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Welcome to the Senior Resource Connect blog. You can visit the blog each Wednesday at 10am for the latest information about aging, caregiving, COVID, and local resources.

Cutting Energy Costs

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January 10th is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. It’s still early to tell for 2023, but some are projecting that energy costs will decrease by as much as 11%, while others believe that energy costs will continue to rise. We can take matters into our own hands and make small changes to help lower our energy bills.  

Weatherizing your home 

Auditing appliances 

Electricity usage 

  • Turn off lights and other devices (e.g., TVs) in rooms you’re not using.  
  • Don’t leave devices on standby (e.g., computers, charging cables) if they’re plugged into the wall.  
  • Take it a step further and unplug devices you’re not using. This is called “vampire power” because the electronics are still leeching electricity even when they’re turned off. An easy way to do this is to purchase surge protectors/power strips that you can just switch off instead of having to unplug everything manually.  
  • Check with your utility company to see if they offer discounts for using energy at off-peak times when fewer people are using energy.  

Easier said than done 

  • See if you can consolidate laundry so you’re only washing when you have a full load of dirty clothes and cutting down on the times you run the washer and dryer. Also, wash in cold water whenever possible.  
  • Take shorter showers so you use less water over time.  
  • Turn your thermostat down a degree or two so it lowers energy consumption but (hopefully) won’t feel as drastic for you.  
  • Instead of reaching for the thermostat, put on a warm layer such as a hat or a sweater and see if that helps.  

Check out the Senior Resource Connect Resource Directory to learn about utility assistance programs in your area. See below for a great primer on DTE assistance programs

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