Top 3 reasons to change the way you use energy
You use energy every day. When you switch on your kitchen light to make breakfast in the morning, turn on your air conditioning unit in these hot summer months, and/or put a load of your kids’ clothes in the washing machine, you are using energy. You may not think much about the energy you are using, and it can seem like you don’t have much choice in the amount and kind of energy you use, but you do! Taking control of your energy use can save your wallet, your health, and your planet.
The energy you use releases greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Cambridge has a goal to reduce GHGs by 80% by 2050. Not wasting energy and switching to cleaner sources of energy are key strategies to meet this goal, and we need all Cambridge residents and businesses to help make it happen.
So why should you contribute to meeting Cambridge’s goal? The things you can do will help you out too. Here’s what these actions can do for you, with some additional tips on how to do them!:
1. Save your wallet
Using energy efficiently saves you money on your energy bills because it means you use less of it. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star, replacing a pre-2000 model fridge with a newer, energy efficient model could save you almost $500 over 5 years!
Besides switching to energy efficient appliances and lighting, other actions to make your home more energy efficient include making sure your home is well insulated and that your doors and windows are properly sealed.
Take Action: Check out this video to learn more about what you can do to save energy in your home. If you live in an apartment or condo building you can also take advantage of Cambridge’s new Multi-Family Energy Pilot that provides a free, whole-building energy assessment.
2. Save your health
Conventional energy sources (e.g., gasoline, oil, and natural gas) make the air we breathe dirtier and worsen medical conditions like asthma. Children and older adults are especially vulnerable to pollution, and we need to take steps to protect them.
Take Action: Tailpipe emissions from gasoline-powered cars are a major contributor to dirty air. Keep your community healthy by switching to an electric vehicle (EV). Massachusetts provides discounts when purchasing or leasing EVs, and Cambridge has several EV charging stations to make sure you are always ready to go. By committing to solar or 100% renewable energy (see more details below) you can help make sure the electricity powering your new EV is as clean and healthy, too.
3. Save your planet
GHGs trap heat in the atmosphere and this causes global climate change. It’s often easy to forget that driving your car or powering your home is contributing to the climate change crisis, but we need to remember this every day and not just after severe weather events like January’s Winter Storm Grayson. One way to take action is to switch to renewable energy.
Take Action: Cambridge is focused on making it easy for residents to switch to solar. You can take a look at this map to see if your house gets enough sunlight for solar to make sense. If it does, head on over to Sunny Cambridge to find the best rates on solar installation.
If you rent or can’t do solar for any reason, you can still do your part by switching to the Cambridge Community Electricity 100% renewable plan.
To find out more about what Cambridge is doing to reduce GHG emissions, promote renewable energy, and address other sustainability issues, visit our new Sustainability Dashboard.
- Energy Information Administration
- The Boston Globe
- Yale E360
- Huffington Post