On the Energy Front: 
You are never too young to start saving energy.

By:  Andy Farmer

Andy Farmer, Annandale Energy

School is back in session, leaves are changing colors, Halloween is around the corner and it’s Energy Action Month. The sweltering summer heat is behind us and what better way to celebrate Energy Action Month than learning quick and easy tips to proactively save energy and money throughout the fall and winter months.

As the state’s energy education program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission, Virginia Energy Sense’s goal is to empower Virginians to get involved and save energy at home, at work and even at school. Virginia has set of a goal to reduce electric energy consumption 10 percent below 2006 levels by 2022, but this can only be achieved if we take the initiative to reduce our energy use.

You are never too young to start saving energy and with the right resources, energy education can be easy and fun. Whether you’re a college student paying your first energy bill in an apartment or a recent graduate looking to reduce costs, implementing energy saving tips can put money back in your pocket. Take a look at the tips and recommendations below for ways to reduce energy consumption in your dorm, home or apartment this fall.

Energy Saving Tips for Students

Use Power Strips – Plugging everything into one power strip allows you to turn off all your devices and gadgets with just one switch before running off to class!

Use a programmable thermostat – Set the temperature in your apartment as low as comfortably possible while you are out with a programmable thermostat to ensure energy is not wasted when you’re away.

Switch the direction of your fan: During winter, operate the ceiling fan at a low speed in the clockwise direction, which forces warm air down into the occupied space.

Don’t block your vents: Be sure that your furniture is not blocking vents in your room. This will force the heating and air conditioning to use more energy to keep the room at a comfortable temperature.

Open your windows: In the early months of fall, open your windows to increase ventilation instead of using air conditioners or fans. 

Adjust the water heater – Lower your water heater’s maximum temperature to approximately 120 degrees. This will produce savings of 7-11% on water heating costs.

Seal those leaks – For the later winter months, make sure to caulk and weather-strip any leaks in your home or apartment to keep heat from escaping and energy usage low.

Buy ENERGY STAR – As you set up your new dorm or apartment, make sure to look for the ENEARGY STAR label when buying new appliances and electronics. These products are often 25 percent more efficient than non-ENERGY STAR models.

Don’t wait to get started! Energy Efficiency Day is on October 2 and it’s never too late to take the plunge into energy savings. What is learned at home can also be translated to your work and classroom, helping your school or business be more conscious of excess energy wasted.


Author:  Andy Farmer is the manager of Virginia Energy Sense, the Commonwealth’s statewide energy education program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission (Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.  (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)


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