Reducing your power bill as you work from home or the kids are out of school

Reducing your power bill as you work from home or the kids are out of school

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Your power bill could be much larger this month, particularly if you have multiple people working from home - coupled with kids no longer in school. You could be using more energy than usual this time of year. So, we’ve compiled a few ways to cut down the next bill.

We’re all plugged in. Cell phone’s charging. Streaming a must! Home offices set up, with Zooming, common. In fact, we zoomed with Dominion Energy to find out how to save you money.

It’s Matthew Adams with Dominion Energy’s job to teach people how to keep their energy bills low. He’s an energy assistance outreach administrator, and he too is working from home.

“There will be an increase in bills, a lot more people in the home, a lot more energy being used," said Adams.

Nearly half of your total energy costs go to heating and cooling your home. Anything you can do to reduce the amount of time your heat or A/C is running can save you a lot of money.

“When it’s weather appropriate, turn the A/C or heater off. Open up some windows. Let in some natural sunlight. If it’s cooler, keep the windows shut. But open the curtains and let the sunlight come in and warm up the room. Maybe put on a hoodie instead of turning up the heat,” said Adams.

Change your filters every three months, or more if needed. Make sure there is nothing blocking an air vent.

If you are working from home plugin everything to a surge protector. Computers, lights, and especially charging devices. Turn off the surge protector when you’re not using it because chargers - including the one for your cell phone - are constantly sucking energy.

“It’s actually using a surprising amount of energy. The way that those charging devices are designed. They will actually drain and pull electricity through them even when you’re not actually charging a device,” added Adams.

If your kids are home, try limiting their amount of screen time, whether it is TV, games devices or Ipads.

And if you can, don’t use the oven all the time.

“If it’s warm outside try grilling or using a slow cooker. The slow cooker uses the same amount of energy as a light bulb. And of course, the grill doesn’t really use any energy at all,” said Adams.

Turn out lights when you aren’t using them, even your LED lights.

And limit the amount of time you run your hot water. Your water and your power bill will thank you.

Dominion has suspended all disconnects during the crisis, but you still want to pay what you can and not get too far behind on your bill.

If you are having trouble paying, reach out to 211 and try to get help through the energy share program.

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