If you’re anything like us this May Half Term will have you singing the same tune – “turn the lights off, turn the telly off, if you’re not watching it.” Young people and electricity usage awareness go together like water and oil, but you’ve got a week to get them thinking the right thoughts.

When taught early, children can adopt good habits in regards to energy conservation. Most do not understand the concept of money. This can change the way that they perceive bills and adult responsibility.

You can teach children how it helps to budget what monies come in each month and show them how parents manage utility bills. Visual effects help children understand more than just words. Involve them in family finance.

You can get younger children into energy saving and efficiency by making turning lights off a game. Consider using a rewards system with stickers or extra television time for following the system.

Practices Saving Money
Teach children that keeping lights off saves money. It may not be a poundexactly, but use an analogy that they will understand – like penny sweets.

Consider using a phrase similar to “Lights off, pennies in the piggy bank” or something of the sort. Keep a few rolls of pennies in the house. Give them a few to put in a piggy bank to promote energy conservation.

Environmental Protection

Teach children that protecting the environment and renewable energy sources is important. When people are greedy with energy sources, alternative, and more expensive measures must be taken.

If children do not want to have to pay high energy bills as adults, they will adopt your practices at an early age. Try not to complain about the bill, speak positively about how much you saved.

This will get them excited. Teach them that the savings from keeping lights off is how they were able to have pizza for dinner or enjoy another activity.

Teaches Discipline

Practice makes perfect. Getting children into a routine gives them a disciplined attitude when it comes to responsibility. Turning lights off when they leave a room will become second nature.

You may hear them running around the home saying the family phrase regarding energy conservation. Take this as a positive rather than an annoyance.

Instills the Value of Money in them
Children will be taught the value of money in school. However, this does not show them real-life examples of how money works.

Teach them at home using a few tactics:
1. Take 100 £1 coins and show them how it is divided up for living expenses.
Show them what is left and what something they want costs. They will see that there is either just enough or not enough for the want.

2. Show them how to save their left over pounds for an activity.
Not only does this show them how to conserve energy but it teaches them the value of money. It is a multipurpose life lesson.

Everything in Moderation is good

Using lights when they are necessary is fine. It is important to teach children that letting the moon light their space is enough. You should also teach them that a lamp is better than a room light in some cases.

When lights are used in moderation, the bill is less and energy is conserved.

Other Ways to Entertain Themselves

Other than having televisions on, using more energy than necessary, children can spend that time outdoors. Teach them activities such as board games, homework practices, doing chores or playing outside instead of sitting indoors.

Limit video game and computer time too. Did you know that consoles use one unit of electricity to power three hours of gameplay? That costs about 20p and most games can take 60 hours to play through costing a total of around £4! Get them involved in other activities.

How to Budget Utility Costs

Once a child has learned math and the concept of money,show them how you budget. This means showing them how much you bring in per month. Break this down by weekly living expenses. Subtract those expenses from the income.

Show them what is left and explain how much things cost. Once they see how much it costs just to live, their complaining to go do something may dwindle.

Practices to Carry on When They Become Adults

Children that get in a good routine of conserving energy at a young age will carry this on as an adult. They will teach their children. It will be a cycle that is beneficial rather than hazardous.
With these lessons, children can learn how to conserve energy and lower their bills. This molds them into conscious adults that know how to budget and maintain practical energy bills. Teach them the techniques they need early so that they have plenty of practice.

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