The most important sustainability etiquette rules to save electricity. The proper practices to limit the usage of electricity and its bills.

What save electricity etiquette is

Today, sustainability has a crucial role in our modern social etiquette. On many occasions, behaviors that can harm the environment are no longer accepted.

Save electricity etiquette is the set of rules to manage and limit our consumption of electricity. Such rules help us avoid behaviors that may lead to waste and have a negative environmental impact. They include:

  • How to save electricity by limiting our personal consumption.
  • The appropriate behaviors at home and in other venues.
  • The behaviors to avoid.

Everyone should follow saving electricity etiquette to save electricity, limit negative environmental impact, save money on electricity bills, and avoid behaviors that may upset others.

rules to save electricity and limit energy footprint

Save electricity etiquette rules

1) Turn the lights off

Try to avoid using artificial lights. Use natural light as long as possible. Keep the curtains open during the day. Stay in the rooms with the most natural light and sit close to the windows.

At night, use artificial light only in the room you are in. Limit the number of lights that are on at the same time. When you leave the room, switch the light off.

2) Consume electricity during off-peak hours

Some utility companies discriminate the price of electricity based on the time of the day. During working hours, when factories and shops are open, the overall consumption of electricity goes up. This increases the risk of blackouts. Thus, to incentivize the consumption of electricity during off-peak hours, some operators charge lower prices at night or during the weekend.

Whenever possible, try to run energy-intensive appliances or recharge batteries outside of peak times.

3) Limit the use of energy-intensive appliances

Electronic appliances consume large amounts of electricity. Such as the washing machine, dishwasher, hair drier, electronic oven, or vacuum cleaner.

By limiting your use of electronic appliances, you can save large amounts of electricity and cut your utility bill. Try not to use appliances frequently with just half loads. Instead, plan to run them only when full. For example, we can change towels and bed sheets less often. Even by using bath towels just for one day longer, we can save large amounts of electricity over time.

When possible, use electronic appliances in eco mode. For example, by washing dishes or clothes at 40°C (104°F) instead of 60°C (140°F), you can save more than half (55%) on your electricity bill.

If you use an electronic oven or cooking surface, use kitchenware of the right size. Smaller pots or pans heat up faster than larger ones. Similarly, if you cover the pot or pan with a lid, you avoid wasting heat and electricity.

4) Buy low-consume appliances and lights

Consider buying low-consume appliances and light bulbs, even though they may be a bit more expensive. You will recover the money by getting lower electricity and water bills over time.

An eco-friendly domestic appliance is usually rated Class A. The classes A+, A++, or A+++ are the most energy-efficient.

5) Manage your fridge appropriately

The fridge is the domestic appliance that consumes the most electricity. If possible, buy a Class A fridge or above.

Furthermore, the appropriate maintenance of the fridge can limit your electricity consumption. Place the fridge in a cool place, far from direct sunlight or sources of heat, such as the oven or the heater. Make sure that the back is appropriately ventilated. Avoid placing the fridge too close to the wall. Keep the back clean and free of dust. If frost builds up, periodically de-frost the inside of the fridge. Set the temperature between 4°C (39°F) and 7°C (44°F) to preserve food without unnecessary electricity consumption.

6) Prevent electricity leakage

Avoid keeping appliances and electronics plugged in. Electronics such as the TV, electric alarm clock, radio, computer or phone charger, or water heater keep consuming electricity when they are on standby. Such waste can account for over 10% of our annual electricity bill.

Apply the appropriate save electricity etiquette to each place

Save electricity etiquette with your guests

When you have guests for lunch or dinner, it is not appropriate to excessively limit the usage of electricity in your house. Instead, make sure that every room you are hosting in has an appropriate amount of light. However, when you are hosting someone for a longer period, such as a weekend stay, it is perfectly appropriate to discuss electricity usage. It is enough to say that you care about saving electricity and ask guests to please switch the lights off when they leave a room.

Save electricity etiquette at someone else’s house

When you are at someone else’s house, respect the same rules that you follow at home. Do not change or relax your good habits. It is polite to switch the light off when you leave the bathroom. However, do not switch the lights off in a room where people are coming and going, such as the dining room or the living room.

Save electricity etiquette at work or in the office

Respect saving electricity rules in your workplace. Switch the light off when you leave the workplace bathroom or a meeting room.

Save electricity etiquette in hotels, bed & breakfasts, and hostels

Some hotels, bed & breakfast, or hostels ask guests to help them save electricity. If this is not an inconvenience to you, it is the best etiquette to comply with such recommendations. Usually, it is enough to switch the light off when you leave your room.

worst mistakes to waste electricity

Save electricity etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst save electricity etiquette mistakes. 

  • 9/10. Wasting electricity.
  • 8/10. Keeping lights on when it is not needed.
  • 7/10. Keeping electronics plugged in.
  • 7/10. Using energy-intensive appliances too often.


  • Do appliances on standby mode use more energy than a freezer?