WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW)— As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many students are completing their schooling online at home full time, or a few days a week. In addition, many parents are still working from home as well, which results in more electricity use during the day.
Officials with Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) said customers can manage their energy costs and improve their energy efficiency during this "work at home" period. It starts with looking at what appliances and devices you leave plugged in that you may not need all the time.
A good way to manage that is via a power strip. You can turn it off and it stops devices from drawing energy while they're not in use. This is known as phantom power draining and it is avoidable.
Another simple way to improve costs is minimizing the amount of times you open your refrigerator, according to WPS Spokesperson Matt Cullen. He said on average we open our refrigerators around 33 times per day, which cause the compressor to work harder to keep the inside of the fridge cool.
As the work and schooling from home progresses into the winter, customers should also prepare for monitoring heating units. A tune up may be necessary and bringing out a professional inspector can also help.
LED light bulbs are also 75% more efficient than a standard bulb according to Cullen, so changing bulbs can be a low cost way to improve energy efficiency.