Are You Wasting Energy at Home?

By John Voket

With inevitably higher energy consumption for most of the country in winter, the energy experts at Eversource are reminding consumers that it’s also a great time of year to assess ways to better manage energy use to save money and protect our planet.

Eversource isn’t just talking about turning off the lights or taking shorter showers. They’ve identified three of the biggest silent energy-suckers:

Flip a bigger switch. Most common appliances, from your microwave and TV to your computer and game console, continue to draw power from electrical outlets even when you’ve turned them off. According to Eversource, you can save as much as $150 a year by simply unplugging each appliance when it’s not in use. Or, use a power strip so that you can power down multiple appliances all at once by flipping a switch.

Think ‘smart’ thermostat. With big temperature swings from season to season, it’s time to consider setting your thermostat to a lower temperature while you’re out of the house or heading to bed. You can stay in better control of your home’s overall temperature with a smart WiFi thermostat. You’ll be able to access your thermostat controls right on your phone and set the temperature to your liking for any time of day.

Wrap your water heater. has identified water heaters as the second-highest energy vampire in any home, and its usage tends to rise as you use more hot water during colder months. Make a difference by installing insulation around the tank and surrounding pipes. Reducing heat loss can save 7 to 16 percent in water heating costs per year. If you’re ready to replace your aging unit, Eversource notes that heat pump water heaters can save two to three times more energy than conventional electric models.

John Voket is a contributing editor to RISMedia.