Stay Warm and Save Money this Winter
There are only so many layers we can pile on and so many blankets we can snuggle under before the heat gets turned on. Winter temperatures almost always force us to turn up the thermostat to stay comfortable, but there are things we all can do to use that energy wisely and help protect the environment.
Staying toasty (and thrifty) at CA
Columbia Association (CA) is committed to doing its part in our facilities. As an organization, we participate in the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company’s (BGE) Smart Energy Savers Program to make energy efficient and climate friendly improvements throughout its building portfolio. For example, CA installed a new Combined Heating and Power (CHP) System for the Supreme Sports Club in 2016 with the help of incentives provided by the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program. That installation alone has led to 416,000 kWh/year in energy savings and $25,000/year in cost savings! Needless to say, we have some experience in tactics that can conserve energy and save money.
Tips for saving energy and the environment
CA Sustainability Director Jeremy Scharfenberg and his team are here to help all of us lower our energy bill and our impact on the environment. Together, we can make a real difference for the future of Columbia and our planet.
- Cover up leaks – Caulking leaks and weather-stripping windows will help keep the warm air inside the house, allowing the heater to run less.
- Let the sunlight in, keep the evening chill out – Open the curtains during the day to allow the warmth from the sun to heat your house. Remember to close the curtains at night to reduce the chilling effect from the windows.
- Adjust the thermostat. Adjust the thermostat to the lowest temperature as is comfortable to reduce the amount of work for your heater. Setting the temperature slightly lower, especially at night, can help reduce your energy costs by up to 10%.
- Lower the water heater – Lowering the water heater to no more than 120 degrees F can help lower the amount of energy used while still having your dishwasher and washing machine run effectively.
- Take advantage of heating and cooling equipment rebates – Heating and cooling can account for up to 50% of your home’s energy use. Models that are certified by ENERGY STAR offer increased comfort, better performance, and energy savings month after month. If your HVAC system is more than 10 years old, it might be time for an upgrade.
- Replace your old water heater – Water heaters are the second largest energy user in a typical home. Replacing your old system with an ENERGY STAR certified hybrid water heater can help you save up to $300 per year in energy costs. Just like HVAC systems, BGE offers a variety of discounts, rebates and services that are worth checking out. Click here to learn more about ENERGY STAR and click here for more on cost-saving opportunities with BGE.
Share your sustainability efforts!
We know we’re not alone in our pursuit of a healthier environment. We’d love to see what you are doing to make a positive impact. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tag us in your photos and videos. You might just see them shared with our thousands of CA followers, inspiring even more efforts across our community.