FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Andy Farmer (804) 371.9141 Andy.Farmer@scc.virginia.gov Julia Blumenthal (202) 585.2660 email@example.com
VIRGINIA ENERGY SENSE LAUNCHES ENERGY ACTION MONTH DRIVE TO HELP VIRGINIANS SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY Statewide program offers tips, tools and programming to empower Virginians to reduce their energy use
RICHMOND, October 1, 2014 – In celebration of National Energy Action Month, Virginia Energy Sense – the Commonwealth’s statewide consumer energy education program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission – is challenging Virginians to reduce their energy use by 10 percent and realize savings on monthly energy bills. Throughout October, Virginia Energy Sense will unveil new educational resources, including:
- Energy efficiency-focused classroom materials;
- An entertaining and informative video about Virginia’s 10% Challenge; and
- A calendar with 31 tips for every day of the month to help “defeat the energy monsters” lurking in many Virginia homes.
Virginians can also find step-by-step guides on preparing for winter heating costs and learn about businesses, schools and neighbors in their community that are already embracing energy conservation. Virginia’s Tax Holiday for Efficient Appliances From Friday, October 10, to Monday, October 13, Virginians can “Value Your Power” by purchasing ENERGY STAR and WaterSense-approved appliances priced under $2,500 free of tax as part of Virginia’s tax holiday. Virginia Energy Sense, an ENERGY STAR program partner, will share resources leading up to the tax-free holiday to help consumers learn the most efficient ways to use their new and aging appliances and find the most cost effective energy-saving home improvements. New Educational Resources Virginia Energy Sense recently created new curriculum supplements for grades 6-8 to learn about Virginia’s energy sources and ways to reduce consumption at home and school, which align with state science, math and language arts standards. The materials are being distributed for free to classrooms and educators across the Commonwealth. Virginia Energy Sense previously developed activities for grades 3-5 and is also offering a set of “energy monster” coloring books to teach Virginia’s youngest energy users the basics of electricity consumption. Saving Energy in Fall and Winter With fall underway, Virginia Energy Sense encourages residents to realize energy savings and improved comfort in their homes in preparation for winter. Here are simple ways to get started:
- Set your programmable thermostat to reduce heating when you’re asleep and away from home. You could save up to $180 per year!
- Insulate the first 5 feet of exposed pipes coming out of your water heater to prevent pipes from bursting. If the pipes are less than 5 feet, insulate the entire length.
- Water heaters get chilly too: wrap it in an insulating jacket to reduce stand-by heat loss by up to 45 percent and water heating costs by up to 9 percent.
- Getting rid of old, dirty filters can reduce your HVAC’s energy use by as much as 15 percent. An air filter whistle will start to “sing” when your filter is dirty, reminding you to replace it.
- Sealing air leaks around the home can reduce drafts and energy use by as much as 30 percent! Get started with an inexpensive can of spray foam and by caulking and air sealing around doors and windows.
Community Events In recognition of Energy Action Month, Virginia Energy Sense will also be participating in a host of local festivals and employee education events this month, including the Franklin Fall Festival in Downtown Franklin’s historical district and the Annual Harvest Festival in Bowling Green. Event attendees can receive free energy-saving gadgets and resources to help them get started saving energy and reducing household costs. Virginia Energy Sense strives to educate and empower residents of Virginia to learn more about their energy use, take steps to reduce their consumption and inspire others to “Value Your Power.” For more information about Virginia Energy Sense and to learn how your organization can get involved in the program, visit virginiaenergysense.org.
About Virginia Energy Sense
Virginia Energy Sense is the Commonwealth’s state-wide consumer education and outreach program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission. It was created by the General Assembly to help Virginia residents understand how to save energy at home, work and school in support of the state’s goal to reduce energy consumption by 10%. Virginia Energy Sense believes saving energy just makes good sense and encourages all Virginians to “value your power.” The program provides tools and information to help consumers understand their energy bill and take action to reduce it. Consumers can turn to the Virginia Energy Sense website or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to learn about energy efficiency and renewable energy, find ideas that “make sense” and explore financial incentives that “save cents.”