Have you made your New Year’s Resolution yet? How about making a resolution that will keep cash in your pocket? Resolve to save energy (and money) by participating in the #31DaysOfMCEC competition this January.
Each day during the month we’ll post simple actions you can perform to reduce your electricity or natural gas bill on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Reply with a picture of yourself performing the action to any of these social media platforms with the hashtag #31DaysOfMCEC, and you’ll be entered to win one of several prizes, such as gift cards to local businesses, a cutting board made from wood reclaimed from a downed tree, and much more!
Share with your friends, and have fun!
The Monroe County Energy Challenge needs volunteers! Starting in 2016, approved organizations can earn funds – we’ll pay your organization $10 for every hour of volunteer labor you recruit.
Volunteers will assist with both home energy assessments (training provided) and general outreach.
Organizations must supply at least 30 hours of labor to qualify for this compensation, and may supply up to 100 hours (for a maximum of $1,000).
Recipient organizations must be 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations (or able to accept donations through a tax-exempt organization). Your group may generate funds on behalf of another organization – just provide information on both groups in the application.
Applications to participate in the volunteer fundraising program are due by January 18. APPLY HERE.
Additional info available at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.mocoenergychallenge.org.
When I first started trying to conserve energy, I didn’t know how to begin. When I tried finding easy ways online, it all seemed very intimidating. Too many people make extreme suggestions, telling you to turn your thermostat down to 55 and just wear a coat inside the house, or don’t have more than one or two items drawing power at the same time. One person even suggested getting rid of light fixtures and just using candles!
That’s all a bit extreme for me, especially as a beginner. But energy conservation doesn’t have to be. Here are some helpful thoughts to keep in mind.
First, you can start small. You don’t have to immediately audit everything in your home and track every bit of energy you’re using. Just think about how you can reduce your biggest sources of energy use. Try weatherizing your windows or turning the thermostat down during the day when you’re not home. You could also replace your most commonly used lightbulbs with LEDs. After you’ve covered the basics, sign up for a free home energy assessment from the MCEC to find even more ways to save!
Second, energy conservation doesn’t have to be expensive. Most energy saving projects will save money in the long run, but some can be hard to do. You don’t have to pay expensive repairmen to come service every appliance in your house right away. The most cost effective investment I made was plastic insulation for my windows. That only cost about $20 for eight windows and I saw savings greater than that in my next two gas bills. New lightbulbs are also affordable. LED’s only cost about $9 (or $3 if you buy them through the Duke Energy Savings Store!), and CFL’s are even less. Duke Energy will even give you a few free CFL’s, which are a good alternative to old incandescent bulbs. Switching out just six bulbs could save you $240 bulb for a small upfront cost.
Finally, it does make a difference. Even though it might seem like your small steps are insignificant, it adds up. And eventually you can work your way up to bigger changes. Conserve more energy, and save more money!