April 28, 2020

How to Reduce Energy Consumption During COVID-19

close up image of hands putting dishes in dishwasher

For millions around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has mostly been spent at home as a way to protect the health of our families, friends, as well as the brave frontline workers in our communities. Even though spending more time at home may make the crisis feel distant, or even make us feel like we’re not doing enough to help, the truth is that staying home and staying a healthy distance from others is a helpful way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In fact, according to the CDC, it’s not just helpful—it’s essential to our collective health [1].

Since so many of our houses and domestic spaces are getting maximum use right now, it’s likely we’re also using more energy in the process, perhaps without even noticing. We’re cooking and cleaning more, doing more laundry, and running lights and appliances more often.

To help you manage this increase in energy consumption, we’ve put together some easy tips for how to make your home more energy efficient—without sacrificing the routines that make you healthy and happy. These tips can also help keep your energy bill in check. Let’s keep sharing what we know to lift each other up as we unite for the health of this and future generations.


Tips for Reducing Home Energy Use:


All-Purpose Tips:

  • Turn off lights in empty rooms and (when possible) use energy-efficient LED lightbulbs. As parents know, this can be a tough one for kids to remember. Consider making an energy-saving checklist that you keep posted somewhere at home.
    • During the day, try turning off the lights and letting natural light work its magic.
  • Adjust heating and cooling systems to use less energy during sleeping hours.
  • Wash dishes in your dishwasher, which typically use less water than hand washing. Though it may feel counter-intuitive, an ENERGY-STAR rated dishwasher can cycle using as little as 3 gallons of water, often far less than washing by hand [2].
  • Regularly clean heating and cooling filters so air can pass through most efficiently.
  • When using the oven, resist the urge to constantly open the door, which quickly lowers the temperature and uses more energy. Embrace the oven light when you have to have a peek!
  • Set your fridge according to the manufacturer’s suggested temperature. Keeping your fridge colder than needed uses extra energy.
  • Since most electronic devices fully charge within a few hours, avoid charging overnight.


Laundry Focused Tips:

  • Wash full loads of laundry to reduce your overall number of loads, and wash in cold water to save energy. Most laundry formulas work well in any water temperature and cold water washing cuts back on energy use.[3] However, the CDC recommends washing in the warmest water possible if someone in your house is feeling sick [4].
  • Empty your lint tray/basket after each cycle to keep your dryer running efficiently [5].
  • Try our concentrated laundry detergent, which comes in a smaller bottle that uses 60% less plastic than our 100oz bottle to produce. Seventh Generation EasyDose Ultra-Concentrated Laundry Detergent has a self-dosing mechanism that measures you the right amount every time, helping you minimize over-dosing detergent and get the most out of each bottle.


If you’re curious to learn even more energy saving tips, our friends at VPIRG have compiled some amazing resources well worth exploring.

As you and your family navigate the COVID-19 crisis, we urge you to stay up on the CDC guidelines for how to stay safe, as well as how to clean and disinfect homes to increase prevention. As we always have, we will keep standing united with you for a healthy today—and a healthier future for the next seven generations.


[1] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

[2] https://www.nrdc.org/stories/9-tricks-save-tons-water

[3] https://coldwatersaves.org/

[4] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/disinfecting-your-home.html

[5] https://www.today.com/series/how-often-should-you/how-often-you-should-clean-your-dryer-right-way-do-t77396