National Cut Your Energy Cost Day is January 10 and serves as a reminder to us all that reducing energy use saves money and helps in the fight against global climate change.
“National Cut Your Energy Cost Day allows us to focus on ways of reducing our energy costs and usage that when done on a regular basis will not only save consumers money, it will also help our environment,” explained Richard Dovey, Atlantic County Utilities Authority President.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an average family in the United States will pay more than $1,600 a year in home utility costs. This total often includes a large percentage of energy that is wasted because of inefficiency. Electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home can emit more carbon dioxide than two average cars.
In addition, transportation costs account for an estimated 66 percent of all U.S. oil consumption.
The US DOE advocates energy efficiency and conservation measures that can help reduce energy use up to 25 percent based on looking at your home in terms of a “whole-house energy efficiency plan.” For example, an energy efficient furnace will burn a greater amount of fuel if a home has windows, walls and an attic that are not well insulated. This approach helps to ensure that dollars invested in energy efficiency and home improvements are well spent.
The US DOE has numerous energy-saving tips that are both easy to do and cost-effective:
- set thermostats comfortably low in the winter and comfortably high in the summer. Consider installing a programmable thermostat that is compatible with your heating and cooling system
- use compact fluorescent light bulbs
- air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle
- turn off your computer and monitor when not in use
- plug home electronics, such as televisions and DVD players, into power strips and turn off when not in use (when in standby mode, they still use several watts of energy)
- lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
- take short showers instead of baths
- wash only full loads of dishes and clothes
- drive sensibly – aggressive driving wastes gasoline
- look for the Energy Star® label on home appliances and products. These products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy
For more information on energy conservation, please visit the U.S. DOE website at www.energy.gov
The United Way of Atlantic County has planned a 2008 Energy and Social Services Assistance Expo scheduled from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 24 at the Shore Mall located in Egg Harbor Township. The Expo is part of the United Way’s Project Warm Heart and will be located in front of Boscov’s inside the Shore Mall. Representatives from South Jersey Industries, Atlantic City Electric, the ACUA and other organizations, including social service agencies will be on hand. The concept of the Expo is to help people with their energy bills this winter and to connect them with programs and services that may help them to make ends meet. Individuals should bring energy bills and proof of income, residency, rent/mortgage bills, etc.