A group of device chargers plugged into a power bar
Credit: iStock

Maximize natural light

Open curtains and blinds in the evening and while reading or doing tasks to make use of the long daylight hours instead of turning on lights. Angle blinds upwards in direct sunlight to deflect heat outside.

Unplug unused gadgets

Check each room – including the basement and garage – for electrical devices that are not in use, such as space heaters, clock radios or old TVs and computers. If they are still plugged in, they are drawing standby power for no good reason.

Manage your mobile devices

Though mobile phones, smart watches, tablets and portable speakers comprise a small share of most households’ energy usage, you can prolong their battery life and not always be reaching for the charger with the help of these good energy habits:

  • Turn off devices or set in standby mode when not in use. (Sounds simple, but not many of us do it.) Also, remember to quit apps you’re no longer using.
  • Unplug chargers that are not in use. They draw standby power. If you have multiple chargers and devices, plug them all into a power strip that can be turned off.
  • Reduce screen brightness and timeout intervals and/or activate power-saving mode.
  • Stream on a tablet instead of a smart TV or game console. Generally speaking, the smaller the screen, the less power it uses. So when you’re the only one watching, think about viewing entertainment streaming services such as Netflix on a mobile device.
  • Consider getting a portable charger that will extend your device’s battery life when you’re in the backyard or camping. It may also come in handy in the case of an outage.