The Commission Supports District of Columbia Energy Efficiency Day

A nationwide network of energy efficiency groups and partners has designated the first Wednesday in October as the national annual Energy Efficiency Day.

The District of Columbia recognizes that climate change is real and has already taken steps to prepare for the impacts of climate change through actions to reduce GHG emissions and strategic resiliency planning. Specifically, the District of Columbia has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% below 2006 levels by 2032 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Furthermore, we will have Renewable Portfolio Standards reaching 100% by 2032.  The transition to zero carbon emitting sources goes beyond climate change, by having a direct and significant impact on public health for all District residents. This effort required the partnership of numerous and diverse stakeholders to achieve, including the Government of the District of Columbia, the utilities, businesses, environmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, residents of the District of Columbia, universities and other non-residential customers.

We fully agree that energy efficiency is the cheapest, quickest, and cleanest way to meet our energy needs and reduce utility bills for residential, business, and industrial customers.  Thus, it helps to achieve both sustainability and affordability goals.

The Commission has fully supported the Energy Efficiency efforts through participating in the D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility Advisory Board and implementing Exelon/Pepco and AltaGas and Washington Gas merger commitments. 

The Public Service Commission is currently pursuing energy efficiency programs targeted at affordable multifamily and master metered apartment buildings serving low and limited income residents in conjunction with Pepco, Washington Gas, Department of the Environment and Energy, Office of the People’s Counsel, National Consumer Law Center, and other stakeholders in Formal Case Nos. 1142 and 1148. 

Energy efficiency programs are also important Non-Wires Alternatives to be considered in the PowerPath DC efforts.  Pursuant to the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Act, the Commission is establishing an Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Metrics Working Group to discuss metrics for utility sponsored Energy Efficiency and Demand Response programs.  We will continue to promote such programs which are critical to the clean environment objective.

Join us on October 2nd to celebrate National Energy Efficiency Day at Ionia R Whipper Home, 2000 Channing St. N.E. from 2 p.m.  to 5 p.m.

Energy Efficiency Tips


  1. Get a service check on the furnace annually. Checkups are not only important for safety and efficiency, but they help the furnace last longer, too.
  1. Upgrade to better furnace filters, and change them regularly. Indoor air quality and energy efficiency depend on how clean those filters are and how well they work. Look for pleated filters.
  1. Put in a programmable thermostat. This can save as much as 30 percent on heating and cooling, depending on how well the house is insulated and the heating system. In the winter, program the thermostat so that the house is cooler when no one is home during the day and when everyone is in bed at night. When the weather warms up, set the temperatures higher during the day.
  1. Caulk all windows. Experts estimate that tiny leaks around doors and windows let as much heat escape from the house as an open window does, so seal up those leaks and save some money. One option is to use removable caulking. When spring comes, peel it off and open the windows.
  1. Put film on the windows. A film that blocks the sun's heat from entering or leaving the house will make a big difference in utility bills. It's easy to install and a lot less expensive than replacing the windows.
  1. Choose the right kind of exterior doors, including the garage door. Look for insulated fiberglass models. They look like wood, but they are five times more energy-efficient than wood.
  1. Add weather stripping to all exterior doors. Weather stripping is available at any hardware store or home center, and it's another easy way to prevent air leaks.
  1. Insulate heating ducts. In a typical house 20-30% of the air moving through the duct system is lost due to leaks.
  1. Install low-flow showerheads. For maximum water efficiency, select a showerhead with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm.
  1. Raise the temperature slowly to keep your bill lower. Quickly raising your heat pump’s temperature activates the heat strip, which uses more energy.
  1. Add an insulating blanket to older water heaters. This could reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45% and save about 4%–9% in water heating costs.
  1. Install a timer for your water heater that will turn it off when you are not at home or at night.
  1. Clean the dryer lint filter regularly to keep your dryer running efficiently. Don’t forget the tubing. Use the long nozzle on your vacuum periodically to clean out particles that get beyond the filter.
  1. Wash clothes with cold water. Today’s laundry detergents work just as well in cold water, and you’ll potentially save $63 annually.
  1. Unplug battery chargers when devices are fully charged or the chargers are not in use. Many chargers draw power continuously, even when the device is not plugged into the charger.


