Window vignette buddha plants disco ball

My apartment, like NYC apartment, needs air conditioning to be livable right now. Even though these energy-sucking machines are surely contributing to climate change, not using A/C is just not an option, unless you have an endless supply of non-toxic deodorants and like the slicked-back-wet-hair look. (I’ve never gotten the appeal of that style, honestly. It looks like, well, you’ve been sweating and haven’t taken a shower.)

Direct Energy, who gives their customers the technology and tools to buy less of what they sell, wanted me to share my tips with you for using less energy (yep, they want you to use less energy!) so you can #livebrighter this summer, and spend your Direct Energy Savings on more fun stuff – like cold summer cocktails and that bikini you’ve been eyeing.

How to Direct Your Energy:

Eco-friendly chandelier


1. I only use LED bulbs. You’ve heard this tip before, but what I didn’t know (or had forgotten) was that LED bulbs don’t put off heat the way traditional bulbs do. Remember my gorgeous, locally-made chandelier by Urban Chandy? Well, I had vintage-style bulbs in it, but last month the designer Cassidy sent over her new faux-vintage LED bulbs. She told me to switch them out and see how my electricity bill changes, since not only do they use less energy, they will also keep my kitchen much cooler. They look exactly the same, and give off the same pretty glow at night. And my air conditioner isn’t working as hard!

2. I use fans, but only when I’m in the room. I’m originally from the South, so I have a soft spot for ceiling fans, the way they whisper and create a soothing breeze at night over the bed. You can get an Energy Star-rated fan for as little as $50 from Home Depot, and then skip the air conditioner except when the temperature really soars. However, fans only cool you down when you are in the room! So I make a habit of switching off the ceiling fan when I leave a room, like I switch off the light. I also close the door to the bedroom during the day, and keep the A/C off in there, so I’m only cooling the space I’m currently in.

3. I chose the best A/C for my apartment space. After doing a ton of research, I chose a Energy-Star certified Frigidaire air conditioner with the right amount of BTUs to cool my living room/kitchen space. (There are calculators online that will help you figure that out.) Then I keep it on the “econ” setting, so like central air, it only kicks in when the temperature gets too high in the room.

Dip dyed curtains

4. I have heavy curtains and I’m not afraid to use them. I love that my apartment has windows in every room. But during the summer, the sun coming in the south-facing windows is brutal. So I picked out linen and my mother was nice enough to make me some floor-to-ceiling curtains for the bedroom and living room with lining. During the day, I shut them tight and turn the living room into a cool, shaded, pleasant place to work.


Get More Direct Energy Savings

Receive a $75 pre-paid gift card when you sign up with Direct Energy. Use promo code LIVEBRIGHTER75. It’s valid until August 15th.

Direct Energy is the only energy provider to be a part of Plenti! Plenti lets you earn points at one place and use them at another, all within a single rewards program so that keeping track of your rewards is simple. Both new and existing Direct Energy customers will be able to earn 1,000 Plenti points at enrollment when they sign up for Plenti and link their Plenti card number to their Direct Energy account. Visit for more information on Direct Energy’s Plenti points program.