Learn about energy awareness and get helpful Energy Awareness Month ideas to start making an impact.
Each year, the U.S. Department of Energy designates October as Energy Awareness Month.
As the temperatures begin to drop and our home thermostats begin to rise, it's the perfect time of year to recognize the role the energy industry has played in our lives and how far the world of renewable energy has come, and to look ahead to future energy developments that will help our economy and planet.
First implemented in 1991 by former President George H.W. Bush, Energy Awareness Month encouraged the government and organizations to raise important awareness of sustainably managing the nation's energy resources (think: coal, oil and gas). But back in 1991, renewables, unfortunately, weren't top of mind as they are now.
This year during Energy Awareness Month, many people are discovering more about renewable energy and the benefits of powering their homes with clean energy. Others undertake energy-efficiency and conservation methods as the winter heating season approaches.
We wholeheartedly applaud the efforts of both and are here to shed some light on how to dive further into the topic to salute Energy Awareness Month.
Renewable energy and its role on the planet
We're living in an incredible time of technological advancement that could enable us to secure a future for the planet. It feels like now more than ever, we are hyper-aware of how our actions impact the environment. We're collectively beginning to realize that it's more than just straws and sea turtles. From the food we eat to the clothes we buy to the electricity that powers our movie nights, almost every choice we make affects the environment in one way or another.
Pollution caused by burning fossil fuels is playing a massive role in climate change. In fact, fossil fuel-generated electricity accounts for 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Intelligent alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro are cropping up, with the potential to solve the climate crisis, as they tend to generate no emissions or air pollution. A massive win for the planet!
And as you might have guessed, rethinking your home's energy supply plan is a significant way to reduce carbon emissions. The energy industry verifies electricity as "renewable" through renewable energy certificates (RECs).
If you're interested in supporting a future where clean energy is accessible to everyone, everywhere, no matter who they are, this Energy Awareness Month, click here.
Energy awareness tips
Our favorite ways to ensure your home is energy-efficient during the fall and winter months:
Change your light bulbs to LEDs. On average, LEDs consume 80% less energy when compared to incandescent light bulbs.
Wash your clothes in cold water. Roughly 90% of washing machine energy is used for heating the water. Use cold water to wash your clothes and hang them to dry to eliminate energy use.
Air seal your home. Sealing cracks, gaps and leaks and adding insulation can save up to 10% on home heating and cooling costs.
Clean and/or replace all air filters in your home regularly. Dirty air filters make your system work harder and run longer than necessary.
During the summer months, close blinds, drapes and shades to help keep your home's temperature cooler and reduce the work for your AC. Open shades during winter months to let the sun warm your home.
Use natural light when possible. Opening your blinds and letting the natural light in allows you to switch your lamps and overhead lights off.
Turn off your lights and unplug devices and electronics when you're not using them. Phantom energy accounts for about 12% of a typical residential utility bill.
Set your thermostat to 78°F in the summer and 68°F in the winter. Every degree of extra heating or cooling increases energy usage by 6% to 8%.
Keep your refrigerator temperature set to the manufacturer's recommendation. This avoids excessive cooling and wasting energy.
Don't leave bathroom or kitchen ventilation fans running longer than necessary. They replace the inside air with outside air, which can lower the efficiency of your AC (if running in unison).
There is a tremendous amount to learn about renewable energy, which will play an increasingly important role in how we power our lives in the future. We encourage everyone to dive into the world of clean energy to gain knowledge on the alternatives that are better suited for our planet.
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to get started with making an impact and/or celebrate Energy Awareness Month, sign up for a 100% clean energy supply plan for your home.
Not sure if renewable energy is right for you? Read some of our Inspire Clean Energy reviews to see how we've helped customers make the switch.