On the Energy Front: Your Environmental Footprint
By: Andy Farmer
Earth Day (April 22) will be here before you know it and Virginia Energy Sense (VES) wants to make sure all Virginians are well-equipped to protect the environment by saving energy! As the Commonwealth’s energy education program, our mission is to help Virginians understand how they can lower their energy use and save money.
To get a better understanding of what drives people to reduce their energy consumption, we recently conducted survey research across Virginia that yielded promising results.
Most respondents said that saving electricity at home is the most important way to reduce their environmental footprint. Popular methods of cutting energy use include using LED lightbulbs and properly adjusting the temperature at home.
Virginians are becoming more conscious of their energy usage and we want to ensure that the next generation has the necessary tools and knowledge to make a difference. Building upon the success from our initial launch last fall, this spring we’re sharing our energy conservation curriculum with more school districts in Virginia to educate elementary-age students about the intersection of saving energy and its impact on the surrounding environment.
In case you need a jumpstart to reduce your energy use, we’ve included several tips and suggestions below that you can use to save energy and help the planet. Happy Earth Day 2019!
Protect the Planet With These Energy Saving Tips
Install a smart thermostat – A smart thermostat learns your behavior and can lower or raise the temperature if you are going to be out or not. And it lets you control your home’s temperature from your smartphone.
Utilize power strips – Are energy vampires causing your energy bills to rise? You can avoid this by plugging multiple devices into a power strip and turning them all off at once.
Use ENERGY STAR appliances – If you’re still using non-ENERGY STAR branded appliances, chances are you’re using more energy than necessary. Switching to more energy efficient models will help cut down costs in the long-term.
Cut the power – Turn off lights, computers, and other equipment when they’re not in use and overnight. Leaving them on, or plugged in when not in use, leads to higher electric bills.
Mind those shades – Adding coverings like blinds or shades will reduce the heat from the sun that enters your house, keeping your home cooler and reducing your energy use.
Maintain your HVAC system – Ensure your HVAC systems are running efficiently by having your system serviced once per year and by cleaning or changing your filters monthly. Doing so can reduce energy consumption up to 15% and increase savings by up to 7.5%.
Use your fans – If your home has fans in various rooms, adjust them so the air is evenly circulated throughout the house. Your home become more comfortable and it’ll help cut back your energy bill.
Switch to LEDs – LED light bulbs use less 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs and last several times longer.
Consider a home energy audit – Conducting a home energy assessment is one way to identify opportunities that will make your home more energy efficient.
Apply for rebates – Our website has a detailed list of residential incentives and commercial incentives that utilities and co-ops offer. Check them out to see if you or your business qualifies, and you could receive rebates!
You can visit http://www.virginiaenergysense.org/ to learn more about how you can take action this Earth Day to reduce your energy use. Doing so will help Virginia meet its goal of reducing electric energy consumption by 10 percent below 2006 levels by 2022 and protecting the environment.
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.)