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Energy Efficiency Day, Oct. 5, is call to action for all to save energy

10/3/2017 9:58:50 AM

Minnesota is a national leader in energy efficiency; resources can help Minnesotans improve energy efficiency

For Immediate Release

SAINT PAUL — Governor Dayton has proclaimed October as Energy Awareness Month and Oct. 5 is also being observed as Energy Efficiency Day across the nation. The Minnesota Department of Commerce urges all Minnesota residents and businesses to act on that day, and every day, to save energy and reduce their utility bills.

Minnesota is recognized as a national leader for its energy efficiency efforts, ranking ninth among all states in the new 2017 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard compiled by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

 To continue improving on Minnesota’s efficiency score, there are many actions that people can take on their own to save energy. At minimum, Energy Efficiency Day sponsors suggest taking the national Light Bulb Challenge – replacing at least one incandescent or compact fluorescent bulb with an LED (light-emitting diode). LEDs use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than an incandescent bulb.

 “Energy efficiency is the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable form of energy,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, whose agency includes the state energy office. “By reducing unnecessary energy consumption, we save money while also cutting pollution and protecting the environment. It also means economic opportunity, with a recent report finding that nearly 50,000 Minnesota jobs are tied to the energy efficiency sector.”

As heating systems crank up and cold drafts begin sneaking in through doors and windows, there are some basic steps Minnesotans can take to keep the warm air in and utility bills down.

The Commerce Department offers the following energy-saving tips for this fall and winter:

  • Get an energy audit. The first step to energy efficiency is getting an advanced home energy assessment to identify the best ways to save energy. Audits can be arranged through utilities, nonprofit energy groups and HVAC contractors.
  • Lower your thermostat. Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable when you are home. Turn down the temperature about 10 degrees—manually or via programmable thermostat—at night when you go to bed and when you’re not at home. 
  • Weather strip and caulk windows and doors to eliminate air infiltration.
  • Seal air leaks to prevent cold air infiltration around chimneys, vents, pipes and wires. It also prevents ice dams.
  • Close your fireplace damper when a fire is not in use and install airtight doors to prevent warm air from escaping. 
  • Maintain your heating system. Replace furnace filters regularly as needed. Have your furnace or boiler inspected annually to ensure maximum efficiency and safety, or consider replacing mechanical systems if they are old or inefficient. For wood and pellet-burning heaters, clean the insides and the flue vent to improve efficiency.
  • Turn down the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees F. Not only will this save energy, it will reduce the chance of scalding.
  • Upgrade to LEDs for your entire home’s lighting. LEDs are the most efficient and longest lasting bulbs.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® label. When buying a new household appliance, the label means that it meets strict energy efficiency and reliability guidelines.

Commerce is here to help

Media Contact
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
p: 651-539-1463 | c: 651-368-5050 | ross.corson@state.mn.us

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