Ask Eartha: Small steps make a big difference in energy conservation
I heard some buzz this week about an energy conservation day. What can I do to partake in energy conservation here in Summit?
Thank you for you timely question this week. World Energy Conservation Day is indeed today, and the intention is to highlight the importance of energy consumption and its use in our day-to-day life, its scarcity and its impact on sustainability of global ecosystems. Energy Conservation Day is a big day for the energy community and a reminder to us all that we have the power and responsibility to adopt energy conservation practices into our lives.
Energy conservation and efficiency are vital steps toward combating massive global concerns such as climate change. While some people may disassociate an issue as global as climate change with everyday life, Energy Conservation Day asks us to reconsider this notion. Much like our BeLocal campaign at the High Country Conservation Center, Energy Conservation Day connects the dots between large global issues and local opportunities to take action and reduce our energy footprint. Regardless of whether you own your home or rent a room in Summit County, there’s always ways for you to save energy and increase your energy efficiency.
HC3 is excited to be Summit County’s one-stop shop for all your energy-related questions. We have programs that can help you save energy and resources. For our local businesses interested in becoming more sustainable, we offer our no-cost Resource Wise business program. For our local residents, we offer a comprehensive energy efficiency program. Home energy efficiency begins with an energy assessment, where we identify inefficiencies and recommend specific efficiency improvements for your home. For a limited time, we are offering up to 40 free LED bulbs and free water conservation products to anyone who signs up to get an energy assessment at their Summit County home.
In celebration of Energy Conservation Day, stop by the HC3 office today at 737 Ten Mile Drive to learn how you can do your part to reduce your footprint, and snag a free LED bulb and water efficiency products. With or without a comprehensive energy assessment at your property, you can always start saving energy by tackling some low-hanging fruit. Begin by upgrade your lighting to LED bulbs. LED bulbs significantly reduce energy consumption and last far longer than compact fluorescent and incandescent lighting. Additionally, the cost of LED lighting technology has fallen so low that you’ll usually see a return on your investment within months. The next step should be upgrading your thermostat to a programmable model that boosts efficiency by lowering the indoor temperature in your home automatically when you are away at work.
Even without an energy assessment, you can replace the worn weather-stripping on your exterior doors to reduce those pesky air-leaks. As for your water heater, you can wrap it in a blanket of fiberglass insulation, or simply start by turning down the temperature to the lowest setting. Often times, you’ll never end up using hot water in your home at the temperature it comes out of your heater, or you’d end up burning your skin. After using excessive energy to heat and store water in our water heaters, most of it winds up mixed with cold water to make it comfortable when you wash your hands or take a shower.
Energy conservation can sometimes seem too big or difficult for us to wrap our heads around. We may think that our homes are what they are and use what they use with regards to energy. It’s important to realize that sometimes the smallest fixes make the biggest difference and that we can all make small tweaks in our lives to contribute positively to energy conservation. Visit HighCountryConservation.org for more information or stop by our office today to explore ways in which you can take the next step.
Ask Eartha Steward is written by the staff at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation. Submit questions to Eartha at info@high countryconservation.org.
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