Cooperative Encourages Members to Practice Energy Efficiency
Brighton, CO – In the spring of 1970, more than 20 million Americans were inspired to gather in communities across the country to celebrate the first Earth Day. The celebration was designed to bring awareness to environmental issues and encourage using our resources more efficiently. This year, United Power is encouraging its members to practice energy efficiency and join the cooperative in recognizing Earth Day on April 22.
“Our members are the drivers of energy efficiency, and we want to help them make better decisions about how they use electricity in their homes and businesses,” said United Power Chief Executive Officer Mark A. Gabriel. “As a cooperative, we are uniquely situated to provide tools for members to make energy efficiency a priority this Earth Day. We encourage our members to take a moment to consider the ways they can improve their energy use, save money and help contribute to environmental wellness both locally and globally.”
Thinking about ways to implement energy efficiency goals may seem daunting to many individuals and families, but it does not have to be. United Power offers members a wealth of information about how to practice energy efficiency. Here are some easy and low-cost tips to start your energy saving journey:
Invest in LED Lighting
Many homes and businesses may still utilize older, less efficient forms of lighting. Traditional lighting converts energy into heat to produce light. The heat lost during generation is wasted. Newer, more efficient LEDs, or light emitting diodes, turn energy directly into light, producing little wasted energy. Although LEDs can be a more expensive investment initially, they will pay for themselves in time because they have a far longer life than traditional bulbs and use far less energy. It is one of the quickest ways to practice energy efficiency in your home.
Manage Your Demand
Demand is the amount of energy you use in a given time. United Power recommends members stagger the use of large appliances, such as ovens, dishwashers, clothing washers and dryers to keep demand costs down. When possible, you can also try to use smaller appliances to do the job of bigger ones, such as cooking in a crockpot.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Heating and cooling account for approximately half of the average family’s annual energy use. Because spring weather in Colorado is impossible to predict, you never know if you will be cranking up the heat or blasting your air conditioning. Adjusting your thermostat even a single degree per an eight-hour period is estimated to result in a 1 percent savings on your energy bill. During warm nights, you can also take advantage of Colorado’s mild climate by opening a couple windows, known as cross ventilation.
Turn Appliances Completely Off
Whether you are leaving for a short trip to the grocery store or a weeklong family vacation, take care to ensure any appliances are turned off. Many newer appliances have what is called a “standby” mode, which still draws a small amount of energy. Televisions and gaming systems are most notable for these modes. These loads can add up quickly. According to the US Department of Energy, these loads account for approximately 10 percent of the average family’s energy use.
Simple, quick and cheap steps can show immediate results. These steps will help you, help the cooperative and, most importantly, help the environment. For members who want to go a step further and generate solar energy at home, these simple energy savings tips can help you get the most out of your solar investment. For more information on how to manage energy use in your home, go to Managing My Energy.
How United Power is Forging a Renewable Future
United Power has long been invested in pursuing renewable projects that make economic sense for both the cooperative and its members. The cooperative has built a national reputation for its introduction of innovative renewable projects over the past decade, beginning with the launch of its community solar garden, Sol Partners, in May 2010.
As your cooperative, United Power continues to monitor the renewable energy landscape and recognizes the future of electrical generation will be an “all of the above” strategy of investing in a variety of generation sources. The addition of these projects, from utility scale solar farms to a state-leading battery storage facility, helps build some cost stability for members.
The addition of the Platteville Solar Farm in December brought United Power’s cumulative solar production to more than 45 megawatts. Together with the cooperative’s other renewable projects and its members’ rooftop solar systems, United Power produces nearly 85 total megawatts, accounting for 14 percent of its energy needs and enough to power more than 11,000 homes and businesses.
“United Power has demonstrative success in planning for and implementing renewable projects that provide tangible benefits for our members,” Gabriel said. “As we plan for the future, we’ll continue to prioritize projects that establish us as a leader in the energy industry and also meet our members’ expectations for us as their cooperative. What we’re doing now is laying the groundwork for a sustainable and environmentally friendly electric utility.”