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Energy Efficiency and COVID-19's Impacts

Energy Efficiency and COVID-19's Impacts

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world, millions of people were forced to alter their everyday lives. Because of social distancing requirements, more time was spent at home—both professionally and personally. This led to a surge in at-home energy consumption, with Americans spending $6 billion more on energy usage between April and July 2020, compared to previous years.1 With this increase in energy usage and related expenditures, what are some steps consumers can take to reduce both?

  • Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Equipment
    • ENERGYSTAR® offers a variety of energy-efficient office items, such as computers, printers, and monitors, which use about half the electricity as non-efficient items. Making a switch to energy-efficient items in an at-home office space can help consumers save as much as 75 percent on their energy bills.2
       
  • Utilize Power Strips
    • With time at home increasing, particularly for those who work from home, electronic device usage rises as well. Many consumers don’t know that when an electronic device is plugged in—even when not being used—it still uses energy. It’s estimated that U.S. consumers spend over $100 a year on standby energy costs—a figure that doesn’t consider the increased at-home electronic usage.3 Utilizing power strips can help ensure that devices that aren’t in use, aren’t wasting energy.
       
  • Assess Energy Consumption Behaviors
    • Spending more time at home leads to a necessary increase in energy consumption, but that also opens the door to the possibility of increased energy wastage. To help decrease energy usage while lowering utility costs, monitor your daily energy consumption behaviors and cut out wasted usage, such as turning off the lights when leaving a room.