If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to be flexible. For many of us, there’s less driving, less working in person (or, sadly, less working at all), and more time at home. As we shift, so does our energy usage. This brave new world means powering up our home heating systems for more hours of the day; keeping our hygiene on point with more hot water for handwashing, dishes, and laundry; and possibly going to a larger, more energy-intensive Internet package.

So how to keep the utility bills from swelling as we shift? How about a few home energy projects (goodness knows, we’ve got some time on our hands) and conservation measures that will keep a lid on the bills and help maintain a little energy sanity? These steps will get you on CORE’s Path to Zero program and provide you with access to rebates that sweeten the pie.

  1. Install LED lighting.*  
  2. Snug your water heater in an insulating blanket and your hot-water pipes in pipe wrap.
  3. Program your thermostat* to match your waking hours.
  4. Change your air filter* to keep your furnace running at top efficiency.
  5. Turn off lights when windows provide enough daylight.
  6. Unplug devices from the outlet when not in use, or hook them up to an advanced power strip.
  7. Compost food scraps. Get curbside pick-up here.

*Rebates available from Holy Cross Energy (which has an instant rebate at check-out from their HCEStore) and/or CORE.