How Can I Help My Family Create an Energy-Efficient Home?

4 Fantastic Ideas for Showing Everyone How to Use Less Energy

Our recent energy efficiency series has been packed full of tips on how you can lower your home energy use and subsequently your energy bill. All of those ideas are great, but they will only help you create a more energy-efficient home if you can get your entire family on board. To assist you, we’ve assembled 4 suggestions to help convince your family that these energy-saving measures are worthwhile.

#1 Set Them Up for Success

Be the role model for your family. If you’re reading this article, that means you’re the perfect person to lead the effort in your home. You cannot expect your family to save energy if no one is inspiring change and your home isn’t set up to do so. For example, you can start things off by replacing old incandescent light bulbs with LED versions and exchanging traditional power strips with smart strips that allow for independent control of each outlet.

2 Set Clear and Achievable Goals

This requires a bit of transparency and forethought on your part, especially if you’re the only person who looks at and pays the energy bills. Talk to your family openly about the energy usage in your home, what the impact of that usage is on monthly billss, and what you hope to accomplish with your energy efficiency and conservation efforts.

That way, your family work together to create realistic usage goals everyone agrees to, as getting everyone on the same page is crucial. For example, we propose something specific like "Reduce our energy usage by 100 kWh or 10% next month" or "Lower our energy bill by $10 or 10% next month."

#3 Start Small

To achieve long-term, your family’s energy using habits must change. We recommend that you start small and focus on one task at a time. Options include:

  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Turn off electronic devices when you’re finished with them – televisions, game systems, etc.
  • Unplug small appliances when you finish with them – blenders, toasters, vacuums, etc.
  • Change the thermostat when leaving the house for a long stretch of time.

Once the basics are handled, you start focusing on the nuanced tasks like improving energy efficiency with how you cook food and do laundry, as not every member of your home completes those chores.

#4 Reward Success

Learning new habits is never easy, so it’s essential to acknowledge your family’s energy efficiency efforts. Plan a small reward when you meet each month’s goal or opt for a larger reward when you meet a 6-month or yearly goal. Whatever reward you choose, openly show your appreciation for everyone’s hard work to save energy and lower your home’s energy bill. This will also help your family maintain a thriving energy efficiency program in your home.

By heeding these 4 tips, an energy-efficient house is within your family’s grasp, but it helps when everyone in your home works together to develop energy-saving habits and create realistic goals that benefit everyone.

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