Make time to save money

Energy efficiency projects that'll take you only 15 minutes

clockWho has time to save energy? You’re a busy person, we get that. If you spent your life thinking about energy efficiency, well, you’d probably be working for us. But even though you might not have 40 hours a week to spend noodling over ways to save energy, there’s still lots you can do in less time than it takes you to brew a pot of coffee.

Below are a few different ways you can make your home more energy efficient using whatever time you’ve got. Today’s three projects take just five minutes, but could help you see big energy savings.

Project 1: Lightbulb inventory

Answer quick: How many lightbulbs are in your home right now? If you don’t know, that’s OK, but we do want you to check every bulb with two questions in mind:

  • Is it frequently left on when no one’s around?
  • Is it an LED or incandescent?

If the answer to the first question is “yes,” then unplug the lamp at the socket, leave a sticky note on the switch, put your lights on a timer, or find some other way to remind yourself — and your family — to turn the light off when there’s no one around. This ain’t a riddle: If a bulb lights a room and nobody’s around to see, it still costs you money.

As for the second? It’s no secret that we’re fans of energy efficient, ENERGY STAR® LED bulbs. And with POWER MOVES® rebates of up to $7.50 per bulb (not to exceed the purchase price), you will be too. We recommend you prioritize changing the lights you use most — like bulbs in the kitchen or bathroom — but you’d better act before Dec. 31. The rebate amount will drop in 2017!

Project 2: I spy, with my little eye, energy inefficiency

Remember when your parents used to tell you “Shut the front door, we’re not paying to cool down the whole neighborhood!”? Well, guess what — you might be. Poorly sealed windows and doors are one of the most common ways to lose out on energy efficiency.

If your entry door sticks or you see light shining through the cracks, a few simple adjustments can help. To repair a door that sticks, it may be as easy as removing the dirt buildup, and tightening the hinges. And, if you feel a draft or see light shining through your door, check and repair the caulk and weather-stripping. These easy DIY changes will reduce your energy bill and help keep your home at a steady temperature.

Project 3: Slay the vampires

Beware the vampires! Energy vampires, that is — those appliances and electronics that use energy even when they’re not in use (we’re looking at you, laptops). So try this project out for a while and see how you do: Five minutes before you leave the house each morning, unplug any appliance or electronic device that isn’t in use. Even if you don’t get to every single one, unplugging a few vampires for an extra eight hours each day can add up fast.

That should get you started! But we hope seeing how easy it can be to save a little extra energy each month will encourage you to come up with your own creative ways.

For more energy saving tips, or to get more information about our rebate programs, visit or contact your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor.