Back to school means back to energy savings

Back to school season is upon us.

Parents and kids alike both look forward to the first day of school. Some children look forward to seeing their friends every day while others are excited for the new school clothes and supplies that come with starting a new grade. Parents, on the other hand, look forward to getting a much needed break from planning full days of activity and entertainment for their little ones and settling into the routine the school year provides.

If you have kids going back to school, you’ve likely spent a good chunk of time and money finding all the items your students will need for their first day of class. You’ve probably also found that all those glue sticks, back packs, notebooks and markers can really add up.

Thankfully, having kids at school all day can lead to some energy savings at home to help offset some of those back-to-school expenses.

Here are a few tips to help:

Opt for energy efficient tech

Kindergartners probably won’t need a computer this year to write a dissertation about how to do a perfect cartwheel, but older students may require extra hardware at home. According to the Department of Energy, an Energy Star-approved monitor can save you as much 90 percent since this tends to be a device that’s on frequently. Look for the Energy Star label on all your electronics to save some energy and money.


Even if your electronic devices are considered energy efficient, they still use some energy even when not in use. Unplug things like video game consoles, iPods and laptops when no one is using them to avoid wasting energy. You could save 5 to 10 percent on your total household electricity bill.

Adjust the temperature at home

Now that the kids are away during the day, you can raise your thermostat a bit when it’s warm outside and lower it a few degrees when it’s cooler out. These adjustments can save 4 to 8 percent on your cooling or heating bill with each degree you change it.

Preparing for the school year can cost a pretty penny, but these energy saving tips can help you stay on budget.

Information from Black Hills Energy's Keeping Energy Affordable blog
August 2017