  1. Get an energy audit. An energy audit can help determine your baseline energy use and offer a clear outline for ways to save energy at work. A professional will then come out to your business and do a full inspection of your location to check for air leaks, insulation issues, or opportunities to install energy-efficient lighting.
  1. Purchase energy-efficient office equipment. Before you buy or lease office electronics, check to see if they are ENERGYSTAR-rated. An ENERGYSTAR-rated appliance has been evaluated and deemed energy-efficient, which can save you money and help you manage your small business energy costs.
  1. Reduce Peak Demand. One of the best ways to save electricity in an office is to reduce your peak demand. The phrase “peak demand” refers to the hours in a day when energy usage is at its highest. Peak demand times are typically normal office hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). You can reduce your demand during this time by staggering work hours / start times, running heavy equipment and factory equipment during the evening and early morning hours, and conserving energy throughout the day.
  1. Program your thermostats. This is one of those office energy saving tips that is especially relevant for a 9-5 workplace. You don’t need to heat or cool a workplace after everyone has gone home for the night. Even if your team’s hours vary, using programmable or smart thermostats to manage the temperature during “off” hours can make a big difference.
  1. Turn off lights when not in use. In a typical office, lights stay on in areas like break rooms, bathrooms, or conference rooms, even when those spaces aren’t being used. Sensor lights can help to keep the lights on when needed and off when they’re not.
  1. Use energy-efficient light bulbs. It's one of the easiest and simplest energy saving ideas in the workplace. Switch out your regular incandescent bulbs with energy efficient bulbs such as LEDs. This will help you use a significantly less amount of electricity.
  1. Take advantage of natural sunlight. If you’re fortunate enough to have an office space where there’s abundant natural light, use it! On a sunny day, you might not need to turn on the lights at all in areas where windows can give all the illumination you need. The fewer kilowatt hours of energy you use, the less you have to pay.
  1. Start running fans. You can reduce your energy usage in the workplace simply and easily by running fans in offices, warehouses, showrooms and kitchens. Fans keep air flowing so your HVAC unit can run more efficiently.
  1. Power down computers and other office equipment at the end of the day. If computers are not being used through the hours when your staff aren’t working, have your team be in the habit of shutting them down before they leave. Turning off and unplugging as many devices as possible at the end of the day is a simple way to cut back. This includes energy efficient coffee makers, toasters, and similar appliances.
  1. Prevent “Phantom energy”. Phantom energy is the energy that is still being used by equipment that remains plugged in but not in use. A great office energy-saving tip is to have your computer peripherals (printers, monitors, etc.) connected to power strips (aka “surge protectors”) so that the flip of a single switch can shut down several devices at a time.
  1. Think outside your building. Strategically planting trees to block winds or provide shade on hot summer days can help reduce your heating and cooling costs.

Also, be aware that there might be tax incentives for better managing your small business’s energy use.

District of Columbia Energy Efficiency Day Resolution

The District of Columbia Ceremonial Resolution establishing “District of Columbia Energy Efficiency Day,” will take effect immediately upon the first date of publication in the District of Columbia Register.  October 2, 2019 will be the establishment date for the resolution.

Other Resources

Energy Efficiency Day
The Energy Efficiency Day message is simple: “Save Money. Cut Carbon. Breathe Easier.” Since the inaugural Energy Efficiency Day in 2016, this annual awareness event has been supported by hundreds of prominent organizations, companies, government agencies and others.

The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility
The DCSEU helps DC residents and businesses use less energy and save money.

The Department of Energy and Environment
The DOEE is the leading authority on energy and environmental issues affecting the District of Columbia.