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Virginia Energy Sense Releases Holiday Gadgets Guide For Energy Efficient Gifting Statewide program features products to help Virginians give and reap the gift of energy savings

RICHMOND, November 18, 2014 – In the spirit of the holiday gift-giving season, Virginia Energy Sense – the Commonwealth’s statewide energy education program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission – has unveiled a list of the latest tools and technology gadgets that can help friends and family reduce energy consumption, save money and make their home more comfortable all year long. The featured gadgets, available at many local hardware stores and online retailers, range in price from low-cost stocking stuffers to products that can help loved ones realize significant and long-term energy savings. Homeowners and renters alike can also gift themselves these helpful items to curb winter energy costs and start the New Year on the right track! Virginia Energy Sense recommends these energy efficient products for the holiday season:

  • Smart LED Bulb: Smart LEDs can be adjusted from a mobile phone or automatically based on one’s daily routine, and LEDs can last 35-50 times longer than incandescent bulbs. (Avg. cost: $15)
  • Solar-powered Backpack: The perfect gift for travelers and outdoor enthusiasts, a solar-powered backpack can charge multiple electronic devices at a time using a detachable solar panel. (Avg. cost $50-$200)
  • Energy Saving Outlet: Great for appliances that are only used occasionally. It uses a timer to reduce vampire power (energy being drawn from an outlet even when a device is not in use), which can account for up to $100 a year in energy costs. (Avg. cost $7-$11)
  • Solar Rechargeable Speakers: These waterproof speakers can play music up to ten hours on a full solar-powered charge and connects to phone and mp3 devices via Bluetooth for playing music outdoors and on the go. (Avg. cost: $130)
  • Motion Sensor: An easily-installed motion sensor can automatically switch lights on when someone enters a room and then turn them off when they leave, saving on unnecessary lighting costs. (Avg. cost $20-$30)
  • Chimney Draft Stopper: Designed for when a fireplace is not in use, a chimney draft stopper can help stop drafts from entering the home with the help of an inflatable, reusable and long-lasting bag. (Avg. cost $50-$65)
  • Smart Window Air Conditioner: An attractive and more efficient replacement for clunky, outdated window units, a smart window air conditioner learns residents’ schedules to help cool a home only when needed. (Avg. cost: $250)
  • Door Draft Stopper: A draft stopper placed beneath a room door is an easy fix to help prevent air leaks and keep warm air in a particular room. For a fun winter activity, crafters and DIY’ers can even make these themselves with festive fabrics sewn around old socks or a pool noodle. (Avg. cost $10-$20)
  • Air Deflectors & Vent Covers: To help keep your loved ones toasty in winter – and avoid continually increasing your indoor temperature — air deflectors and vent covers redirect heated air downward (and cool air from the air conditioner upward) to better blend room temperatures. (Avg. cost $4-$6)

Virginia Energy Sense strives to educate and empower Virginians to learn more about their energy use and take steps to reduce their consumption all year round. Other resources to help residents save energy and money include: a free online Home Energy Test to help residents identify ways to reduce consumption and costs; the Virginia Energy Efficient Homes Showcase featuring energy-saving homes across the Commonwealth to inspire others; and an easy-to-use database of financial incentives and rebates to help offset the cost of energy improvements and equipment. For more information about Virginia Energy Sense, visit

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.”

Lesson Plans
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Get your students energized about responsible energy use! In partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, we’ve created fun, multi-day, Lesson plans to help you teach your students how to understand and conserve energy! They’re classroom-ready and free to use!