Zapped: Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Welcome to the Environment: It is easy being green, a practical guide to sustainability and sustainable practices. In 2020, we will be exploring a blog series titled, Environment: It is easy being green that will cover information designed to help you save money, reduce your carbon footprint and be a great steward of the planet.

Here we’ll discuss energy efficiency and conservation.



From flyers to lightbulb giveaways, somewhere there is a conversation about what residents and businesses can do to save the environment and money. This is also a great conversation to have with colleagues on what can be done to be more sustainable when staffing events, giving workshops or providing presentations.


As a good rule of thumb, always start where people can tangibly see where money can be saved, physically touch what is being discussed and control the outcome. It creates a very encouraging atmosphere where most will be receptive and open to incorporating simple practices into daily habits.


With energy efficiency and conservation there is a list of 5 things that are always shared as items that must remain plugged in, while everything else is an option:

1. Refrigerator;
2. Gas stove;
3. Gas dryer;
4. Internet (this includes a security system and telephone);
5. Cable/DVR.


These five items serve as empowerment, education, exposure tools, and help create sustainability champions at work, school, home and in the community by providing tangible examples that everyone can implement to save money, increase energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption.


Everything else is optional!


Meaning. The washing machine (that’s plugged into the 220v line – by the way, it is one of the appliances using the most phantom/vampire energy in your home), television, lamps in the guest room, mobile telephone chargers, tablet chargers, printer, computer, laptop, clocks, microwave, etc. can all be unplugged until needed or plugged into a surge protector, power strip and turned off when not in use.


Imagine, leaving for work and all of the aforementioned items are left plugged in – all day, for one year! Yep, this means we are allowing what’s called “phantom energy” or “vampire energy” to increase our energy use and subsequently our electric bill. By unplugging or using a surge protector/power strip and turning it off when not in use, we not only save annually on our electric bills, we also save energy and resources used to create the energy consumed!


There are many other ways to get involved. Sticking with energy, there’s the NOPEC Electric Governmental Program and the Quick Reference Card provided by First Energy and Dominion Energy’s Home Performance with Energy Star Program. Now, everyone has opportunities to manage their output of energy and save money by doing your part to save the planet.


Next up in the Environment blog series is Consumed: Waste


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