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by Share Brandt

The Kilowatt-hour Challenge

Take on the Kilowatt-hour (kWh) Challenge this January and reduce the number of kWh you use by taking actions to conserve electricity. Get the whole family involved to come up with creative ways to save. Here is how you get started.

Beginning with your December electric bill, log the number of kWh you used during the month. Some co-ops do this for you on the bill by showing your annual kWh on a bar graph for each month. You can divide by the number of days in the month for daily use; then consider the time of year and how your usage varies month-to-month based on the weather (e.g. air conditioning in summer, electric heat in winter).

Take Action!

Now some ideas to save, first the obvious: Turn off lights, TV, and/or computer when you leave the room. If you are using electric heat, save by turning the thermostat down in winter and up in summer. Remember, using an electric space heater to warm the area nearest you only drives up your electric bill. If you still have the 20-year-old refrigerator running to keep a few beverages cold, empty it and shut it down. Unplug that digital photo frame when you are not viewing the pictures!

These are just a few easy, low-cost ways to save; there are many more things you can do. Let me know how many kWh your family saved—and how you saved—for a subsequent report in this commentary of the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News. You can send me an e-mail at