Rules of Thumb for Lighter Home Energy Use

Rachel Ashley

Four actions to reduce your home energy footprint

Originally published in May 2020. Revised Oct 2020.

One of the most tangible ways we use energy in our daily lives is to heat, cool, light, and power our homes. Home energy use accounts for at least 20% of the United States' overall emissions.

Lowering our home carbon footprint is often not that hard, and can be a significant potential source of financial savings. Join a home energy challenge in Joro to see your impact add up. Here are our top 3 tips:

Step 1: Opt into renewable energy.

If your home and location allow it, switching to solar could not only be the single most impactful action you could take, but it could also save you money over time. Websites like Energy Sage allow you to compare options for solar near you.

For those of us who rent or live in cold, grey areas, never fear! There’s an option for us too. Most utilities offer an option to purchase clean energy instead of power from fossil fuels.

Go to your utility’s website, or check your city or state for local options and community choice aggregators that offer consumers clean energy (see this list or this list for ideas). It’s often as simple as pushing a button.


Step 2: Join Joro’s home energy challenges

One of the most tangible ways we use energy in our daily lives is to heat, cool, light, and power our homes. Download Joro and join one of our in app home energy challenges to save on home energy and build a new sustainable habit.


Power Down Challenge

Did you know that Idle devices use up to 23% of total home energy use, costing Americans up to $19 billion per year? Unplugging your devices will reduce your energy consumption. An average American could improve their carbon footprint by ~2% and save $165 per household each year (Source: NRDC).

Adjust Thermostat Challenge

Did you know that space heating and cooling accounts for nearly half of residential energy use? Adjusting your thermostat by 3℉ could save about 1050 pounds of CO2e per year, the equivalent of driving for 21 hours! An average American could improve their carbon footprint by ~1.5% and save up to $100 per household each year (Source: US EIA, DOE).

Step 3: Stagger your energy usage.

Most households and small businesses use two-thirds of their electricity during off-peak hours. Typically this falls before 4:00pm or after 9:00pm, any day of the week. If your utilities provider offers an option to purchase clean energy, it’s a good idea to try to stagger your energy use to tap into the cleanest energy available. But in any case, you’ll save on your utility bills by avoiding the peak.

credit: Ohmconnect


Step 4: Sign up for an energy demand alert service like Ohmconnect.

If you live in California, Texas, or Ontario, Canada, OhmConnect is a free service that will alert you to use less energy when electricity is most expensive. if you live in other geographies Find out more here.


Let us know how you plan to improve your home energy usage in 2020!

Develop your climate action practice.

A climate action practice is the daily exercise of bringing awareness and intention to reduce the carbon emissions within your control.

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