April 2020 | Home Energy & What You Can Do

In this post, we read, listen, act, and reflect on April's topic: home energy. This article has been adapted from our sustainability newsletter, so please sign up for it to stay in the loop.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

What’s covered:

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Read: Positive energy only

Here are some energy facts. It's the perfect month to think about your home energy consumption, since, like me, you're reading this at home! Quarantiny changes; huge outcomes.

Now that we're all home during the day, let's do our laundry in the morning!

Listen: Mind Games

Natalie picked "The Big Turnoff", a really interesting fact-loaded 30-minute podcast on behavior change and energy, hosted by Lirio. I learned a lot about how behavioral science interventions drive huge energy savings. Listen to the podcast below, and you'll finally understand my sneaky experiment with today's subject line. As always, highlights are below!

Play Episode: The Big Turnoff

Act: I'll tell you exactly what to do to save energy!

Social impact and sustainability often comes with more questions than answers, but in this week's ACT module on Energy, I. Have. Answers.

I'm going to tell you how energy is used in your home and give you some super duper easy ways to reduce carbon emissions from the comfort of your too-comfy bed (confession: that's where I am now).

Easiest change ever.

We can sit on our butts and get a lot done. Ever thought you'd hear that motto for change?

There are four main ways we can reduce carbon emissions that stem from our home’s energy use: being more energy efficient, going renewable, electrifying, and shifting when we use energy.

Natalie Zandt, founder of MeterLeader and co-creator of this month's Changeletter, has a longer version of the actions we cover below on her blog.

1) Become more energy efficient

Here are some tips organized by a rough breakdown of how much of your home energy it'll address.

2) Go Renewable - Most utilities give you a "green energy rate" you can opt into - a much easier step than installing solar panels.

3) Electrify - Here's a 7-step guide to electrifying your home. #PandemicProjects

4) Change when you use energy - Do your laundry in the daytime when there's more renewable electricity on the grid. Catch up on what we covered two weeks ago!

When will my reflection show how much home energy I use?

  1. Sign up for MeterLeader's Earth Day Home Energy Challenge if you're a PG&E customer! It starts TODAY and I'm waiting for you on the leaderboard. I'll be competing against you for the $100 prize. If you're reading this after April 2020, you can still sign up for other challenges on their website.

  2. Reflect on the power of individual actions. This newsletter has almost 700 subscribers at the time of this article. The average California home uses ~6,000 kWh of electricity per year. If each of us made small changes like turning off our thermostat when we don't need it, we could easily save a LOT of energy - enough to power a home for a year.

  3. Start a conversation. On our Instagram Live with Natalie Zandt, MeterLeader CEO, we talked about how we humans really care about what other people think - one simple way to make an impact is to just start a discussion on climate change. This Earth Day, ask your friends and family how they think about sustainability!

Finally, here's a little recap you can take with you on your home energy saving journey.