National Energy Awareness Month: 8 Ways To Celebrate
Written By: Warm Thoughts Communications on October 5, 2020
Each year since 1991, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has designated October as National Energy Awareness Month (or “Energy Action Month,” as it is sometimes called). The month is highlighted to showcase the critical role of energy conservation in relation to our national prosperity, security and environmental well-being, and to spotlight the importance of sustainability in managing the nation’s energy resources.
Across the United States, agencies, institutions and businesses are encouraged to highlight success stories in energy reduction and to share lessons learned in energy management. The question is this: How can you play a part in the celebration at home?
Energy Saving Improvement Ideas
The best way to do it is to learn more about how you get and use your energy, and to make small energy-lifestyle changes that can have big implications for our future. Here are eight ways to honor the spirit of National Energy Awareness Month, year-round:
- Get acquainted with your utility bill. Your utility bill will tell you where your energy comes from and how much electricity or natural gas is used in your home each month. Keep an eye on that bill and try comparing it to last year to see if your energy usage has gone up or down. Your utility may also offer tools to compare your home energy use to that of neighborhood peers, which can be helpful in assessing where you stand.
- Watch your energy rates year-round. The rate you pay for your electricity (measured in kilowatt-hours, or kWh) or gas (measured in therms—a unit equivalent to 100,000 Btu’s) has a big influence on your utility bill, so keep an eye on the current market rates, and how they stack up against the competition overall.
- Know your supplier options. Some suppliers offer energy plans that are powered fully or partly by renewable resources, while others offer time-of-use plans in addition to standard, flat-rate plans. Know what your energy-supplier options are!
- Learn more about your appliances. How much energy does your TV use? What about your refrigerator? What devices draw “vampire power” when they’re not powered on? While there are ways to estimate the energy consumption of common appliances, the best way to do it is to go straight to the source, with an electricity usage monitor. Simply plug the monitor into an outlet then plug the device into the monitor to get a quick read on how much energy that device is using.
- Get some fresh air. Spend more time outdoors and you’ll spend less energy indoors. After months of working from home, that midday stroll can prove beneficial in more ways than one! You may also discover a connection to the environment you’re trying to preserve through your energy-saving efforts.
- Get “smarter.” Some utilities use smart meters, which can track energy usage in real-time and generate reports as needed. Check with your local utility to find out if a smart meter can be installed, or if there are plans to convert to smart meters in the future.
- Get curious. When it comes to your home energy supply, ask this question: How did the energy get here? Was it generated from renewable energy sources like hydro or wind power, or from a coal-fired plant? Knowledge is power—especially when it comes to just how we get our power!
- Teach and share what you learn. Conserving energy is a project everyone in your family can get behind. Meet with your children to discuss your current energy consumption and ways you can work together in and around your home to reduce it for the future.
Celebrate National Energy Awareness Month by switching to Discount Power for your home or business energy plan! We make it easy and safe to save on your electricity and natural gas bills, all while helping you reduce your carbon footprint. To learn more, contact us today!