Remember Energy Efficiency Day October 5, and celebrate it year-round
October 5 will mark the inaugural Energy Efficiency Day, when a network of organizations and partners from across the country join together to promote the many benefits of energy efficiency. The initiative aims to showcase the full range of opportunities and positive impacts of energy efficiency — all the concrete, effective ways you can save energy and money.
Energy efficiency is the cleanest, fastest, and most cost-effective solution to reduce harmful pollutants and emissions. Since CEE was established over 36 years ago, we’ve based our strategies on saving energy and money for Minnesota’s homes and businesses. Today we also embrace energy efficiency’s effectiveness in cutting carbon emissions while benefiting our economy and communities. Efficiency is sometimes an unsung hero in carbon reduction, but without decades of energy conservation policies and programs, the U.S. would have needed to build 313 new large power plants since 1990.
So, what does Energy Efficiency Day mean for you? How can you participate, as an individual, as a family, and as an employee? It’s simple: use the day to push yourself to change your behavior and try out a new energy efficiency action. And help spread the word about the importance of energy efficiency by telling friends, family, and colleagues how you’re taking action via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn (#EEday2016).
We consume about 22% of the total energy used in Minnesota in out homes (EIA) — making it a great place to take charge of energy use and make a difference.
- As a family, make sure all power strips and unused lights and electronics are unplugged and turned off to reduce electricity waste.
- Purchase energy efficient bulbs to replace any incandescent bulbs. Efficient light bulbs have come a long way in the last 10 years! Costs are way down and performance is up. (I mean who doesn’t want to be able to control their lights from a smart phone?!) Choose the right light for you on the ENERGY STAR website.
- Have an appliance that is old enough to vote? Make a plan to replace it with a new efficient model. A new fridge can save you $54 a year, and a new furnace or boiler can save $120 to $200 a year. (Combine that with turning the temp down a couple degrees in winter and you will save another $50!)
As one example, here at CEE we are participating in a competition designed to spotlight and improve a wide range of conservation-related behaviors. We created CEE’s “Shift” contest because we recognize how important it is to shift attitudes and action toward saving energy at work. A few ideas:
- Take public transportation or carpool. Transportation is a huge consumer of fossil fuels and a major contributor to harmful emissions. On October 5, plan ahead to ride to work with a co-worker or hop on the bus.
- Recycle, recycle, recycle (and, if you can, compost!). Fun recycling fact — it requires 95% less energy and water to recycle an aluminum can than to create one from raw materials.
- Set up computer power management on your desktop computer. Yes, your monitor may go to sleep after a few minutes, but the rest of your computer likely stays awake and wastes energy. Follow these directions to save energy with computer power management.
Already tackled these actions and want more ideas for being energy efficient? Want to easily spread the word on the awesomeness of energy efficiency? Head over to mnenergychallenge.org and pledge to do your part while digging into how-to guides and resources on a variety of energy efficiency actions.
While October 5 is just one day, the entire month of October is Energy Action Month. And considering the importance and the impact of energy conservation — plus all the easy ways to help achieve it — it’d be a good idea to start thinking of every day as “Energy Efficiency Day.”
Minnesota Energy Challenge
CEE's energy efficiency services for homes and businesses
#EEDay2016 hashtag stream on Twitter
Energy Efficiency Day announcement (VA Energy Efficiency Council)