If it’s not in use, turn off the juice!
Reducing household energy use doesn’t mean doing without. It doesn’t require walking around your house wearing extra sweaters and earmuffs in the dead of winter, or stripping down to the bare essentials in the summer. It means being smarter about how you manage the energy you do use. Consider Guernsey-Muskingum Electric your trusted resource for exploring energy-saving strategies. Not-for-profit, member-owned electric co-ops want to help their member owners. Sometimes that involves lowering their members’ bills, and other times it involves increasing efficiency options to reduce operating costs.
Energy efficiency means performing the same job and getting a similar outcome using less energy. This efficiency is often achieved through a mechanical change, such as replacing an older, less efficient appliance or mechanical unit with a new model, but sometimes a minor change of habit is all that’s needed. Examples could include dimming lights, turning down the thermostat or washing clothes in cold water instead of hot.
The benefits of energy efficiency and conservation
So why are energy conservation and energy efficiency more important than ever to our members? What are the benefits of efficiency and conservation? The short answer is that energy reduction in your home 1) saves you money; 2) improves our economy by enabling consumers and businesses to spend and invest in other areas; and 3) reduces the amount of pollution emitted from power generation.
The more complex answer is that modern life means we are placing increasing demands on all forms of energy. For example, consumers are more reliant on devices, computers, phones (with charging stations), sophisticated media/home entertainment and video gaming systems, and “smart” technology that all rely on electricity. The wide array of new electronic devices is improving our quality of life, and electric co-ops are promoting efficiency to bring new conveniences at a lower cost.
Energy efficiency: the “First Fuel”
In this period of rapidly changing technology, Americans are increasingly aware of the need to reduce energy consumption. Many now call energy savings the “first fuel", because the easiest way to reduce fuel cost and carbon emissions is to save energy. Energy is a valuable commodity, and while the discussions over climate change and carbon footprints continue, we must all do our part to conserve this precious resource. Protecting and preserving the quality of water and air is also our shared responsibility. Using less energy may even boost the economy by relieving the ever-tightening family budget, allowing dollars to be spent on more tangible goods.
Americans have demonstrated a willingness to take steps toward reducing their energy consumption, both to save money and out of concern for the environment. According to the January 2014 Nielson U.S. Consumer Energy Sentiments Report, 91 percent of consumers are willing to change their energy-use behavior to save money on energy costs. The same report indicates that 77 percent would change their behavior out of concern for the environment.
Electric co-ops can help you use less electricity
Consumers recognize that conserving energy and becoming more energy efficient are the smart and right thing to do. But they are also looking for guidance on how to do just that. Electric co-ops are a great local resource for helping consumers develop individual plans tailored to their needs and the local environment. Our employees understand better than most that every household has its own complex energy system.
Guernsey-Muskingum Electric offers energy audits, energy- saving tips, and recommendations on the latest technology, and advice on choosing and maintaining heating and cooling systems. The first step in this process is easy – simply reach out to us for help with taking control of your own energy use, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving the ideal balance of efficiency and conservation. In turn, you will be helping yourself, your community and the environment – and that benefits all of us.
For information on how you can be more energy efficient, contact Guernsey-Muskingum Electric at 740-826-7661.
By Anne Prince. Anne writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.