Time for your Energy Bill to Lose 10 Pounds: How to Have an EE New Year

Dec 27, 2018

Happy New Year!  

It’s that time of the year when people take time to reflect on what means the most to them. Maybe you will decide that 2019 is the year that you make changes. Maybe you’ll donate your unused items, volunteer, or resolve to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve your life.

This year, I’d like to propose that instead of the traditional “lose 10 pounds,” or join a gym, you decide to not only improve your life, but the lives of your family, neighbors, co-workers, and others around the world. Sound impressive? Maybe a little too lofty of a goal? Nah! It’s easy… just make energy efficient and sustainable choices in 2019. Take small steps. Like trying something new and eco-friendly every month. Here’s some ideas for you:

  • Switch to a green energy supplier (or choose to purchase renewable energy sources as a portion of your electricity use). Check your utility’s website for options.
  • Install a smart home device. They are designed to make living at home more convenient, but many of them improve your energy efficiency too!
  • Use power strips.
  • Install weatherstripping in drafty doors or windows.
  • Don’t buy a treadmill for your home -- instead choose an Elliptical machine or stationary bike. According to the Alliance to Save Energy, these are generally more energy-efficient, self-powered, and even machines at maximum resistance use six to seven times less energy than treadmills.
  • Watch or read an environmental documentary or book every month. Here’s one on our list: EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want.
  • Drive less. Chose to walk, bike, take public transit, car pool, etc. Start with one day a week.
  • Incorporate organic and seasonal foods into your meals.
  • Avoid straws and paper napkins when you dine out.

But the best part about energy efficiency and sustainable choices is that you don’t just have to incorporate them at home. There are several ways that companies and organizations can make these same choices in 2019.

  • Recycle any electronic equipment you are replacing. Many local retailers and computer manufacturers offer recycling programs.
  • Turn off lights when not needed, and replace inefficient, outdated lighting. Motion-sensored lights that turn off automatically may be appropriate in some areas.
  • Start a sustainability program at the office.
  • Add more renewables to your energy mix by enrolling in your utility’s green power program.
  • For building owners: Maintain HVAC equipment and install programmable thermostats.
  • Look into retrocommissioning options through your local utility to improve the performance and energy efficiency of building systems, equipment, and operations as a whole.
  • Look into green procurement (sourcing goods/services that are produced and supplied sustainably). Sourcing from local suppliers is a good way to start.

For more ideas and ways to improve your energy efficiency and sustainability habits, check out these websites:

At Home:

At Work: