It may seem futile to try to lower your energy bills when you have kids in the house! There are always doors left open, lights left on, and water running endlessly.
After all, you may think, “the kids are not paying those bills so it doesn’t really matter to them.” If this sounds familiar and you’ve had no luck changing your kid’s behaviors, hang on. Help is on the horizon!Below, is a simple, four step plan to make all household members accountable for conserving energy:
- Help educate your kids about energy conservation. There are some great resources (like this Energy Star Kids) on the internet that are geared specifically to help teach kids why it is important to save energy and how they can get involved. There are even some games to encourage learning and taking action.
- Perform a “home energy inspection” with your kids. This worksheet will help point out ways to save energy and reinforce what the kids have just learned about conservation.
- Once your kids have a better understanding about what they can do to save energy, sit down and make a plan for your family to put some energy saving ideas into action. Writing down goals and expectations will help everyone understand their part. Have the kids make their own charts and posters and display them where everyone can see.
- Make a contest or game out of reaching your energy goals. For younger kids, reward the smaller energy conservation actions, like turning off the lights when they leave a room or turning off the television before they start another activity. For the older kids, show them last year’s utilities bills and challenge them to help lower this year’s bill. Rewards for a job well done can be anything from stickers to a family outing.