One Savvy Mom ™ | NYC Area Mom Blog: Tips For Teaching Kids How To Conserve Energy + How to Save BIG on Your Electric and Gas Bill

Tips For Teaching Kids How To Conserve Energy + How to Save BIG on Your Electric and Gas Bill

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IGS Energy. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I was shopping around for my first apartment, I can still remember being taken aback by the utilities. While I knew that I would most likely be responsible for electricity, and possibly gas (depending on the property) -  I really didn't know just how much to expect those monthly bills to ring in at.  It was a huge learning curve for me! In all honesty, when I was alone, I preferred as much light as possible (think stadium style lighting!). I fell asleep most nights with the radio or television on, and it played throughout the night. I also had a tendency to leave my computer on, and everything plugged in, at all times. To say that these costly habits started to add up, is the understatement of the century. 

Fast forward 15 years, and my mindset has definitely changed! It was a difficult learning curve for me, and one that I would prefer my children to be prepared for, from the start. Kids learn so quickly, so teach them young! Not only will it help you save big on your utility bills, it will save them dearly in the future when they first set out on their own. 

Read on for our top tips for teaching kids how to conserve energy + additional ways that you can save BIG on your electric and gas bill.

1. Swap it out - Swap out bulbs in high traffic areas of your home (family rooms, hallways, bathrooms etc.) with LED bulbs. Of course, you want to teach the kids to turn off the lights in the room or hallway, when they leave the area. However, as we know, kids will be kids! They won't always remember, so be prepared by having LED bulbs in place to ensure that even when they forget to turn out the lights, they will be consuming far less energy than average bulbs. 

2. Set it and forget it - Like a lot of kids, my children had a tendency to leave a light on in their rooms at night, and sometimes, even during the day too. Not a small nightlight, a larger lamp. While we swapped out our bulbs for low energy bulbs a while back - when the lights are left on for a long period of time, it still adds up quickly! So, we set up timers on their lamps. They come on at dusk, and shut off 1 hour after their set bedtime.  This is a solution that has definitely worked well for us in our home.

3. Make it a game with fun incentives: Kids LOVE games, and they tend to love incentives even more-so. So make a game out of it, and reward them for their efforts! Start by laying out the rules clearly. Tell the kids that you'd like for them to help conserve energy by making an effort to turn out the lights in areas that aren't in use / when they leave the room or area. Have them unplug their devices when not in use / when they've been fully charged. Next, tell them that you're keeping track of their efforts with the monthly energy bill. When the bill comes in, compare and contrast usage from the previous month(s), and discuss ways that you can cut down even more! Last, as a family make a plan for a fun way to use some or all of your energy savings, on a fun activity or vacation.For example, make a plan for a night out at the movies, or add your savings to a large jar each month (or account) to save up for a bigger outing / family vacation. Fun rewards are a great motivational tool, for kids and adults alike!

These are some easy ways to get the kids involved in energy conservation in your home. Another great way to potentially save BIG on your energy bill is to shop around for the best rates on natural gas and electric supply products through an independent supplier. 

Many approved states now offer customers the ability to purchase electricity and natural gas from an independent supplier, such as IGS Energy. Consumers are no longer tied to the singular option of the their utility provider. 

Want to know a little more? Here are some great facts to get you started on finding the right supplier for you.

Energy Choice is a program approved in certain states where customers are able to purchase electricity and natural gas from an independent energy supplier – these are considered “deregulated states.” Traditionally electric and natural gas consumers did not have a choice as to who supplied their energy; the local utility served all the residents within that territory. Today, however, Energy Choice programs allow eligible customers to shop around and choose an electric/natural gas supplier that best suits their needs. That supplier may be the utility, or one of the many suppliers licensed to market in the consumer’s area.

What is the difference between a utility and a supplier?
In areas where this energy choice (sometimes referred to as energy competition) is allowed, the utility is responsible for maintaining and repairing the infrastructure of the poles, pipes, and wires that will still deliver electricity and natural gas to consumers.
A supplier, on the other hand, is a company that sells the energy that the utility delivers. Suppliers compete in an open marketplace by offering a variety of services and incentives, and consumers chose those that most appeal to them and best meet their energy needs. Suppliers have more options to purchase the energy more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Basically, the bottom line is:
SUPPLIER: Obtains sources of energy for you and delivers it to the utility
UTILITY: Delivers your energy to your home or business no matter who your supplier is

Who is IGS Energy?
Just like you choose to purchase the latest Smartphone from or and the U.S. Postal Service delivers it to your home, in a deregulated market, you can choose an independent supplier (like IGS Energy) to purchase your electricity and natural gas on the open market, deliver it to your utility, and your utility delivers it to your home (or business).

You may also choose to remain with the utility whose rate often fluctuates with market conditions – meaning their rates are variable and move up and down at various times of the year. The benefit of an independent supplier like IGS Energy is that you can lock in rates at today’s low rates for the longer team and have the peace of mind that if rates jump around, yours remains steady. Suppliers are also able to offer other options such as longer-term fixed rates, flat bills, or green energy products.
Serving over one million customers, IGS Energy is one of the largest independent suppliers of natural gas and electricity in the country. They also offer a wide range of home protection products to help customers protect their budgets against costly repairs of the utility lines that keep their home running smoothly, that most people don’t know are their own responsibility.

Still have questions? Visit IGS Companies community support for more on finding the right energy supplier for you. 

How do you conserve energy in your home? Have any fun tips or tricks? I'm always on the lookout for money saving tips - please share them in a comment below!
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