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October is Energy Awareness Month

October is National Energy Awareness Month - also known as Energy Action Month - and a good opportunity to look at some of the ways you can cut your bills by using energy more efficiently.

But where do you start? Chances are, you're already doing a little - maybe even a lot. You've changed lightbulbs, installed motion sensors (or just gotten good about shutting the lights off when you leave a room). You've scheduled maintenance for your AC and furnace. You've even updated the insulation in your attic. How do you know if you've had an affect?

Start with your power bill!

Whether you're just starting to look at ways to cut energy consumption, or have been at it for a long time, your energy bill offers a wealth of information about your home's performance. Each month, your bill reports how much electricity you've used in kilowatt hours (kWh), and chances are it also shows you what you consumed last month, and the same month last year. To see if you're having an impact, consider tracking these numbers from month to month just like you would balance your checkbook. As long as you're looking at your actual metered usage you'll always know if you're using less, even if an increase in electrical rates means you might be paying more.

By tracking this number from month to month, you might even be able to identify problems that need to be fixed. Tracking your water consumption might reveal a hidden leak you were not aware of. Tracking your natural gas consumption could indicate an ailing furnace. Looking at your electricity trends could tell you when one of your teenagers is leaving the light on in the basement all day.

This Energy Awareness Month, become more aware of your consumption - whether you're a conservation newbie or an efficiency expert!

The links, ideas and resources on this site can help you save money. There's even an energy-saving calculator to keep track of your results.

But it's not just about putting more green in your pocket. By making simple changes in how you live and work, you'll help to maintain the high quality of life we enjoy in the Roanoke Valley.

So, go ahead, save a ton. Then share your successes and hints on our Facebook page.