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Back to School Smartly with 6 Money and Energy Saving Tips

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It is that time of year again when new sitcoms are advertised on TV and malls are packed with parents and kids getting ready for the upcoming school year…new clothes, school supplies and maybe a new laptop or refrigerator for that school dorm. In the spirit of prepping for back-to-school we’ve gathered a few money and energy saving tips for you.


With kids off to kindergarten, college or any grade in between and the house suddenly empty, here are a few money and energy saving tips to keep in mind.

Increase your thermostat a few degrees
With fewer people in the house during the day raising your thermostat a few degrees makes great sense. A programmable thermostat makes this even easier, just program it to be a bit warmer during those hours when no one is at home and set it to start cooling about half hour before everyone comes back home. You most likely will not even notice the difference and the rule of thumb is that for every degree you allow the temperature to increase, you can save 4-8% on your cooling bill. Once temperatures start dropping and you switch to heating your house, reverse the process and set your house to be cooler during the day and at night.

Keep blinds and curtains closed during the daytime
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, blocking out the sun’s rays also works to decrease the amount of heat that will get trapped in your home.

Buy an Energy Star rated mini refrigerator
It may come as a surprise but the compact fridge ranks number one as the most power hungry device in a student’s life. Buying an Energy Star rated refrigerator will help ensure you keep this power hungry device to minimum levels. Most of all, avoid buying an old mini-fridge on craigslist, those are almost guaranteed to be energy hogs.Energy Star Computer

Stick to Energy Star rated computer products
Energy Star computers, scanners and printers use up to 65% less energy than unrated new products. For monitors, the savings can reach 90% because of requirements to power them down to “sleep-mode” when not in use. Assuming a monitor is used eight hours per day for eight months, that’s easily $15 per year saved, and Energy Star monitors aren’t necessarily more expensive. 

Check for cheaper electric rates
If you live in one of the States that has retail electric choice you could save money by switching who provides your electricity. With summer behind us, the rates providers offer are dropping and you could save you 10-15% on your electric bill. For those of you who live in New York or Maryland check us out at and compare offers available in your area.

Switch out those old incandescent light bulbs
Old incandescent light bulbs waste heat, lots and lots of it. Energy Star fixtures and light bulbs use 75 percent less electricity than unrated models and last 6 times longer. They don’t produce less light, just less heat and save about $6/year in electricity costs.

What are your money energy or money saving tips for back to school we would love to hear about it. Just let us know in the comment section below.

By Norma Jean Autry

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