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October 6 is National Energy Efficiency Day! The cleanest, cheapest energy is the energy you never use in the first place.
October 6 is National Energy Efficiency Day!
Coming right between Labor Day and Halloween, you may have overlooked this important occasion (which has been observed for the past 15 years). But -- think again. The cleanest, cheapest energy is the energy you never use in the first place.
Reducing energy use creates big savings -- for our planet, our climate and our health. Using less energy will clean up our air, help combat climate change and its pervasive threat to our future and, as an added bonus, it will also lower your energy bills.
USING LESS ENERGY
Not using energy in the first place can make a big difference, and you have several options.
Adjust the temperature. Try turning down the thermostat when it is cold and turning it up a few degrees when it is hot.
Rethink transportation. Walk or bike when you are not going far. Plan errands and events so you can do them all in one trip. Public transportation, carpooling and telecommuting all mean less trips in the car.
Change washing habits. When doing dishes or laundry, always run full loads. Wash clothes in cold water. Line-dry your clothing to skip a dryer cycle. Skip the “heated dry” part of your dishwasher’s cycle and simply open the door to air-dry the dishes.
STOP THE LEAKS
Ten to twenty percent of the energy used for heating and cooling your home is wasted as a result of air leaks and outdated technology. An energy audit is a good first step. Adding insulation, caulking, weatherstripping and replacing windows and doors are all investments that will pay off through lower energy bills.
OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY
Replacing worn-out appliances gives you the opportunity to use energy more efficiently and with less pollution.
Everyone knows about the tremendous increase in efficiency from LED lights. But keep in mind that smart thermostats, smart power strips used with your audio and video equipment and smart lights also give you more power over energy use.
Repairing faucets and shower heads can save you a lot on your hot water energy use.
When replacing new appliances, choose energy efficiency certified products,
Go electric for heating and cooling, since electric heat pumps are twice as energy-efficient as natural gas systems. And they reduce your carbon footprint.
Want to learn more? Check out this webinar on Wednesday, September 29th at 7:30 PM: Efficiency First: A How-to Webinar on Energy Efficiency. This is being offered by the Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of the Sierra Club. Link to register for the webinar.