Each year welcomes a fresh start, an opportunity to set future goals, and the challenge of keeping new resolutions. Watch as members of one family challenged themselves to make small changes in their energy use over the course of seven days in the hopes of becoming more energy efficient and saving a little on their monthly bill.

Are you up for the challenge? Here are seven tips to get you started on your own “Energy Saver Challenge”: 
  1. Adjust or Program Your Thermostat: The best setting is the lowest temperature at which your family is comfortable. Heading out for a few hours? Adjust your thermostat a couple degrees down. 
  2. Layer Up: Instead of cranking up the thermostat, consider throwing on some extra layers (like a pair of comfy socks) or snuggle under a blanket. 
  3. Use Energy-efficient Bulbs: Replace your bulbs with ENERGY STAR® qualified LEDs. ENERGY STAR LEDs use up to 66% less energy and last 24 times longer than traditional bulbs. Also, be sure to turn the lights off when you leave a room. 
  4. Fuller Loads, Better Savings: Run only full loads in the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer. Partial loads waste water and energy.
  5. Open Blinds or Curtains During the Day, and Close Them at Night: Opening your blinds during the day helps warm your home and closing them at night keeps heat in.
  6. Use More Natural Light: Sunlight can help reduce the need to use lights in your home. 
  7. Unplug Energy Vampires: Even when they aren't switched to the "on" position, energy vampires – TVs, laptops, cellphones, chargers and even coffee makers – are slowly draining electricity. As simple as it sounds, unplug these devices when you’re not using them.

    To download the Duke Energy app and track your usage, click here.