With autumn approaching, leaves and temperatures are falling, providing many opportunities for homeowners and businesses to think about how they’re consuming energy. Furthermore, October is Energy Action Month, a perfect time to take the initiative to reduce energy consumption and become more energy efficient. As the Commonwealth’s energy education program, Virginia Energy Sense is tasked with raising awareness in the state about easy ways to save energy and help Virginia meet its goal of reducing electric energy consumption 10 percent below 2006 levels by 2022. The most practical way to meet this goal is through energy conservation and energy efficiency. We are committed to helping Virginians understand their energy use and what they can do to save energy easily and cost-effectively. Below are some ideas and tips you can use at home and in your workplace, several of which are best performed in the milder temperatures of fall. Key Energy Saving Tips for Your Home or the Workplace

  • Turn off your lights when not in use and consider replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs
  • Replace HVAC air filters, as dirty filters cause systems to run below peak efficiency
  • Ensure that air intake vents, radiators, etc., are not obstructed so that air can flow freely
  • Examine insulation in accessible areas of your office space or home (attic, basement, or unfinished storage areas) and consider adding insulation if needed
  • Weatherize your home by caulking and weather-stripping all doors and windows
  • Use or switch to energy efficient televisions, computers, and other appliances
  • Turn off appliances and equipment when not in use
  • Check for seams and cracks in exposed HVAC ductwork and use HVAC tape to seal those leaks, making your system more efficient
  • Use fans to circulate air inside without using air conditioning in the final days of summer and in early fall
  • Install a programmable thermostat. Program the temperatures around your home or workplace activities to minimize heating and cooling costs

Making these changes can result in a noticeable impact on your home or office energy bill, as you’ll be saving money by being more efficient. For example, according to the Department of Energy, if you reduce drafts in your home you can cut your energy bill by as much as 30 percent. Energy Action Month is also a perfect opportunity to get a head start on applying for any rebates and incentives that your utility or coop offers. Learn more about what rebates and incentives are available for your home and office. Take action on Energy Efficiency Day, October 5, by reducing your energy consumption and finding ways to be more efficient. The My Energy Star tool on our website features tips and home improvement projects that will jumpstart your energy saving efforts! Not only will you be helping to conserve energy, but you or your business will be able to enjoy the additional savings you’ve helped create. By taking these steps, you can help Virginia reach its goal of responsible energy consumption.

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!