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Spending more time indoors and at home doesn’t have to mean a higher electric bill.  Here’s a list of six ways to start using less energy when spending more time indoors. 

SmartHub 

Use SmartHub to manage your energy usage and take the guesswork out of your bill. SmartHub is San Isabel Electric’s account management app. SmartHub’s Budget Gauge tool allows you to setup a target monthly budget amount, and using your daily usage data, allows you to analyze where you are relative to that budget target, to help keep you on track and on budget. A slider lets you vary the target monthly budget amount, to see how your bill will be affected if you use more or less electricity. The Energy Explorer tool allows you to compare energy use over time, down to the hour, and against weather data. Tracking your energy use like this lets you see if you’re using more energy than usual and empowers you to make adjustments if necessary. If you don’t already have a SmartHub account, download the app from your smartphone’s app store or go to siea.com/smarthub from a computer. For detailed how-to SmartHub directions go to siea.com/smarthub.

 

Unplug 

Unplug everything you’re not using at the momentLook for energy vampire gadgets that are sucking electricity even while you’re not using them such as printers, wall gadget chargers, TVs, extra monitors, extra computers, gaming systems, coffee pots—look for things that have standby lights that indicate something is still sucking electricity even though you’re not using it, and leave it unplugged until you need it.   

 

Minimize gadgets 

Okay, so unplugging everything you’re not using, and plugging it back in when you’re ready isn’t practical for everyone. Try minimizing the number of gadgets you leave on. Do you and your family really need to have two televisions, a computer, three tabletsfive smart phones and two gaming systems to get you through the day? Think about the gadgets and electronics you and your family absolutely need for the day, power-down the ones you don’t need and store them in a place out of sight if possible 

 

Work or play outside 

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean staying indoors. Getting outdoors can do great things for your health. Studies show spending time outdoors can boost your immune system, reduce stress and lower your blood pressure. If the weather is nice, work or play outside while maintaining proper social distancing from anyone who doesn’t live in your home, of course.  Try bringing your work-from-home setup outside,  have the kids take a break from electronics for a few hours, get some fresh air, catch some sunbeams and keep productivity up.  

 

Open the curtains 

Whether you’re working from home or keeping the kids entertained, hang out in the area of your house that receives the most natural light. Hanging out or working from places with poor natural light requires using more electricity to see what you’re doing. Throwback the curtains, pull-up the shades and let as much natural light pour into your living space as possible. It can brighten the room and natural light has also been shown to brighten the mood.  

 

Avoid using the oven 

Using the oven when it’s already warm outside, creates excess heat indoors, which may cause you to use extra electricity to expel that heat from your home, using air conditioning or fans. Try cooking on the stove, using the microwave or grilling outside instead. When the weather is nice, put your grill to use. During summer months, cooking outdoors is a great way to save energy and eliminate unwanted heat from cooking indoors. 

 

San Isabel Electric has always and will continue to work with the member-owners experiencing financial hardships. 

Members who have outstanding bills, who are laid off, furloughed or are having a difficult time paying their bills are encouraged to continue paying bills as they can, to avoid accumulating high balances due. Members who have balances will have the option to be put on a payment arrangement plan. 

For a list of payment methods check out siea.com/WaystoPay. If you are experiencing financial hardship and need to make alternative payment arrangements, please call 719-547-2160, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or email us at contactus@siea.com.

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As a not-for-profit cooperative utility, San Isabel Electric provides affordable, reliable electricity with exceptional service to communities throughout southern Colorado. Serving nearly 20,000 member-owners and 24,000 meters, San Isabel Electric has been keeping the lights on since 1938. We don’t just serve communities. We are part of communities.