October is Energy Awareness Month, and it is a great time to look at the numerous ways we can all be more energy efficient. Columbia Association (CA) is continuing to make upgrades to its facilities to conserve energy and save money, and the recently completed summer shutdown of our fitness facilities was a great opportunity to undertake several significant projects. New light fixtures were installed in the Columbia Athletic Club Tennis Arena and the Supreme Sports Club Arena that improve light quality and significantly reduce energy consumption. Older high-wattage fixtures in these locations were replaced with highly-efficient fluorescent fixtures; the new fixtures will also last longer and maintain light output better than the older technology. Other projects completed at the fitness facilities included simple lamp upgrades, installation of a high-efficiency boiler and replacement of occupancy sensors.
CA has sunk its teeth into energy efficiency, and Columbia residents can, too. Fall is a great time to replace your porch, garage and other outdoor lights with long-lasting, energy-saving CFLs and LEDs. They provide the light you need for winter’s longer nights while using far less energy, saving you money. With instant discounts from BGE’s Smart Energy Savers Program®, you can save up to $2.25 on select ENERGY STAR® certified CFLs and up to $5 on select ENERGY STAR certified LED lighting.
What are some other things Columbia residents can do to start saving energy this month?
Turn it off – Even energy-efficient light bulbs and equipment should be turned off if there is no reason for it to be on. Be on the lookout for “phantom” standby loads from chargers or other electronic equipment that still use energy when they are turned off.
Buy ENERGY STAR – When purchasing electronic and other appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR label.
Get a smart thermostat – Use programmed thermostat setbacks to reduce air conditioning and heating needs. Raising a thermostat setpoint a few degrees in summer and lowering it a few degrees in winter can have a significant impact on energy consumption.
Utilize incentives – Participate in BGE’s numerous incentive programs, such as Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, to get information and financial assistance for energy efficiency projects.
Go natural – Utilize passive strategies such as daylighting and outside air ventilation when possible.
For more information on how you can help improve the sustainability of our community and save money at the same time, please go to BGESmartEnergy.com/Residential.