October is passing like the brisk wind that blows leaves from their heightened homes, colorful vestiges of spring and summer are littering the soon to be frozen landscape. The sun emits lower and lazier rays, forcing house lights to switch on earlier every subsequent autumn afternoon. Frigid winds force the windows closed and ramp up the heaters to full blast as the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions dig through their closets in search of winter gear.
Darker, colder months mean brighter and warmer homes.
To take advantage of this seasonal shift in energy usage, NEEP and our network of energy efficiency advocates have been stirring up activity surrounding Energy Action Month (check our social media pages and blog to catch up). Our goal is to further explain the inherent worth of energy efficiency and other energy-savings practices.
So before I carry on, thanks for the support! We will continue to provide resources and tips to promote a more secure, efficient, and affordable energy infrastructure.
Aside from disseminating energy saving suggestions and reports from our prolific library of resources, I thought it would be entertaining to staff-source some energy savings tips to see how all of us NEEPers practice what we preach on a daily basis. The half-way results are in.
It turns out that NEEP staff members are not only experts within the tenets of energy efficiency but also take pride in their shrunken carbon-footprint lifestyles.
Here are some staff submissions to the Energy Action Month collection device (i.e. a repurposed shoebox):
- Debate a climate denier or skeptic. If you truly know your stuff and can maintain your composure you may be able to convince them of their error. Think about what that could save.
- Instead of turning up the heat, I have my dog sit on my feet.
- I enjoy saving gas by driving a hybrid vehicle, averaging 40 mpg with up to 50 mpg on some trips.
- Bought an energy star TV. $7/year in annual energy savings.
- I climbed the stairs at the Porter Square T-Station instead of using the escalator. Lots of stairs. I also realized that the escalators still operate regardless of my choice to take the stairs. Oh well! Energy action!
- Plug electronics (TV, DVD, etc.) into power strip and turn it on only when using it, otherwise strip is turned off so no phantom energy is used.
- I use programmable thermostats to save energy with a large set back at night while sleeping.
- I enjoy reducing our carbon footprint by walking to the market, library, church, etc., and by having the children walk to school (this activity also makes me feel less guilty when having ice cream at night!).
- Driving a fuel efficient car and driving fuel efficiently can go a long way without breaking the bank.
- I follow my husband around the house and turn off all the lights he leaves on.
- I’ve reduced the temperature of our hot water heater to save energy.
- I had a special exterior fireplace damper installed in my house to reduce the loss of heat during the winter when not in use.
- Turn the lights off when no one is in the room.
- Make sure all your windows are locked closed before you turn on the heat and check your air filters.
- Round trip to work on my bike was 20 miles! Gotta love the minute man.
- I bike to work once a week.
- Bring a kitchen timer into the shower to try to take <10 minutes.
- Bought a fuel efficient car, 38 mpg!!
- I’ve been driving a plug-in electric/hybrid vehicle and get up to 95 mph. I’ve had to walk about 1 mile to the nearest charging station so this type of car will become more popular as the EV charging infrastructure is built.
- I use storm windows or double-pane glass windows throughout the house to reduce energy usage.
- Round-trip bike ride to work, 26 miles!
- Used daylight from window instead of office lights.
What are some of your daily energy savings habits/tips?