The holidays have come and gone, and many Virginians have made their New Year’s Resolutions. For some, it may mean getting to the gym more or getting out more into nature. While Virginia Energy Sense (VES) can’t help you burn those calories or plan your next great hike, we can share some important reasons why you should resolve to #VAlueYourPower this year and cut your energy consumption.
Our own New Year’s resolution here at VES is to help you become more energy efficient through our energy education program. We want to help Virginians understand all the easy and effective ways to save energy – and why that benefits you and your wallet.
Unlike some New Year’s resolutions that seem almost impossible to achieve, saving energy is easy, rewarding – and it can even be fun!
While many people think about saving energy at home, this is equally important to consider at the workplace. Below are several resolutions you can make to conserve energy and ultimately reduce your energy costs both at home and while at work.
Energy-saving New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home
Install a smart thermostat – If you’re constantly going in and out of your house, chances are you are using energy when not there. A smart thermostat learns your behavior and can lower or raise the temperature if you are going to be out or not. And it lets you control your home’s temperature from your smartphone.
Maintain your filters – Replace or clean your furnace filters once a month, as dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use.
Buy ENERGY STAR – ENERGY STAR qualified products have the highest energy efficiency ratings, and your home could see long term savings by switching to them!
Lower your water heater’s temperature – By lowering your water heater’s maximum temperature to approximately 120 degrees, you can save energy and money on water heating costs.
Insulate your home – Make sure your home’s attic and basement are properly insulated. If your insulation is just level with or below your floor joists, you should add more.
Maintain your air – Ensure your HVAC systems are running efficiently by having your system serviced once per year and by cleaning or changing your filters monthly. Doing so can reduce energy consumption up to 15 percent and increase savings by up to 7.5 percent.
Use power strips – Plug in several devices, like your smartphone or laptop, to a power strip in your house to make turning them all off much easier.
Energy-saving New Year’s Resolutions for Your Workplace
Close those blinds – Keep your business cool by closing blinds in the winter at the end of the day to reduce heat loss, and during the day in the summer to avoid the heat of direct sunlight.
Turn off your computer – Monitors account for most of the energy used by computers, so be sure to turn them off when not in use and before you head home to save energy.
Switch off lights – Place reminders near light switches to help coworkers or employees get in the habit of turning off lights when they leave their offices and cubicles.
Clear your vents – Blocked vents can result in as much as a 25 percent increase in energy used to distribute air in the office, so be sure to clear the areas in front of vents of obstructions.
Be smart – Utilize the energy efficient features on your work computer, like using sleep mode controls and developing nighttime shut down protocols, to cut energy consumption.
Apply for rebates – If you’re a business owner, check out our commercial incentives page to see if there are any government or utility energy saving programs your business qualifies for.
Switch to LEDs – CFLs and LED light bulbs use less energy and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Switching to them will save your office both energy and money!