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October Is Energy Awareness Month

For Release: October 2, 2012

Contact: Kyla Kruse, 217-546-6815

Get into Energy Efficiency Habits This October

October Is Energy Awareness Month

(SPRINGFIELD, IL)—October is Energy Awareness Month. The Energy Education Council encourages you to turn awareness into action and to take steps to become more energy efficient this October.

“Energy is a vital part of our modern lives. We use energy in our homes, businesses, and transportation,” explains Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council. “We hope that people will make changes during Energy Awareness Month that become year-round efficiency habits.”

There are many ways to be more efficient. The Energy Education Council has the following tips to help you increase your energy efficiency:

  • Timing is everything when it comes to energy. Electricity demand is at its highest in the afternoon and early evening. You can save money and ease stress on the electric grid by doing activities that require lots of energy in late evening or at night.
  • Turn off or unplug electronics you are not using. Use power strips so that you can turn multiple electronics on and off at once.
  • When you leave a room, turn off lights, fans, and electronics that are not in use.
  • Use efficiency settings on televisions, computers, and other electronics.
  • Consider plugging your computer and television into smart power strips. Smart strips sense when a computer is in sleep mode and when a TV is turned off. The smart strip will turn off all related electronics—like cable boxes, video game consoles, and printers.
  • Upgrade caulk, weather stripping, and insulation. If your home leaks air, you are losing money and wasting energy. Energy Star estimates that you can save up to 10 percent on your final energy bill by properly sealing and insulating your home. The areas around windows and doors can often use caulking or weather stripping. Improving attic insulation is one of the best and easiest ways to improve your home’s insulation.
  • Turn thermostats down in the winter and up in the summer. Dress in layers to stay warm, or use fans to stay cool.
  • Save money by adjusting the thermostat when you are away from home. For all types of home cooling systems, you can reduce energy use by increasing the temperature when you are away. However, home heating is different. If your home has a heat pump, the most efficient option is to keep it constantly set to a moderate temperature. For other types of home heating systems, you can save money by adjusting the temperature when you are away from home.
  • Lower your water heater setting to 120 degrees. Much of the energy a water heater consumes goes to storing the water at the selected temperature.
  • If it is time for a new appliance or electronic, consider purchasing an efficient Energy Star product. Energy Star products consume 10 to 50 percent less energy than other products and sometimes qualify for tax credits.

For more information on energy efficiency, visit EnergyEdCouncil.org.

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The Energy Education Council is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety and energy efficiency. Established in 1952, the Council is headquartered within the University of Illinois Extension, and serves as a forum for diverse utility and energy organizations to collaborate on the mutually vital issues of efficiency and safety. Learn more at www.EnergyEdCouncil.org.