Why should you care about saving energy?
Because you are the future, and you have a lot more power than you may realize. You have the ability to help your parents save energy and money in your home. You can learn the effects that your every day life has on your family’s energy use. And if you help out enough, you just might be rewarded!
Conservation or efficiency?
There are two ways to save energy: conservation and efficiency. What is the difference? With conservation, if you use less you get less. By turning your thermostat to a lower setting you will get less heat and you will use less energy. With efficiency, you use less but get the same or more; like using a compact fluorescent bulb.
What is a watt, a kilowatt and a kilowatt-hour?
No, this isn’t the name of a new video game, but it does measure the amount of energy your video game uses! Your parents pay for electricity based on how many kilowatt-hours your family uses. Let’s break it down:
Watt: All devices require a specific amount of wattage to operate properly. Example: a small space heater requires about 1,000 watts.
Kilowatt: Basic unit of electrical power. A kilowatt equals 1,000 watts. Example: The small space heater above requires 1 kilowatt
Kilowatt-hour (kWh): One kilowatt of power used for one hour equals one kilowatt-hour. Example: the space heater mentioned above, left on for one hour uses 1 kilowatt-hour. At 10 cents per kWh, that heater costs $2.40 per day and $72 per month if on continuously.
So how can you help?
There are so many easy ways kids like you can help save energy! Turn lights off when you are not in the room, don’t keep the refrigerator door open too long and talk to your parents about being more energy efficient. Try the challenges on this page, and check out the cool websites that are listed below.
Take the water-saving challenge!
Behind heating and cooling, water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. You can help by reducing your use! Start by reducing the time you spend taking a shower by keeping it to five minutes or less. Since you probably don’t have a clock in your shower, listen to a song to keep track of time! The average song is 3-4 minutes long, so pick your two favorites. When the second song is half over, it is time to get out!
Be an Energy Star!
Help your parents shop for energy-saving appliances! Look for the Energy Star® label on things like refrigerators, dishwashers and TVs.
Keep your cool and don’t overheat!
Ask your parents to keep the thermostat at 68 degrees in the winter, and put on more layers of clothes if you get chilly. In the summer keep it at 78 degrees. Conserving energy by adjusting your thermostat will save energy and money!
Turn it off and unplug it!
When you are done with a light, TV, stereo or anything else that uses electricity, turn it off to save energy. Better yet, also unplug appliances that suck energy like a vampire! Did you know you may have vampires in your home? No, not the kind you see on movies and TV, but energy vampires. An energy vampire is a device that uses electricity when turned off but still plugged in an outlet, like a charger or DVR. You can rid your home of energy vampires by unplugging these devices when you are not using them, or plug them into a power strip and turn it off when not in use.
Check out these cool websites!