The path to efficiency independence 7-17
Article was added on Saturday, July 01, 2017
While fireworks and Independence Day parades are synonymous with
the Fourth of July, no such fanfare comes to mind when discussing
energy efficiency. Perhaps it should. If you think about it, energy
efficiency not only benefits individuals and families, but the
country as a whole. Energy efficiency combined with energy
conservation and advances in technology in the utility industry,
ultimately help our country on a path toward greater energy
independence. And that's worth celebrating.
Benefits of efficiency
At its essence, greater efficiency means less energy is used for
the production of goods and services. For individual consumers, a
reduction in energy use usually translates to a tangible financial
benefit - more money in your wallet at the end of the month. If
your co-op neighbors are also using less energy, collectively, it
means the overall cost of providing that electricity could be lower
and may result in reduced costs for co-op members. For many, this
is reason enough to strive for greater energy efficiency. On a
national level, energy efficiency, sometimes called the "fifth
fuel," has a more profound impact. It can potentially boost the
economy by allowing consumers and businesses to invest in other
areas. As important, greater energy efficiency may slow the rate at
which domestic energy sources are depleted, and therefore reduce or
diminish the need for foreign energy.
Strike up the band
There's no need to wait for the first exploding burst of
fireworks in the night sky to start your energy efficiency efforts.
Every American can take charge of their own energy use, regardless
of the date on the calendar. Small steps can lead to a big
difference for you and your neighbors, whether across the road or
across the country.
Energy efficiency can generally be achieved two ways. The first
is with mechanical change, such as replacing an older HVAC unit or
less efficient appliance with new Energy Star-qualified models.
Less expensive actions include improving the seal of your home's
"envelope" by caulking around exterior windows and doors and
sealing openings where pipes and ductwork meet the outside.
Swapping out the last incandescent bulbs (inside and outside) with
LEDs also makes a noticeable difference.
The second way to realize energy efficiency is through smarter
management of your energy use. Leveraging smart thermostat
technology is a good place to start. Most smart thermostats contain
an app allowing remote control by mobile phone or tablet. Program
your thermostat to reflect your family's schedule. Many thermostat
programs allow you to view and edit your thermostat schedule and
monitor the amount of energy used. Sometimes, however, energy
efficiency is simply a matter of changing old habits such as
washing clothes in cold water instead of hot or running the
dishwasher during off-peak times.
Regardless of the path you take on the road to energy efficiency
and independence, Santee Electric Cooperative can help you on the
journey. For information about energy efficiency programs, visit www.santee.org or give us a call at
Robert G. Ardis III
President and Chief Executive 0fficer
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