Main content

As winter blankets California with a touch of chill, it's time to think about how we can stay warm and cozy without causing a spike in our energy bills. Energy efficiency isn't just about saving money; it's also a sustainable way to reduce our environmental footprint.  Not all energy efficiency measures require spending money—in fact, it's possible to reduce your energy usage by changing a few simple habits.

Let the Sun In, Keep the Chill Out:

  • During the day, open curtains and blinds to let natural sunlight warm your home.
  • Close them at night to retain heat and add an extra layer of insulation.
  • Stuff cracks in drafty windows and doors with old, rolled up t-shirts or socks.

Layer Up Indoors:

  • Instead of cranking up the thermostat, layer up with cozy blankets and warm clothing. You'll be surprised how much you can reduce your heating expenses by embracing the comfort of sweaters and blankets.

Temperature Management:

  • Set your furnace thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (68°F) or lower, health permitting. Three to five percent more energy is used for each degree you set your furnace above 68°F.
  • When you leave the house, set your thermostat to 56°F. By turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours, you can save five to 15 percent a year on your heating bill.
  • Set your water heater thermostat at 120°F or lower to reduce the amount of energy it takes to produce and maintain your hot water by not overheating it.

Efficient Cooking:

Hang-dry laundry:

If you reside in an older home, it is unlikely that you'll be able to drastically improve your energy efficiency without incurring some costs. For households that are experiencing low-income, this financial burden is often a deterrent. For families faced with this dilemma, Spectrum's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and weatherization program can provide free assistance and make a big difference. Submit an application or contact us today to see if you're eligible!

Spectrum Community Services is committed to improving the quality of life for families experiencing low-income, seniors, and individuals in Alameda County. Through financial assistance, outreach programs, and services, our goal is to support community members in building healthy, safe, and independent lives. Visit our website for more information on our senior meals program or to download a copy or our energy assistance application.