So, in the Land of Fruits and Nuts, we have to remodel the home. “Have to” is an understatement – the home’s major systems are failing – we’ve had the sewer pipe burst underneath the house, the water pipes have failed in 2 separate locations, the furnace broke down completely, and electrical panel is shot. So we are undertaking a full house remodel.
In doing so, you can be sure that we will be making the home as green as possible, including making it more energy efficient. Yes, we will be joining team ENERGY STAR.
ENERGY STAR is a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that is designed to help us save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. Now, for my husband, energy efficiency is more about saving money. If you don’t think energy efficiency can save you money, keep in mind that the average US household spends more than $2,000 per year in energy bills. With ENERGY STAR, you can save over one-third, or more than $760, on your household energy bills. For me, energy efficiency is critical to preserving the environment and conserving our natural resources. Yes, for me, it is all about the EPIC fight to combat climate change. And that is why we are joining Team ENERGY STAR – an initiative developed to engage and educate American youth and their families about saving energy in the home. This year, ENERGY STAR partners PTO Today and LG Electronics have brought in the heroic characters from the new movie EPIC, to help kids learn about the importance of saving energy while having fun at the same time.
Why does being energy efficient help the environment? Because most of our energy – about 70% of the electricity we use – comes from power plants burning fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels causes greenhouse gas emissions – the gases that contribute to climate change. Also, burning fossil fuels spews out a host of chemicals that cause severe health concerns for those living near and far from the power plants. Don’t think it matters because you don’t live near a plant? Much of the mercury contaminating our seafood is a result of mercury released from fossil fuel burning power plants. We are all part of this amazing interconnected web, and our personal choices do matter.
In any event, because we have to replace so many appliances and products, virtually all of them, we will be purchasing products that bear the ENERGY STAR certification. If we can, we will select products that are part of ENERGY STAR’s Most Efficient – the best of the best in energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR’s most efficient program has products identified in the following categories: boilers, clothes washers, furnaces, refrigerators, windows and more (even computer monitors)! If you have to by new appliances, be sure to check out the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient models.
We will also be looking for energy efficient lighting. Did you know that the average home spends about 12% of its electricity bill on lighting? A single ENERGY STAR certified light bulb can save between $40 and $95 in electricity costs over its lifetime. So we will be looking for certified fixtures and bulbs.
So, for us, being part of Team ENERGY STAR and the ENERGY STAR program is very important this year.
Not buying new stuff this year? That’s okay. You can still take the ENERGY STAR pledge and take personal actions to reduce your energy use at home. You can also help your family and friends, perhaps even your school, to reduce energy. Take some easy steps – turn off lights when not in use, replace bulbs as needed with energy efficient bulbs, set your thermostat so you don’t run the heat or air conditioning when you don’t need it, etc. Our personal choices can help us not only save money, but conserve energy and thereby minimize climate change. Go check out the ENERGY STAR website for more tips and information. Join Team ENERGY STAR to work towards educating our kids and take the ENERGY STAR pledge to do something now.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am writing about Team ENERGY STAR because I support the program and because I believe it is important to educate the public about energy efficiency and climate change. The opinions expressed in this post are my own. However, please be advised that I did receive a modest “thank you” reward from LG, an ENERGY STAR partner, in appreciation for my post.