Go Green - Schenectady County
Get Energy Smart!
In 2008 the Schenectady County Legislature passed six resolutions aimed at making Schenectady County more energy efficient and reducing carbon emissions that cause global warming. The Department of Economic Development and Planning and the County Environmental Advisory Council (SCEAC) are working with other County agencies to implement these resolutions. For Schenectady County to realize its energy conservation goals everyone must do their part to reduce energy use and minimize their carbon footprint. The beauty of energy conservation and reducing carbon emissions is that it usually saves money in the long run.
Reduce Your Energy Costs around the House
- The easiest way to reduce your energy costs is to switch from inefficient incandescent light bulbs to efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). By changing the five most used light bulbs in your house you could save $50 per year on your electricity bill!
- Another great way to lower your energy costs and reduce carbon emissions is to install a programmable thermostat. Program the thermostat to lower temperatures during periods when you are asleep or not home during the winter and to higher temperatures (if you have central air conditioning) during the same periods during the summer. These thermostats cost less than a hundred dollars but can save you hundreds of dollars every year in utility costs.
- If you can afford to make larger up front investments in improving insulation in your home and installing energy efficient windows these can pay off with large savings every year for the life of the house. Before you make these larger investments it is a good idea to get an energy audit. Visit the Get Energy Smart website link below.
- If you are going to replace an appliance it is worth it to spend a little more on an "Energy Star" labeled appliance. It will save you money on your energy bill for years.
Also visit the New York State Public Service Commission's webpage
Save on Gas and Reduce Wear and Tear on your Vehicle
Try one or more of the following ideas. You don't need to do them every day. Start with once a month.
- Walk or ride a bike to work. Not only will you save money but you will be doing something for your health as well.
- Save on gas and reduce wear and tear on your car by taking the bus. The Capital District Transportation Authority CDTA offers bus service in our area. Check bus routes and schedules. Call 482-8822 to find out where the bus stops are. Did you know that many buses now have bike racks? You can ride to and from the bus stop and put it on the rack to bring with you.
- Also, if you buy a swipe card (a monthly pass) you are automatically enrolled in the Guaranteed Ride Home Program (GRH). If you need a ride home due to a mid-day emergency or unexpectedly need to work late (beyond the regular bus schedule), CDTA (The bus company) will provide you with a free taxi ride home. You may find that in riding the bus you will feel more a part of the community and maybe even make new friends.
- Car pooling is now easier than ever. Join ipool2 to find car pool buddies and to become part of the Guaranteed Ride Home Program (GRI) (see the website.)
Also visit the US Department of Energy "Energy Savers" Website for more information and ideas on saving energy.