Saving energy while staying at home: SNAP tips on cutting back your energy usage

SPOKANE, Wash. — Most of us are not just staying home right now. We’re working at home. We’re cooking at home. We’re playing at home. We’re using more electricity at home. Now probably more than ever.

And it’s likely that your whole family is playing a part in that usage.

“Sometimes you have one, two, three members of that household who are using the internet all day, leaving lights on all day and even using the toaster or other appliances that you would normally have used at work, you’re using at home now,” said SNAP spokesperson Nicole Bishop.

For those who live in low income households, it’s even more crucial to cut back.

“Especially if you’ve recently been laid off or had your hours cut because of the virus,” said Bishop. “You’re already scraping by to make it paycheck to paycheck, and now your paycheck is less or non-existent.”

According to SNAP, one of the easiest and most cost-efficient things you can do is just crank back the thermostat.

Turn it off altogether or set it at about 68 degrees.

Other ways to save energy include adjusting the temperature on your hot water tank and changing to energy-saving LED or CFL light bulbs.

SNAP tips for energy savings

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“Take some time to do an assessment of your house. Which are the lights that you turn on most frequently, that are in the most use, and swap it out so those have the LED or CFL’s and the incandescents are used on your lesser used lights,” said Bishop.

SNAP has some additional ways you can save on energy usage featured on their website.

They’re also remotely offering energy assistance appointments where you could find out if you possibly qualify for help with your energy bills.

However, Bishop said doing whatever you can now to minimize you energy usage will really help you see little to no changes come your next bill cycle.

“Take advantage of the season that we’re in right now and you could see quite a bit of savings, or at the very least, you don’t see a huge uptick in your usage,” she said.

The majority of SNAP services are still being offered remotely right now. Just call 509-456-SNAP (7627).

If you don’t reach someone right away, they said to just leave a detailed message for someone to get back to you and get you the help you need.

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