Tips for managing energy use during COVID-19

Posted on May 05 2020 in Bartholomew County REMC

As American families and businesses transition to remote work, they may see a surge in home energy use — and in upcoming electric bills. Simple money-saving steps can help lower monthly electric bills without jeopardizing safety or comfort. 

“America’s electric cooperatives understand the increased financial hardships facing families and businesses due to the economic impact of COVID-19,” Courtney Metzger, chief executive officer of Bartholomew County REMC. “While many electric cooperatives have suspended disconnections for non-payment and are waiving late fees, consumers will still be responsible for those bills when the pandemic has passed. It’s important for families to be mindful of their energy use and consider adjusting certain habits to avoid higher costs later on. 

Recommended energy-saving tips include: 

  • Program your thermostat to maximize energy savings. Setting your thermostat one degree lower when heating or one degree higher when cooling can reduce energy use by up to 5%.  
  • Do full loads of laundry and wash with cold water. Using warm water instead of hot can cut a load’s energy use in half, and using cold water will save even more. 
  • Cook in the microwave when possible. Cooking in the microwave, toaster oven, or slow cooker, instead of the oven, can reduce electrical usage for cooking by 30-80%.
  • Air dry dishes. This step can cut your dishwasher’s energy use by up to 50%. 
  • Substitute LEDs for conventional light bulbs. Lighting can amount to up to 12% of monthly energy use. LED bulbs can cut lighting costs by 75%. For discounts on light bulbs, go to and click on discount lighting. 
  • Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. Small appliances and electronics use energy even when not in use. When powered on, game consoles, televisions and similar electronics are responsible for up to 12% of energy use. 

For more energy efficiency tips, go to