Football season and fall go together like…well, football season and fall. The gridiron is a big deal whether you’re rooting for a high school, college, or pro team (or, most likely, all three).
You don’t have to be a pro to know that every big game needs a playbook, especially when you’re planning a game day party. Putting on an epic party doesn’t have to cost you lots of energy or money — at least not when you invite your pals from PSO (hint, hint). Here’s five pro tips to kick off your savings:
1. Turn down the heater
Most football games are in the fall and winter, when you’re using the heater to stay warm. However, if you’re throwing a party then you’ve already got a built-in heater — a group of pumped-up, passionate fans. When you’ve got a bunch of people in one room you can save some energy by lowering the thermostat a few degrees.
2. Cook for your party, not the O-Line
You’re probably cooking for a few buddies, not your favorite team’s offensive line. So take that into consideration when planning your menu. You’ll not only avoid wasting food, you’ll also save on the energy used to cook it. If you’re using your oven to cook some tasty treats, be sure not to peek – opening the oven door can drop the temperature inside and cause your oven to work harder and use more energy.
3. Turn off other electronic devices
The TV will be the big draw for a couple of hours, which means your computers can be turned off and electronics don’t need to charge. Also, remember to turn off the lights in rooms without people.
4. Upgrade your TV
Speaking of TVs, this might be the season you upgrade your big-screen to an ENERGY STAR®-certified one. Besides making you feel like you’re actually in the stadium, these TVs also save on average 25% more electricity than conventional models. Save even more and plug in with an ADVANCED Power Strip, which comes with instant savings from us.
5. Don’t leave the refrigerator or freezer open
Whether you’re prepping snacks, or have lots of hands grabbing drinks from the fridge, keep the door shut as much as you can. Just like your oven, it takes much more electricity to maintain the temperature with the door open. Stock a cooler instead!
*BONUS* Tailgating Tips!
Actually going to the game? Nice! Most tailgate parties don’t use a lot of electricity anyway (given you’re not at home), however they can consume other sources of energy. Here are some ways to plan a sustainable tailgate party:
The most important tip of all? Invite us! Just kidding…kinda. Whatever your sport, score savings with tips from us!
Many parts of 2020 won’t stand the test of time (e.g. Tiger King binge-sessions) but working from home is here to stay. Sure, some people are back in the office, but many have switched to working from home full time or even to a hybrid model.
Whether you’re clocking in from your couch or only working from home twice a week, you’re probably using more electricity now than you would otherwise given the increased time you’re spending at your abode.
Let us help. Here are some tips to set up your home office to boost productivity and save energy.
1. Use a laptop
You don’t have to spend a lot to save a lot. In fact, switching to LED lightbulbs is one of the smartest and simplest upgrades you can make. Just think about it: Your aveLaptops use up to 90% less energy than desktop computers. Best part? You can work from bed (just be sure to change your Zoom background). If you have to use a desktop, be sure to shut it off if you’re away for two hours or more. Starting your computer up uses less energy than leaving it idle all the time.
2. Plug into an ADVANCED power strip
Bad news: Even if you power down your computer or other electronic devices, they’re still draining energy. It may not be Halloween yet, but these “Energy Vampires” suck up energy all year long. So switch to an ADVANCED Power Strip, which helps keep energy vampires from draining your bill and comes with an instant rebate up to $14 from us.
3. Don’t print documents
Do trees a favor: Read documents on your computer instead of printing them. Not only does this cut down on paper (and your office supply bill for that matter), it also uses less electricity as you’re not powering your printer as much.
4. Be bright about lights
Don’t want to work in the dark? We don’t blame you, especially since it looks really weird on video calls. However, leaving your overhead lights on is super inefficient. What to do? Open your blinds to use the solar system’s largest lantern, the sun. Or use task-lighting, such as lamps, to only light what you need to see, not the whole room. Whatever you’re using for light, be sure you make the switch to energy-efficient LEDs, which come with instant rebates from us.
Watts are brilliant little creatures. Tiny balls of energy that power our lights, appliances, electronics, and more. The Watts are also a fun and easy way to teach your kids how to save energy.
When it comes to reducing your overall energy use and saving extra money, all energy efficiency upgrades are awesome. But if you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, there are some upgrades that just can’t be beat.
So whether you’re new to saving energy and need advice, want to boost your home’s resale value, or are moving into a new home and want to start smart, make these five upgrades so your home can make the grade!
Switch to LEDs
You don’t have to spend a lot to save a lot. In fact, switching to LED lightbulbs is one of the smartest and simplest upgrades you can make. Just think about it: Your average LED bulb uses 75-90% less energy than an incandescent bulb. Now multiply those savings by every lightbulb in your house and your savings can really stack up. Save even more with instant rebates from us for up to $2/bulb!
Upgrade your HVAC
Your home’s biggest energy user is likely your HVAC. This is especially true in Oklahoma, where our winters are cold, our summers are hot, and the weather can change its mind at the drop of a hat. So basically, your HVAC is getting a workout all year long. By switching out your old unit for an ENERGY STAR®-certified one, you can save up to 40% per year on cooling costs. And with PSO rebates up to $800, upgrading your HVAC is one of the biggest and best investments you can make.
Install extra ceiling fans
There’s a reason we’re big fans of fans — they can help you save a lot of energy. Before turning down the A/C in the summer or turning up the heater in the winter, try switching your fan’s spin instead. Set your fan to spin counterclockwise in the summer to push cold air down, and switch it to clockwise in the winter to pull cold air up and push warm air down. If you don’t adjust your thermostat, ceiling fans can save up to 8% on your home’s energy use. So if you’re looking for a great investment, look up—ceiling fans are tops!
Consider a heat pump water heater
Most home’s second-biggest energy user? The water heater. If you’re using an old water heater, chances are you’re paying to heat your water around the clock. Talk about inefficient. No wonder water heaters account for nearly 20% of your home’s energy use. Yikes! A heat pump water heater doesn’t generate heat like a normal water heater, but instead moves heat from one place to another, saving you up to 63% more energy per year. Save an extra $500 with a rebate from us!
Be wiser about electronics
You’d be amazed how much electricity your electronics are using just by sitting idle. They’re called “energy vampires” because most electronics continue to pull electricity even when they’re not in use. You could unplug your electronics, but a lot of times that’s impractical. We recommend switching to ENERGY STAR®-certified home electronics, which can use up to 30% less energy than normal electronics. You can also change out your old power strips for ADVANCED Power Strips, which stop your electronics from draining electricity when they’re not in use (and come with instant rebates worth up to $14.).
The sun has been the most energy-efficient power source in the solar system for about 4.6 billion years running! Clean and renewable energy sources like solar and wind are becoming increasingly popular, which is great for the environment, but you may be wondering “how does it work?”
We’re glad you asked. The decision to install a home solar panel system depends on several factors — all unique to your individual situation. But here are some key considerations that apply across the board to help you get started:
1. You’ll likely still be connected to the electric grid
Your solar panel system can’t operate independently of the electric grid unless it’s specifically designed to provide backup power. If there’s limited-to-no sunlight, you’ll need to be connected to the grid to get electricity. Also, most solar panels shut off during power outages as a safety precaution.
2. You could be compensated.
You can be compensated for the excess energy your solar panels generate that your home doesn’t immediately use. The compensation rate is set by regulators and current rates can be viewed online. Essentially, the extra electricity your solar panels generate is used to power other sources, which we’ll pay you for—but only if that power goes to the grid.
3. Your home may direct your decision to install solar panels.
Installing solar panels isn’t as simple as installing a satellite. Here are some things to consider: Are you planning on selling your home in the next few years? Solar panels are like an in-ground pool; some people love them and some people hate them. If you decide to take your panels with you, you’ll need a professional to do it. Speaking of professionals, be sure to hire one to inspect your roof first to make sure it’s ready for panels. Certain characteristics of your home, like how steep your roof is, may impact your ability to install solar panels. Also, consider the condition of your roof. If you need roof work in the near future, it may make sense to complete repairs first to avoid taking panels down after installation. Finally, check with your home insurance agent to see how solar panels may affect your premium.
4. You could save money—but how much?
There are many variables to consider, such as weather conditions, your household’s electricity use, the efficiency of your home, and future changes to electricity rates. Be sure to calculate your up-front costs, monthly payments, and potential savings. When you purchase a solar panel system, you pay upfront to install the panels, but you may be able to take advantage of state and federal tax credits. Keep in mind that you’ll also be responsible for maintenance and repairs. It’s a lot to consider — crunch the numbers with our solar calculator to see if it makes sense for your family.
Regardless of how you power your home, consider making energy-efficient upgrades to ensure you’re not paying for wasted energy. An efficient home is the first step in reducing your energy needs and helping to power a cleaner energy future!
As with most big home purchases, there are many things to consider. For more information on solar, check out our helpful solar power guide for homeowners.