Save on energy by getting outdoors

This is what your parents meant when they said to hit the lights before going out.

Charleston, SC

It’s like finding money on the ground — not much, but it could add up. | Photo by @jonathan.mcrae

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One unexpected way to save energy as temps rise? Go outside.

We love sitting in the AC on a muggy day. But closing your blinds, unplugging electronics, and bumping your thermostat by 7-10 degrees (within pet-safe range) are all great ways to trim down your bill. The longer you spend unplugged, the more you save.

That got us thinking: What do you save when you get out of the house? We calculated based on last summer’s average 16 cents per kWh and 37 kWh daily energy usage per household. Note: We’re using very simplified numbers here, so your rates may vary.

Happy hour (1 hour): 24 cents

Shut off your work computer, ditch the TV, and catch up at one of Charleston’s happy hours. Bonus: You still get to cool off with a drink.

Take a walk or volunteer (2-4 hours): 49-97 cents

Spend two to four hours on a scenic trail and get up to a whole dollar back in your pocket. Share your incredible savings by donating time at a local volunteer initiative.

A day at the park (6-12 hours): $1.48-$2.96

Pack a Frisbee, picnic basket, and plenty of water for day at one of our city’s parks. Bring a book by a local author and get some reading done in nature.

A trip to Savannah (24 hours): $5.92

Take the ultimate road trip to Savannah, GA. Carpool and save on your electricity and gas bills at the same time.

A getaway or staycation (1 week): $41.44

You definitely want to leave your refrigerator running when you’re out for the week, whether you’re saying bon voyage from CHS or home sweet home at a nearby Airbnb or VRBO.