Unplug and Enjoy Your Independence

grilling outsideWhether you barbecue at home or head out of town to celebrate, you can save money and energy this Independence Day.

Fireworks, barbecues, and patriotic expression are some of the first things that come to mind on Independence Day. But as we celebrate our nation’s birthday and independence, let us not forget to be safe and energy friendly.

Below you’ll find a list of tips to keep your family and friends safe and cool, and your energy bills to a minimum.


When prepping your home barbecue this Fourth of July, be sure to grill outdoors – sparing your home’s oven and other appliances some electrical labor. Your home’s air conditioning unit and the electricity bill will absolutely thank you.

In addition, if your party is running late, consider using solar-powered decorative lighting to keep your guests in sight while saving on some watts well into the evening.

Safety is of utmost importance at Union Power. Here are seven simple steps for safe grilling:

  • Never leave your grill unattended: Always supervise a gas or charcoal grill while in use.
  • Place grills away from objects: Use your grill at a safe distance from your home, deck railings, low-hanging branches, and other objects. Also, avoid placing flammable materials near the grill.
  • Only grill outdoors: Never grill in the house, garage, tents, or other indoor or enclosed areas.
  •    Keep children and pets away from grills: Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling space.
  • Properly clean your grill: Clean your grill by removing grease and fat buildup from the grates and trays below.
  • Check food temperatures: Use a meat thermometer to make sure meats are fully cooked. Improperly cooked meat could cause food poisoning.


Going on vacation? Give your air conditioner and water heater a vacation, too! Set your thermostat and water heater to the lowest setting to prevent them from working hard while you’re not there. Also, be sure to turn off all lights and unplug your devices before heading out of town. Consider using a “smart” power strip and timer if you want to leave a light on for nighttime security.

Don’t forget you can monitor your home’s energy use on our online portal at union-power.com while you’re away.