October 7—just under two weeks away—marks the annual nationwide campaign (#EEDay2020) to recognize and celebrate the multiple benefits of energy efficiency. Energy Efficiency Day puts a spotlight on saving money, cutting pollution, reducing energy waste, and creating jobs. This year, it comes at a time when the economy needs it the most.
With people spending more time at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, residential electricity use is up. A recent ACEEE report highlighted the economic strain on low-income communities, as well as on Black, Hispanic, and Native American households, who pay a much larger share of their income on energy bills than white (non-Hispanic) households. This strains budgets and puts vulnerable populations at heightened risk of utility shutoffs during the pandemic and recession.
We know that energy efficiency measures and technologies—such as attic insulation, ENERGY STAR® products, and smart thermostats—are a cost-effective, clean way to tame utility bills.
Efficiency employs more Americans than any other single energy sector (at least 2.4 million as of January 1) and has steadily expanded in recent years. However, many jobs have been lost due to the pandemic—up to 620,500 according to an analysis published by E2, BW Research Partnership, ACORE, and E4TheFuture. As we push to revive the economy and put millions of people back to work, the efficiency sector offers great job opportunities. Bold efficiency efforts can also slash energy use and emissions 50% by 2050, getting us halfway to U.S. climate goals.
We invite you to let others know about the 5th annual Energy Efficiency Day, organized by a network of environmental and energy organizations, including ACEEE, that promote efficiency at the local, state, and national levels.
Spread the word by emailing your colleagues and friends or posting on social media; here’s a social media toolkit you can use. We encourage you to take small steps in your home such as those suggested in this post: switch your light bulbs to LEDs, replace your HVAC filters, and seal gaps around windows and doors.
You can also reach out to your local or state government officials and encourage them to sign up as supporters (it’s free) and issue a proclamation; here’s a toolkit for that. In 2019, more than 500 individuals, organizations, companies, utilities, and local governments signed up as official supporters. The U.S. Senate passed Resolution 347 to recognize Energy Efficiency Day, and more than 41 cities, states, counties, and universities across the United States passed proclamations to do the same. Elected officials and corporations including Google Nest and Lockheed Martin expressed support on social media.
Please join us in ensuring this year’s celebration builds on that momentum. Here are some ideas and details for participating:
► Sign up as a supporter. Join more than 680 governments, organizations, corporations, and utilities participating in #EEDay2020.
► Pitch efficiency success stories to local media. Here are some tips on pitching local media, as well as a sample media advisory and press release you can adapt to promote your EE successes.
► Host an online activity. Ask people to share photos portraying why they love efficiency, create poems about our favorite topic (energy efficiency), or develop memes that will be fun to share on social media.
► Host an online event. Bring together your colleagues or your local community to learn more about efficiency, hear from experts, and help your audience do their own checks for energy-wasting areas in their homes and offices. For more ideas, check out this blog post.
► Post on social media and share EE Day resources. Use our social media toolkit to announce your participation and amplify your support for efficiency’s many benefits. We’ve got sample social media posts and graphics here. Our toolkit is also available in Spanish. Don’t forget to follow and tag @ACEEEdc and @EfficiencyDay, and use the #EEDay2020 hashtag.
► Check out our energy savings tips. Visit the campaign’s website or ACEEE’s SmarterHouse.org, which includes tip sheets for consumers and college students. Watch our quick consumers’ guide video below for more ideas.
► Stay tuned for more efficiency news. ACEEE will soon release its 2020 City Clean Energy Scorecard, a ranking of 100 major U.S. cities on their efforts to advance renewable power and energy efficiency.
We look forward to seeing what you do on Energy Efficiency Day this year!