Texas hot temperatures mean increased use of air conditioners and with the kids getting home from school, there are ways we can empower our kids to conserve electricity. ERCOT (The Electric Reliability Council of Texas) – the masterminds over the stat’s electric grid are urging conservation throughout the weekend to conserve electricity from 3 pm to 7 pm.
So how can we help the kids conserve when they come home from school? How can we teach kids to conserve year round?
TXU Energy has provided some great after school tips for kids on conserving energy.
A few good ideas right now include:
– After school snacks may be popular when it’s hot, don’t leave the refrigerator door open too long searching for snacks.
– If you have a DVR, set the DVR before your kiddos get home from school to record their favorite shows – so they can watch them after 7 p.m.
– Focus on homework instead of tackling the X-Box or gaming stations until after 7 p.m.
– If homework or other household activities require PCs and the Internet, use the battery power of your laptop (if you have one) versus having it plugged into the wall.
– If your kids come home sweaty after playtime, athletics, or other outdoor activities, hold off on showering or bathing until 7 if you can… because your AC has to push the steam from the shower out of your home.
– The same goes with the heat and humidity of stovetop cooking… In terms of dinner, think about something cold like sandwiches – or use your microwave or grill out to avoid heating up the kitchen and adding humidity that will make your A/C continue cycling to cool back down…
Other things around the house that might help you conserve between 3 and 7 p.m. include:
– While you’re at home, set your thermostat to 75 or 78 if you can stand it, and to 85 or higher when you’re away.
– Turn off lights and ceiling fans in rooms you’re not using.
– Be sure your fireplace damper is shut and sealed – you don’t want your cold air flying up the chimney.
– Unplug your phone chargers, digital picture frames and other appliances that may hold a charge
– Use a smart strip for your home entertainment systems and PC setups so that the only things that truly stay “plugged in” when they’re not in use are the always-on items needed like your DVR or your modem or fax machine.
– When you replace light bulbs, replace them with CFLs. They use a lot less energy.
– Use a programmable thermostat to set your temperatures lower when you’re away and while you’re sleeping – and see a forecast of your cooling costs BEFORE you get your bill.
– If you’re a TXU Energy customer, check out your personalized TXU Energy MyEnergy Dashboard. It forecasts your whole home energy use and provides day-to-day updates on how much energy you’ve used so far in your billing cycle AND a forecast of what your bill will be by the end of the month. This gives you time to dial back your usage to save money before you get your bill.
TXU Energy has provided kids with a new home energy audit. Developed by the National Energy Education Development Project, it offers good lessons for kids about how you and your home consumes energy. It’s available for free at www.txu.com/kidspower. Check it out today!
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