Energy Saving Tips for Kids… and Parents. Here are some ideas on how to save money on your heating, lighting and air conditioner bills.  

Do you find yourself constantly yelling “Who left the light on in the (fill in the blank) room?”  Do your kids complain about the cold if you attempt to keep the thermostat at a lower temperature, or the heat if you keep the air conditioner on low on a hot summer day?  Well, here are some tips to get your kids involved and invested in your energy-savings efforts, so that you can maintain a reasonable energy bill, and have a happy household too.

1.  Turn it Off.  Little things do add up, and an easy way to lower your energy bill is to make sure that people turn off everything in a room when they leave it…the TV, the computer or other electronics, and of course, any lights. In all honesty, some adults need help with remembering this too!  You can constantly remind your kids to do this, of course, but it might be easier and more effective to make a game out of it.  Offer a small reward for a week’s worth or even a few days of remembering to turn off the lights in their bedroom or the bathroom.  Choose a gift of low monetary value that is age appropriate.  Some ideas: 15 minutes later bedtime for a week; extra “screen” time; a breakfast or ice cream date with you; a “day off” from chores.

Extra Tip for Parents:  Install a countdown timer light switch in rooms that people don’t spend a lot of time in, such as a laundry room, hallway, or bathroom.  This is a “no-brainer” way for everyone to help save energy!

2.  Turn it Down (or Up!).  The universal best way to save on your heating and cooling bills is to turn down your thermostat in the winter, and turn it up in the summer.  Most sources suggest keeping your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. But if that is too big of a leap, our advice is to start slowly, and make the adjustment a little at a time.  This can have a pretty big impact on your bill. One way to motivate your family to live with a warmer or cooler house is to figure out roughly how much you are saving per month by lowering the heat, and put your savings towards something that the whole family wants to do, such asthermometer-29533_640 into a savings account for a vacation next summer.  Also encourage kids to keep their blinds and curtains in their rooms open on sunny winter days to take advantage of the heat from the sun. Likewise, keep draperies and blinds closed on warm summer days to keep the heat from the sun out.

Saving energy doesn’t have to be difficult or too much trouble, for you or your kids.  If you use just a little bit of creativity, you can make it rewarding and fun to save money your heating and cooling bills!

by See Jane Drill, Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved