Contact: Jeff Ledermann, 651-215-0236
Erin Jordahl-Redlin, 651-297-5518
Saint Paul, Minn. Many people are making resolutions for the new year. Why not make one to cut your energy use in 2007? Reducing your energy use helps keep Minnesota's environment clean, limits the emission of pollutants associated with climate change and can save you money, too.
Look for energy efficiency ideas: Home energy audits are a low-cost way to find opportunities to reduce energy use. Call the local utility that supplies heating to your home to schedule an audit. Auditors often recommend simple changes, such as replacing some traditional light bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. You can also check out the Energy Info Center at the Minnesota Department of Commerce for other energy saving ideas. Go to www.commerce.state.mn.us then click on "Energy Info," or call 1-800-657-3710.
Look for the Energy Star label: When buying electronics and appliances, look for ones that are Energy Star-labeled. They'll typically save you about 25 to 50 percent in energy costs. Find out more at www.energystar.gov
Buy Green Power: Green power is electricity generated from renewable, high-efficiency, or low-pollution energy sources such as wind or solar. Your purchase of green power will replace electricity that would otherwise come primarily from burning coal - one of the dirtiest fuels for producing electricity. Contact your electricity provider (information should be on your electric bill) and ask to sign up for their green power program. The amount you choose to purchase will be added to your future bills.
Take the Minnesota Energy Challenge: The Minnesota Energy Challenge helps you calculate your energy use and carbon emissions. The site also offers several ideas on how to reduce your impact at www.mnenergychallenge.org
For more tips and ideas, sign up to receive the Living Green 365 e-newsletter at www.livinggreen.org. The mission of the MPCA is to work with Minnesotans to protect, conserve and improve our environment and enhance our quality of life. Find out more at www.pca.state.mn.us.