The first Wednesday in October marks Energy Efficiency Day, a chance for everyone from large corporations and government agencies to small businesses, families, and individuals to take stock in their energy usage. But since energy efficiency is one of the quickest, cheapest, and easiest ways to avoid pollution and reduce utility costs, it’s worth celebrating every day.
Save money. Cut pollution. Create jobs.
The theme for this year’s Energy Efficiency Day focuses on three ways everyone benefits from energy efficiency. From reducing energy costs to creating job opportunities, here are some fast facts on why energy efficiency matters.
• Efficiency could contribute to one-third of total expected electricity generation needs by 2030, avoiding the need for an additional 487 large power plants.
• Energy efficiency is a proven catalyst for broad economic recovery that can create solid careers in every state and county for years to come.
• Reducing annual electricity use by 15% nationwide would save more than six lives every day, prevent nearly 30,000 asthma episodes each year, and save Americans up to $20 billion through avoided health harms annually.
It’s easy to get involved and make a difference. Check out these ways you can take action to reduce energy waste.
• Set your thermostat down in winter.
Two little degrees is all it takes to cut your winter heating bill. Throw on an extra layer of clothing, turn down the thermostat and save! Alliant Energy offers rebates up to $100 on learning thermostats.
• Make the switch to LED
Replace your five most frequently used bulbs with LEDs and you could save as much as $75 a year! LEDs are more expensive upfront, but you’ll likely recoup the cost in less than a year because of the energy savings. LEDs are a great example of how innovation and technology can make life easier. They last at least 25 times longer and consume up to 90% less electricity than incandescent bulbs.
• Unplug your second refrigerator or freezer.
Many families keep a second fridge to hold extra drinks or to use during parties. Most of these refrigerators are at least 10 years old and use a lot of energy. If you have a second fridge, retire it – or plug it in only when you really need it. Bonus: Alliant Energy electric customers can have their old working refrigerators picked up and recycled for free.
• Use your microwave instead of a conventional oven.
When you reheat food or cook smaller dishes, use your microwave instead of a conventional electric oven. You can save up to 50% of your energy usage. It’s an easy way to save energy and cook food much faster.
• Unplug chargers when not in use.
Many chargers draw a small amount of electricity even when the device they charge is not plugged in or is fully charged. That adds up over time. Look for chargers all over your home, including those for computers, phones, power tools, shavers, electric toothbrushes and other battery-powered devices.
Ready for more? Check out our Low-cost, no cost tips, or visit the Energy Efficiency Day website to find other ways to save on your next energy bill.