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Savings Guide

The 10% challenge – when you’re ready to go green and save money

We’re always happy to see other people getting interested, excited, and real about energy conversation and their impact on the environment, but we also like to see that final step from people: The willingness to take responsibility and start taking action, however small, to improve the situation. The time for sitting back and relying on elected officials and corporations to solve the world’s problems has ended. The time for everyone to simply assess what they can do has arrived.

Save energy with The 10% Challenge

As a result, we’re really excited about The 10% Challenge. In a nutshell, The 10% Challenge asks every household and business to follow three simple steps to reduce their energy use by 10% (or 20% or even 30%) by doing simple, everyday things that are within everyone’s capabilities. What’s amazing about this concept is that most of the steps people can take to reduce their energy consumption won’t even impact their lives much, and when aggregated across a large population can have a real impact on both energy reserves and the environmental cost of energy generation. Plus, reducing energy use saves everyone money, so it has a built-in incentive!

Here’s how it works: First, home-owners or businesses use a simple calculator on the site to determine their current energy use. This step requires information about past energy use by gathering data from old bills and their car’s odometer. Once all of the information is input into the tool, it shows how much money can be saved if energy consumption is reduced by 10, 20, or 30%. The results can be inspiring! Next, the home-owner or business signs up with The 10% Challenge and takes the pledge. Once registered, they will receive tips, information, and even incentive offers that will help them achieve their goal of reducing energy costs by at least 10%.

We particularly like the focus on information and support – instead of chiding people to reduce their energy use and leaving it to them to figure out how, they offer ongoing communication to help everyone achieve their goals. Finally, the home-owner or business promises to implement the steps they have been shown in order to achieve their pledged goal, whether it’s as simple as purchasing an EcoSwitch to eliminate standby power waste or in more complex and comprehensive ways.

Saving power one small step at a time

What’s so exciting about The 10% Challenge is that it is a call to action, not just a complaint or a static collection of tips and information. While essays and editorials about the mounting energy and environmental crisis in this world can have the beneficial effect of putting pressure on governments and organisations, they remain passive tools and the majority of citizens read them and move on, with nothing immediately accomplished. And while web sites filled with information are tremendous resources for those who are already inspired to take some action, they do little until acted upon. The 10% Challenge dispels the misapprehension that the problem of shrinking resources and growing environmental problems can only be solved by mass action on the part of governments – the fact is, we can all contribute to the solution in small ways that can add up to tremendous impact.

Consider the energy used by the entire country. Over twenty million people, pumping petrol, cooling their homes, leaving their kitchen appliances on standby power every evening. The amount of energy used is astronomical, and the damage done to the environment by the production of that energy and the waste products it creates is absolutely mind-blowing. Now imagine if every citizen took the time to learn how to reduce their carbon footprint and then actually implemented those steps – just 10%, but at a nationwide scale the impact would be incredible. We’d encourage everyone to stop by The 10% Challenge with the past year’s bills and car information in hand. Work through the calculator tool to see how much you’ll be paying yourself to save energy, and then sign up and take the pledge. Not only will you be amazed at how easily you accomplish your goal, but you’ll be saving money as you do so!