photo of a hand drawn clean energy icons | SIGIn addition to crisp apples, stiff autumn winds, and the swirling multicolored leaves, October also brings National Energy Action Month. But what is this month, what does it mean to be energy aware, and how can this help me in my home or commercial structure?

What is National Energy Action Month?

The federal government has declared October as National Energy Action Month. The mission of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy. Its vision is a strong and prosperous America powered by clean, affordable and secure energy.

Energy use is critical to the historically unprecedented prosperity enjoyed by all Americans. With uncertainty in the long-term efficacy of reliance on fossil fuels, and mounting evidence for dangerous environmental issues caused by reliance on these ancient deposits, now is the perfect time to reflect on ways to be more efficient.

Being Aware

The first step is awareness. While for us here at Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) awareness is second nature, most Americans turn off and on lights and electronic devices with little thought to where the power comes from. Besides the occasional trip to the gas station, most of us notice energy only when our phone batteries dip below ten percent!

A good way to start being aware of energy usage is to check out the Energy Information Administration’s website, which keeps track of the cost of generating power from a number of different sources. Take a look at your monthly bill and consider the efforts it takes to bring that energy to where you need it.

Some Things Anyone Can Do

After learning about how much power you use each month and on a yearly basis, try a simple experiment: take a day or even a weekend and try to go without power as much as possible. Maybe keep the lights off unless absolutely needed, turn down the water heater temperature, or enjoy the crisp fall air instead of powering up the computer. After your experiment, take a look at the power consumption on your meter. Maybe you would be able to implement some of these changes on a more permanent basis, saving yourself money and making your life more efficient.

Another technique to dial back the power use is to use one of the variety of power meters that fit into ordinary outlets. Plug your devices in through one of these meters and see how much power is being used. There is nothing as valuable as information; using this knowledge, see how much you can save.

Doing Our Part

Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) is committed to helping clients understand how to design and maintain structures to promote energy efficiency and cost savings at all levels. As a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design; federal green building certification program) Proven Provider®, we are a trusted source of expert knowledge and training. Offering LEED Exam Prep Training, Engineering Services, and LEED Consulting, our highly trained professionals are equipped to travel all over the world and assist building owners, architects, and engineers learn to meet the green building standards that have proven to be an effective resource in lowering emissions, increasing efficiency, and building long-lasting and beautiful structures.

© 2016 Sustainable Investment Group (SIG). All Rights Reserved.