City of Alexandria Kicks Off October’s Energy Awareness Month
Using Sustainable Resources and Reducing Climate Change as a Community
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Fall is officially here as we smell the colorful leaves, feel the chilly morning air, and wrap in our coziest of sweaters. It’s the time of year when we turn off our air conditioners and begin to open the windows for the fresh Autumn breezes. Yet all too soon it will become cold enough to start turning on our heating units, and we will find ourselves thinking about the energy it takes to keep warm.
The good news is that all of us can use sustainable energy resources and find ways to reduce climate change on a daily basis. The City of Alexandria is celebrating Energy Awareness Month throughout the month of October. Energy Efficiency Day on October 5th kicked off the month’s highlighted opportunities for area residents and businesses.
The mission behind Energy Awareness Month is to sustainably use energy resources and reduce climate change causing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at home and work, and with our mobility choices. GHG traps heat and makes the planet warmer, and human activity is largely the cause of this, according to the EPA. The city of Alexandria has programs and initiatives to improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions from its own buildings, vehicles, and operations.
During Energy Awareness Month, we residents and businesses are encouraged to visit the City’s Climate Change & Energy website to learn more about resources available to help save money and improve the energy efficiency of your home or business. Here are some suggestions:
- low or no-cost home energy assessments to identify the biggest opportunities for energy efficiency improvements;
- tips and tricks to reduce “vampire” electricity, which refers to the way electric power is consumed by electronic and electrical appliances while switched off or in standby mode;
- ways to improve the comfort and energy performance of your home, including weatherizing your home to reduce cold-air drafts;
- utility rebates and incentives for energy-efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems, and hot water heaters; and,
- what to consider when electrifying your home or business’s heating and cooling or hot water heaters.
Thinking ahead to Spring is also on the agenda for Energy Awareness Month, where there is also an opportunity to learn how to prepare our homes or businesses for the potential installation of solar energy systems. Visit the City’s Renewable Energy website for additional information on Solarize Alexandria, an initiative led by nonprofit Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) that is a one-stop shop for education and installation, reducing the cost and complexity of installing solar. The next program offering will be in Spring 2023.
Being energy efficient also extends to mobility choices. Consider how walking, cycling or taking public transportation, such as DASH, MetroBus, or MetroRail can save money, reduce energy consumption and positively impact our environment. This month, while Metro projects have impacted service in Alexandria, you can access free Capital Bikeshare and VRE access. If you own or are considering purchasing an electric vehicle, learn more about the City’s strategies to support expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Alexandria and throughout the region.
The City recognizes there is a global climate emergency and that all levels of government and the public have a role to play in addressing climate change. The City’s process to update the Energy and Climate Change Action Plan (ECCAP) supports Alexandria’s response to climate change’s effects and environmental emergencies. The ECCAP also aligns with the City’s Environmental Action Plan 2040 for ongoing energy and GHG emissions reductions and climate change actions.
Information and knowledge are powerful sources for us as a community to conserve our resources, reduce climate change, and make lasting positive choices for our future generations.
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