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Save a Watt Advanced Activity

Save a Watt Advanced Activity

Need a raise in your allowance? Here’s a great way to get one, and it won’t cost your parents anything extra: Just get them to agree to pay you the difference if you can reduce your family’s energy use. This activity will take three months to complete.

Ask your family to commit to saving energy for three months. (Some energy-saving tips are listed on the right; your local energy utility can provide others.)

Keep your energy bills for those three months, and compare your energy use to what your family used during the same months of the prior year. Some utilities provide last year’s usage on your current bill for you to compare. If the information is not on the bill, ask your parents for last year’s energy bills or call your energy company and ask for the information.

Create a graph to illustrate the difference between how much energy you used during the three-month period in the prior year and the current year.

Energy Saving Tips:

  • Bundle up on cold winter days instead of turning the heat way up.
  • Close doors and windows when your heater or air conditioning is running.
  • Wash only full loads of clothes and dishes. Take shorter showers.
  • Turn off lights, TVs, computers, and other small appliances when not in use.
  • Set heating at 68° or lower by day and 55°by night.
  • Set cooling at 78° or higher when you’re home, 85° when you’re away.
  • When shopping for new light bulbs, appliances, and electronics, look for the ENERGY STAR® label.
  • Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to reduce hot water use.
This Year Kilowatt Hours (or Therms) Used Price per Kilowatt Hour (or Therm)
Month 1
Month 2
Month 3
Energy Star logo
Last Year Kilowatt Hours (or Therms) Used Price per Kilowatt Hour (or Therm)
Month 1
Month 2
Month 3

If energy rates increased since the prior year, your bill may be higher, but energy saved will still show up in fewer kWh or therms used. Multiply the number of kWh or therms you saved by the current cost per kWh or therm, and ask your parents to pass the dollar savings on to you!

Note: If this year’s energy-saving efforts did not reduce your energy usage compared to the prior year, try to identify factors that may have caused more or less energy use during each of the months you are studying (such as hotter or colder weather, extra overnight guests, vacations, adding appliances or landscaping, and changing work or school schedules.)