October is Energy Action Month!

Mid adult man standing with a young woman using a caulk gun
August 31, 2017

In Montgomery County, we celebrate Energy Action Month by sharing easy tips to help residents and businesses save energy and money.


Outlet plugTIP 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.


Air ConditionerTip 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.


LED Light BulbTip 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!


Water faucetTip 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.

Caulking Gun
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!

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.

3 comments on "October is Energy Action Month!"

  1. Peter L. Joynes says:

    Greatly needed a Mean Green Clean Communities. Would love to work with EPA to develop a collective community awareness campaign to keep all communities clean and Green. Starting with the area schools, private schools,churches,business and government agencies. Public service annoucements about the importants of a Mean Green and Clean sustainable environment and a legacy for future generations to come. Recycling,waste education,personal responsibility of waste management etc. etc.etc…

  2. larissaj says:


    We think a Mean Green Clean Communities campaign would be great as well. We, at DEP, have been working on outreach campaigns around Trees, Stormwater, GreenStreets, Recycling, and Energy for years. We even partner with the Montgomery County Public Schools with their School Energy and Recycle Teams:http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/facilities/greenschoolsfocus/

    If you would like to volunteer with DEP, please contact us through our online system: https://mygreenmontgomery.org/contact-us/

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