Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Today's Energy Insight

How much money would be saved if the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings in our country improved by just 10 percent?

A) $2 million

B) $20 million

C) $2 billion

D) $20 billion

Scroll down to check your answer...

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the correct answer is $20 billion! Wow! So much can be saved by just a 10% decrease.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Today's Energy Insight

With a fairly mild winter thus far, there hasn't been a huge call for insulating drafty thresholds but the latest arctic blast to hit Minnesota has prompted a need for the return of draft blockers. These are available for purchase in stores and online or if you are feeling crafty, you can make your own. And these are not just for doorways, the insulating tubes can be placed on drafty window sills as well.

Here are just a few examples of how to keep the warm air inside and the cold air outside during the winter heating months.

Also, keep in mind, a one-eighth inch gap around an exterior door is equivalent to a six inch square hole in the side of your house so block those drafts!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Know Your Plastics

Did you know the triangle symbol on the bottom of plastic containers does not necessarily mean it is recyclable? The number inside the chasing arrow symbol is the resin identification code. These numbers indicate the type of resin used in the making of the container. The numbers 1-7 are assigned to various plastics for identification purposes during the recycling sorting process. Below are the numbers, what each means and if it is recyclable.

#1: Polyethylene terephtalate, also known as PETE or PET. This plastic is used to make water bottles and IS recyclable.

#2: High-density polyethylene, or HDPE. This plastic is used to make milk jugs and detergent bottles and IS recyclable.

#3: Polyvinyl chloride, aka PVC. This is usually what plastic food packaging is made of and it is NOT recyclable.

#4: Low-density polyethylene, or LDPE. This is what plastic shopping bags are made of. It requires a special recycling process and should not be intermingled with other recyclables.

#5: Polypropylene. This plastic is used to make yogurt cups and other opaque containers. It IS recyclable.


#6: Polystyrene, or Styrofoam. These items are NOT recyclable and they are NOT biodegradable.

#7: The mixed bag category. These plastics are used to make everything from iPods to food storage containers. These are usually NOT recyclable.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Today's Energy Insight

Did you know the New Year's ball in Times Square uses energy efficient bulbs?
The iconic ball that dropped on New Year's Eve was designed by Waterford Crystal and Philips Lighting. The geodesic dome consists of 2,688 crystal triangles, is 12 feet in diameter, weighs 11,875 pounds and contains 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED bulbs.

Happy New Year!

With 2012 behind us, we now have a brand new year ahead of us. What a great time to make a resolution to save some energy! Start with a few simple changes like turning off and unplugging unused electronics. Change out incandescent light bulbs for energy efficient CFLs or LEDs, now available in more options than ever. And as you clean and put away holiday decorations don't forget to donate or recycle items instead of throwing them away. Thanks for doing your part to make a difference!

Wishing you a Happy and Efficient New Year!