaster oven, coffee pot, electric kettle and microwave oven to your TVs, tablets, radios, computers and lamps that come with built-in bulbs.
- Use power strips for electronics whenever you can and unplug them when not in use. NOTE: if you want your internet modem to stay on around the clock, make sure to plug it into the wall rather than a power strip connected to other electronics. Be aware that unplugging your TV may require a re-sign-in to some streaming services and may not record programs while unplugged.
- Now here are a couple back-to-basics recommendations—turn off lights when you leave a room and set timers for outdoor lighting. Whether gas or electric, keep thermostats set at a comfortable, yet conservative level. Take a lesson from Goldie Locks and find a temp that’s juuuuuuust right. To control costs, word has it that the temperature should be set to not exceed the high side—say 68. And air cooling (if you have it) should be set at 72 or a little higher, depending on the outside temperature in your area.
- As much as you can, begin the switch to electric appliances as well as mechanical systems for water and space heating/cooling, air filtration and ventilation, for example. Electricity is the only source of power that can be generated with renewable resources.
- Invest in an electric induction cooktop, whether portable or installed. Watch our demo of the portable version on Instagram. Test one out for free with PGE’s Induction Cooktop Loaner program.
- Refrigerators tend to become less energy efficient after 10 years of use. In the meantime, check to make sure it’s sealing properly. Sometimes gunk can build up in the seal and needs to be gently cleaned.