Energy Efficiency Day: Anyone Can be Part of the Solution

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"Save energy. Save money. Anyone can be a part of the solution.” That is the battle cry of this year’s 3rd Annual Energy Efficiency Day - a day dedicated to celebrating the many benefits energy efficiency provides nationwide.

According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), since 1990, savings from energy efficiency gains have averted the need to build 313 large power plants and has delivered cumulative savings of nearly $790 billion for Americans. In Minnesota alone, energy efficiency has saved $6 billion since 1998, due to one of the state’s most successful energy policies, the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP). In fact, every dollar invested in CIP provides $4 in energy savings, environmental benefits, and new economic activity. That’s a HUGE deal -- and this day is all about bringing awareness to the eye-opening facts about efficiency’s positive economic and environmental impacts.

Not only does energy efficiency benefit consumers’ pocketbooks by lowering their energy bills, but it can also provide them with a job. According to E4 the Future, “Energy efficiency added more new jobs than any other industry in the entire U.S. energy sector in 2017.”

Minnesota specifically saw a 2.4% growth rate in energy efficiency jobs, and according to the Clean Jobs Midwest report, this was faster than the rest of the Midwest. In addition to the economic benefits, energy efficiency also holds significant benefits for the environment. For example, every kilowatt-hour of electricity you avoid using saves over a pound of carbon dioxide. By employing some of the simplest ways to be more energy efficient, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint!

It’s clear that energy efficiency has the potential to save consumers A LOT of money, but how does that happen? The biggest areas where homeowners can improve their efficiency are HVAC systems, water heating, appliances, lighting and insulation. How can you improve these? Here are several helpful DIY tips that you can do today:

  • Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120-degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Start using energy-saving settings on refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers.
  • Replace your incandescent lights with compact fluorescents or LEDs.
  • Clean or replace furnace, air-conditioner, and heat-pump filters.
  • Use rope caulk on very leaky windows to prevent heat from escaping.

Already made these changes but want to know more ways to improve your efficiency? ACEEE’s SmarterHouse website has a great efficiency checklist and provides information that can help you make wise investment decisions when purchasing products for maximum energy savings.

Looking for more ways to participate in energy efficiency day? Check out their website for information on how you can show your commitment and get your elected officials to issue an Energy Efficiency Day Proclamation.