It’s an old energy-saving adage: Buildings don’t use energy — people do. And the smallest actions can create big changes.
Just ask Leo Martineau, Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC)’s Energy Savings Initiative coordinator, who led the hospital’s efforts to earn a coveted ENERGY STAR certification.
Receiving the designation meant boosting overall hospital efficiency from 27 percent to at least 75 percent. Leadership from Leo and others launched us above that mark — CVMC now runs at 80 percent efficiency — so there’s a lot homeowners and merchants can learn from Leo and the changes CVMC implemented.
Try a few and see how your utility bill responds!
- Give it a Rest: Use the ENERGY STAR power management settings on your computer and monitor (look for “power options” on your control panel) so they go into power save mode when not in use. Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point to completely disconnect the power supply.
- Unplug It: Unplug electronics like cell phones and laptops once they’re charged. Adapters plugged into outlets use energy even if they’re not charging, and excess charging can also diminish battery life.
- Light Up Your Life: Replace light bulbs with ENERGY STAR-qualified bulbs, available through Efficiency Vermont for as little as 99 cents. The bulbs last up to 10 times longer and use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs.
- Power Down: Turn off the lights when you leave a room, especially at the end of the day.
- Let It Flow: Keep air vents clear of paper, files and office supplies. It takes as much as 25 percent more energy to pump cool or warm air if vents are blocked, and cuts down on the cooling/heating you feel.
- Team Up: Create a Green Team with family or colleagues to build support for energy efficiency at home and at work.
Even the smallest act can have big cost savings, so why not get in the spirit of Earth Day and March for Science efforts in Montpelier, Burlington, Rutland and Brattleboro this weekend by trying a few green tips today? For additional energy-saving ideas, visit energystar.gov. Tell ’em Leo sent you!