Saving Energy in Every Room in the House

text by

Hawaii Energy

photo by

Josiah Kekoanui Patterson

As we all spend more time at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you may be wondering about increased electricity costs. The good news is there are ways to keep your electricity bill under control. Here are a few to keep in mind around the house.


Limit opening the fridge. Every time you open the fridge, it has to work harder to cool things back down.

Don’t set the refrigerator colder than necessary. Between 37-40°F is best for the fridge, and 0-5°F for the freezer.

Use this time to get creative with small appliances, like slow and pressure cookers, toaster ovens, or even the microwave. These use significantly less energy than a stove/oven, and often cook your meals a lot faster! Don’t peek in the oven unless it’s necessary. Every time you peek, the temperature drops 25°F and the oven uses twice the energy to reheat. Only run the dishwasher with full loads of dishes. Unplug appliances that are not being used. Even when they're off, they still drain energy if plugged in.

Use a lid when cooking food or boiling water.


While you can, take advantage of the tradewinds or fans over air conditioning to cool down. If AC is necessary, use the timer function so you're not using it more than you need, especially overnight. Bonus points if you are using an ENERGY STAR® certified model!

Don't leave your phone plugged in overnight. It only takes a few hours to charge.


Shorten your showers to 5 minutes or less. Not only will you reduce your energy bill, you’ll save on your water bill too!

Use a high-efficiency shower head – it’s a good way to use less hot water without sacrificing on comfort. Look for the WaterSense® label when you shop!

Add aerators to your sink faucets.

Check your lighting – vanity mirrors and overhead lighting in the bathroom often get overlooked as places to save money with LEDs.

Home Office

Set your computer for energy savings by checking your sleep and standby settings.

Minimize your gadgets and unplug everything you're not using.

Open blinds and use natural light when possible.

Living Room      

Enable energy-saving modes for your electronics such as your TV and your video game console. Use fans and open windows to create a cross- breeze. If you have to run AC, make sure your windows and doors are closed.

Use advanced power strips to shut off power to outlets when electronics aren’t in use.

Don’t use game consoles to stream your TV shows. They can use up to 15x more energy than digital media players such as Roku and Apple TV.

Switch to LED lights. They are 5x more efficient and last 25x longer than incandescent bulbs.


If a second fridge or freezer is necessary, make sure it’s ENERGY STAR®.

Set your water heater to 120°F. Any hotter is a waste of energy.

Laundry Room

Wash full loads of clothes in cold water.

Hang dry your laundry. You can do this even in a small space with foldable racks!

If a dryer is necessary, make sure it is ENERGY STAR® certified.