What Can You Do Now?

We can all make a difference in the fight against global climate change. This section provides specifically tailored information that building-owners, homeowners, business-owners, landlords, and tenants can use to save energy and lower their utility bills and ultimately reduce their GHG emissions. The information ranges from grant, financing, and product-rebate opportunities to simple but important steps we can all take to save energy. Whether it's at home or work, and regardless of whether we are owners or renters, we are all familiar with at least some of the steps we can take to save energy and money such as turning down the thermostat a couple degrees, adding insulation to our attics, etc. For more specific information, select the links on the left or at the bottom of the page to learn about some of the the some easy, focused actions you can take, depending on your role / position, to reduce your emissions.

Top 5 Tips for Everyone

  1. Practice Common Sense
    There are many simple but important steps we can take to save energy, be it in our homes, apartments, offices, schools, and factories. We all know of these steps:
    • Weather-stripping doors and windows
    • Adding a programmable thermostat
    • Replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs
    As simple and familiar as these steps may be, they still are some of the easiest and best ways we can reduce our energy consumption and bills. For a comprehensive list of these tips, visit the commonwealth's website, or the Natural Resources Defense Council's website.
  2. Buy Green Energy
    No matter how much we conserve, we still need energy in our homes, apartments, offices, schools, and factories. Fortunately, in Pennsylvania, we can choose who generates our electricity and select an energy "generator" that uses a sustainable energy source such as wind or solar power.

    Currently, we can pick from 4 electricity generators:
    Both Commerce Energy and Community Energy produce at least 50% of their energy from renewable sources such as wind or solar power. Both PECO and the Energy Cooperative Association of Pennsylvania also offer wind and an alternative-energy program. Access the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for more information, or call 888-PUC-FACT.

    West Chester residents and businesses can also contact the Pennsylvania Officer of Consumer Advocate for a list of their suppliers and their prices or call 800-684-6560.

    Importantly, no matter which energy generator you choose, PECO will still bring or "distribute" the electricity into our homes and buildings, so you will continue to pay your electric bills to PECO. However, the source of your energy will change, and this is a very important way to help the market for clean energy grow.
  3. Buy ENERGY STAR Products
    ENERGY STAR products consume less energy and thus cost less to operate. Refrigerators are the best example; today's models can use less than 1/4 of the energy of 30 years ago, so an upgrade can mean huge energy savings for your household. Manufacturers often offer rebates for ENERGY STAR products, which range from computers to refrigerators and from boilers to shingles. The ENERGY STAR website can tell you whether there are any rebates currently available for the product you are looking for. Just access the resource, type in your zip code, and select the product in which you are interested.
  4. Support State and Federal Legislation
    The Pennsylvania General Assembly is currently considering legislation that would provide varying levels of funding for homeowners, businesses, and commercial-building owners. Various programs are being considered to help Pennsylvanians make their structures more energy efficient and to help Pennsylvanians take advantage of alternative fuels like solar energy. The resource, PennFuture, tracks these developments.
  5. Apply for Financing for Improving the Energy Efficiency of Your Home
    Pennsylvania homeowners can improve the energy efficiency of their homes with this fast and convenient financing program for high-efficiency heating, air conditioning, insulation, windows, doors, siding, geothermal and solar PV systems, as well as "whole-house" improvements using Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. Provided by AFC First Financial Corporation, a Pennsylvania lender and principally supported by the Pennsylvania Treasury Department and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Keystone HELP Program helps make affordable energy efficiency available to all Pennsylvanians.
Focused Actions
BLUER has compiled a list of specific actions that these groups in our community can take: