October is Energy Action Month!
In Montgomery County, we celebrate Energy Action Month 2 ways: by hosting fun, free events around the County and by sharing easy tips to help residents and businesses save energy and money.
We hope you’ll join us at one of our Energy Exploration events at libraries or for an Energy BINGO game at a Senior Center. But if not, take some time to see if you can shine a light on energy savings:
TIP 1: Make a COUNTER argument
Most of your small kitchen appliances reside on your counters. This month, we propose you UNPLUG those appliances when they are not being used.
Do the Math: There are 24 hours in a day and 30 days in an average month, giving us 720 hours. Multiply that by the 0.00308 kilowatts your small appliances are using in “standby mode”. That’s ~ 2.22 kilowatt-hours per month.
At a rate of $0.11 per kilowatt hour, that means your appliances are eating about $0.24 per month sitting on the counter in standby mode. Now multiply that by how many appliances you have plugged it – your coffee maker, microwave, toaster oven…etc. Unplugging these items will save you dollars a month and won’t be wasting energy.
Tip 2: Breathe easy…
Half your energy bill goes to heating and air conditioning your home, on average. If your units are not running in top form, they’re wasting money and could be impacting your air quality.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air inside the average home is up to 5X’s more polluted than the air outside. One way to maintain healthy air is to clean your air conditioner filters and follow this compliance checklist.
Tip 3: Watt’s up with your lighting?
Now is the time to switch over to LEDs, this app will help you find the best fit for you. They are one of the best forms of light for your home or office, compared to less-efficient CFL or incandescent bulbs.
LED light bulbs last significantly longer than other light bulbs, for approximately 50,000 hours and they don’t contain mercury (like CFLs do) so they can be thrown into the trash when they burn out in 17 years!
Tip 4: Water you thinking?
In an average home, showers are typically the 3rd largest water use after toilets and clothes washers. The average American shower uses 17.2 gallons and lasts for 8.2 minutes.…that’s a lot of water. In addition to taking shorter showers, we encourage you to install an EPA WaterSense high efficiency shower head. You’ll hardly notice the difference — except in your water use and bill.
Tip 5: Time to Caulk it out
Plugging up small leaks can add up to big savings. Small gaps and cracks around your windows and doors and in your basement and attic can let the air you’re heating or cooling escape. It can also let in moldy and dusty air, and even vermin!
If you can feel drafts, you really have a problem, but even if you don’t, almost every home can benefit from additional caulking and weatherstripping. Nearly half your energy cost is for heating or cooling your home. So it’s not just air that’s leaking out — it’s money!
Energy Exploration: Join Us!
In an effort to bring energy efficiency to you in a fun, interactive way, we are partnering with Montgomery County Public Libraries to bring you five Energy Exploration events throughout the County. Each event features tips and projects on how to save energy and use renewable energy. You can learn more here.
The events are scheduled for:
- Saturday, October 14th**: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Kensington Park Library, 4201 Knowles Ave, Kensington
- Sunday, October 15th: 2-4 p.m. Damascus Library, 9701 Main St, Damascus
- Saturday, October 21st: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Twin Brook Library, 202 Meadow Hall Dr, Rockville
- Sunday, October 22nd: 2-4 p.m. Long Branch Library, 8800 Garland Ave, Silver Spring
- Saturday, October 28th: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.- Potomac Library, 10101 Glenolden Dr, Potomac
** Pepco Appliance Recycling event. Bring your old, working air conditioner or dehumidifier and receive up to $25 in rebates per appliance ($50 total rebates available. Will be mailed after the event).
Seniors can discover ways to save energy and money, while playing BINGO with friends and neighbors. Attendance is free for one of our upcoming Energy BINGO events:
- Tuesday, October 10th: 1pm – 2pm at the White Oak Senior Center, 1700 April Ln, Silver Spring
- Wednesday, October 11th: 1pm – 2pm at the Schweinhaut Senior Center, 1000 Forest Glen Rd, Silver Spring
- Monday, October 16th: 11am – 12pm at the Long Branch Senior Center, 8700 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring
- Monday, October 16th: 1pm – 2pm at the Holiday Park Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Dr, Silver Spring
- Wednesday, October 18th: 1pm – 2pm at the Damascus Senior Center, 9701 Main St #2, Damascus
About Energy Action Month
National Energy Action Month takes place every October! It is an annual celebration that has been around since 1990 as a way to increase public understanding of our Nation’s energy needs and the energy choices available to us. The Department of Energy even has a checklist for home owners that outlines actions that conserve energy within your home.