Reducing household energy use doesn’t require walking around your house wearing extra sweaters and earmuffs in winter, or stripping down to the bare essentials in summer. It means being smarter about managing the energy you do use.
Consider your electric cooperative your trusted resource for exploring energy-saving strategies. Nonprofit, member-owned electric co-ops want to help their member-owners make the most of every kilowatt-hour they purchase.
Energy efficiency means performing the same job and getting a similar outcome using less energy. This efficiency is often achieved through a mechanical change, such as replacing an older, less efficient appliance with a new model. Sometimes a minor change of habit is all that’s needed, such as dimming lights or washing clothes in cold water instead of hot.
Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Conservation
So why are energy conservation and energy efficiency more important than ever? What are the benefits? The short answers are that energy reduction in your home 1) saves you money; 2) improves our economy by enabling consumers and businesses to spend and invest in other areas; and 3) reduces the amount of pollution emitted from power generation.
The more complex answer is that modern life means we are increasing demands on all forms of energy. Consumers are more reliant on devices, computers, phones (with charging stations), sophisticated media/home entertainment and video gaming systems, and “smart” technology—all of which rely on electricity. The wide array of new electronic devices is improving our quality of life, and electric co-ops are promoting efficiency to bring new conveniences at a lower cost.
Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
In this period of rapidly changing technology, Americans are increasingly aware of the need to reduce energy consumption. Many now call energy savings the “first fuel” because the easiest way to reduce fuel cost and carbon emissions is to save energy. Energy is a valuable commodity, and while the discussions over climate change and carbon footprints continue, we must all do our part to conserve this precious resource.
Using less energy may even boost the economy by relieving the ever-tightening family budget, allowing dollars to be spent on more tangible goods.
Americans have demonstrated a willingness to take steps toward reducing their energy consumption. According to the January 2014 Nielsen U.S. Consumer Energy Sentiments Report, 91 percent of consumers are willing to change their energy-use behavior to save money on energy costs. The same report indicates that 77 percent would change their behavior out of concern for the environment.
Your Electric Co-op Can Help You Use Less Electricity
Consumers recognize that conserving energy and becoming more energy efficient are the smart (and right) things to do. But they are also looking for guidance on just how to do that. Electric co-ops are great local resources to help consumers identify ways to save energy and control costs.
The first step in this process is easy: Simply reach out to us for help with taking control of your own energy use, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving the ideal balance of efficiency and conservation. In turn, you will help yourself, your community and the environment—and that benefits all of us.
For information on how you can be more energy efficient, contact your electric cooperative.