Yes, we’re talking to YOU.Remember how you felt in elementary school when you first learned about civil rights, global warming or genocide in Rwanda and you launched a full-blown campaign on all fronts of your life – at home, on the playground and on the phone with your grandparents?
You knew then that you could make a difference. You were just a little kid, but you were going to change the world.
Somehow, as we get older and bigger, the world is the only thing that seems to grow larger instead of smaller and its vastness makes us forget that we have the power to change it.
It starts with one
But when you change your habits and you talk to people about what you’re doing and why, the idea spreads. It’s already happening. Energy efficiency and green are popular topics these days. The world is already changing – one house at a time.
Cutting back on the energy consumption in your Colorado home can make you a part of that change.
How changing your energy habits can help conservation
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that a reduction in energy consumption at home decreases greenhouse gas emissions. Because of energy conservation initiatives, in 2008 greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. dropped by about the equivalent of the emissions from 29 million cars, according to the EPA.
Where to start
Not many Coloradans know how much energy they use in a month. There are a lot of resources out there to help identify energy usage. Here are just a few:
- Utility Companies. See if your utility company will provide you with your energy profile. Some companies may even take part in the Green Button program, which was started by the U.S. Department of Energy to allow easy online access to information about consumers’ energy usage. Colorado Springs Utilities and Xcel Energy, which serve most Southern Colorado utility customers, will always provide you with a detailed bill.
U.S. Department of Energy’s energy estimation formula. If you take the total amount of watts an appliance uses, multiply that number by the number of hours you use the appliance, and divide the result by 1,000, you will have an estimate for how much energy you are using per appliance. So if you have a TV that consumes 300 watts of energy, and you watch four hours of television a day, your formula for the daily energy consumption of your TV would be:
(300 × 4) ÷ 1,000 = 1.2 Daily Kilowatt-hours of electricity consumption
You can use this calculation for all of your major appliances to estimate how much energy you are using overall.
- Get a Colorado home energy audit. Seek help. A professional home energy audit is a great way for Colorado families to find out how much energy they are using and how they’re using it.
What you can do
Saving the world will not require you to don a cape and spandex tights, but you will have to do a little work and possibly make some sacrifices.
- See where you can cut back. Can you run the dishwasher or do laundry fewer times per week? Can you turn down the temperature of your refrigerator and still keep food cool? Make sure you turn off your TV and computer when you aren’t using them.
- Use your heating and air conditioning responsibly. Try using more blankets or warmer clothing instead of cranking up the heat during this winter, which is predicted to be a blustery one in Colorado.
- Contact the experts at the Energy Resource Center. We are a Colorado utilities assistance organization that helps consumers of El Paso, Teller, Fremont, Elbert, Douglas, Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Saguache and Rio Grande counties find better ways to use energy. We can conduct a home energy audit for a moderate fee, or at no charge for income-qualified residents. Let us help you get started on saving money and saving the environment.