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Relax! Easy ways to kick back and save in your living room

Welcome to the Energy Expert series. Join Cherie, your smart energy advocate, as she takes you through her home, exploring the many ways you can become an energy expert with the help of Smartmart and energy efficiency programs available through your local utility.

Your living room is often reserved for low-energy activity. After all, this is where you come to relax after a long day or to socialize with friends or family. While you’re getting cozy, consider that there may be a lot more energy flowing through the living room than you realize.

Electronics and Lighting

Keep in mind that your home electronics may be wasting small amounts of energy, even when they appear to be turned off. This is known as phantom power usage, and you can use a smart power strip to cut down on this wasted energy. The smart power strip cuts power to the devices plugged into it when they are not being used.

Also consider upgrading to energy-efficient electronics. ENERGY STAR certified televisions are, on average, 25 percent more energy efficient than conventional models. And the ENERGY STAR can also be found on a variety of home computers, including desktops, integrated desktops, notebook or laptop computers, as well as printers, scanners and all-in-one devices. You can also use your computer’s power management features to optimize your savings.

Energy-efficient lighting can also make a big impact on your energy savings in the living room. LEDs are about 90 percent more efficient than standard bulbs, as well as more durable and environmentally friendly. Plus, they’re offered in a variety of color and brightness options to maximize the ambiance and comfort of your living room. Check out our previous post on LED lighting, which includes information about upgrading, purchasing tips and tools to search for instant discounts.

Take control of your comfort

Upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat can allow you to save extra energy and money while maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home. Programmable thermostats allow you to pre-set temperatures so that you’re not wasting energy by heating or cooling the home when no one is there. You can even take greater control over your home comfort by upgrading to a smart thermostat, offering more advanced features like occupancy sensors, auto scheduling, history reports or control from your smart devices.

We’re here to help

Check out the Connected Home Plan available on this site, offering an ecobee smart thermostat and HVAC Performance Monitoring Service to identify potential performance issues throughout the home. In addition, FirstEnergy’s utilities offer conservation kits that include LED light bulbs and other energy-saving measures for the home, as well as additional energy-saving programs to help you make your living room a low-energy oasis. Visit your state’s energy efficiency page to get started. Ohio customers | Pennsylvania customers | Maryland customers | West Virginia customers