Energy Action Month 2021 – Balloons Soar, Your Utility Bills Shouldn’t

September 29, 2021
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What do hot air balloons and incandescent bulbs have in common? They are similar in shape and both produce/use heat.

According to Wikipedia, “a hot-air balloon is a lighter-than-air aircraft consisting of a bag, called an envelope, which contains heated air. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant, since it has a lower density than the colder air outside the envelope.” Incandescent light bulbs is an electric light with a wire filament heated until it glows. Balloons soar – your utility bills shouldn’t. 

That is why this month, we are focusing all of our efforts on making sure residents have the most energy efficient light bulbs on the market – LEDs. For the entire month, we will be at various locations to recycle your old incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs and replace them with LEDs. ENERGY STAR® certified LED light bulbs use up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs, last at least 15 times longer, and save you more than $66 in energy bills and bulb replacement costs over their lifetime.

Oh and why not take those old incandescent bulbs and turn them into little hot air balloons? 

As pictured on the right, we have created a way to turn your inefficient bulb into treasure. In fact, we will be hosting an interactive online workshop with Montgomery Public Libraries to transform your old bulbs into works of art. We will also be talking about energy efficiency and sharing tips to keep your bills low this winter.

Join our Event Here:

Or Dial In: 301 715 8592; Meeting ID: 988 0475 9411


What is Energy Action Month? 

Since September 1991, the President has declared October as National Energy Awareness Month. This month long celebration has now become an opportunity for the County to encourage residents to take proactive steps to use less energy and keep money in their pockets.

Montgomery County has declared a climate emergency and resolved to reduce communitywide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035 from a 2005 baseline. The residents and businesses of Montgomery County rely on energy in nearly every aspect of their daily lives and are encouraged to monitor their energy usage and habits and take steps to reduce their energy usage through energy efficiency; and energy efficiency is the cheapest, quickest, and cleanest way to meet Montgomery County’s energy needs, avoid dangerous pollution, reduce utility bills, and improve the overall quality of life for County residents and businesses.

Why Energy Efficiency? 

From the moment we wake up every day, energy plays a role in our lives. Energy Action Month is a series of events created to connect Montgomery County residents with the information they need to improve energy efficiency and reduce their energy bills.

The potential for savings is huge: the EmPOWER Maryland program, which subsidizes investments in energy efficiency, has saved utility customers $1.8 billion on their electricity bills by helping them reduce power usage and preventing the need for new power plants to be built. (Source: The Baltimore Sun, January 2017).

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “using energy more efficiently is one of the fastest, most cost-effective ways to save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, and meet growing energy demand. The many benefits of energy efficiency include:

  • Environmental: Increased efficiency can lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other pollutants, as well as decrease water use.
  • Economic: Improving energy efficiency can lower individual utility bills, create jobs, and help stabilize electricity prices and volatility.
  • Utility System Benefits: Energy efficiency can provide long-term benefits by lowering overall electricity demand, thus reducing the need to invest in new electricity generation and transmission infrastructure.
  • Risk Management: Energy efficiency also helps diversify utility resource portfolios and can be a hedge against uncertainty associated with fluctuating fuel prices.”

Where Can I Swap my Bulbs? 

Lighten Up events are an opportunity for residents to learn more about the difference between incandescent, compact fluorescent, and LED bulbs and to SWAP out their old bulbs for new, energy efficient ones. This year, we will be visiting every open library to provide residents with opportunities to switch to LEDs. Check out the list of events on the Lighten Up website.

Don’t forget that compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury so please do not put them in your trash – recycle right or  bring them to us!!!


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