Reduce Energy Use DC Returns for Second Year
Welcome back to our second Reduce Energy Use DC Initiative! Reduce Energy Use DC encourages DC residents and businesses to conserve and lower their energy use to help fight climate change. We have 20+ incredible partner organizations, with some new additions, joining this year. We will be featuring them throughout the initiative in our regular blog posts, along with customer stories and useful tips to save energy.
To kick off this year’s initiative, we will hear from Pepco’s Chris Taylor on the origins of Reduce Energy Use DC. Chris is the Senior Manager of Large Customer Strategic Solutions & Economic Development and one of the original designers of Reduce Energy Use DC. Read below about Chris’s inspiration to work with the founding partners to create Reduce Energy Use DC and its success thus far.
Stay tuned for more blog posts to learn from our amazing partners, why they are excited to be a part of Reduce Energy Use DC, and get some creative tips to help reduce your energy use. Take the pledge to reduce your energy use here.
The Idea Behind Reduce Energy Use DC
“The idea came to me in summer 2019 when I was out on parental leave. I thought a lot about how I could be a better person for my new son. I grew up by
the ocean and spent years traveling on the water while working on cruise ships, tugboats, and surfing. Being around water, you become accurately aware of the impact humans have on the environment. Surfing, you learn how to track storms because it often brings the best opportunity for good waves. However, these storms have become stronger and more frequent due to climate change. Combined with rising sea levels, these storms have damaged coastal communities and inland communities, often affecting the most vulnerable populations. During this period of reflection, I promised myself that I would take action for my son to try to help fight climate change.”
DC Energy Use
“I started researching to understand how much electricity the District of Columbia used. As a city, I ultimately discovered that we consumed more than 11 billion kilowatt-hours of power in 2019 - that's the equivalent of the emissions of a car driving 19 billion miles. This information shocked me, and I hoped it would be enough to encourage others to help reduce energy usage and fight climate change!”
From Concept to Action
“I started to talk to people about a contest to reduce energy use to help fight climate change and everyone wanted to help out. I spoke to the leadership team at my company, Pepco, about an initiative that could impact our community in a positive way. Pepco was behind me 100% and greenlighted the effort.
We knew that it was going to be critically important to get the support of the District Government. Mayor Bowser was immediately on board, along with the Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) and the DC Sustainable Energy Utility.
A stroke of good luck happened when DOEE agreed to partner on the effort and the Deputy Director, Taresa Lawrence, agreed to be the partnership lead on behalf of DOEE.
With the creation of the Reduce Energy Use DC initiative, we asked DC residents to pledge to learn how to use energy more efficiently, take steps to reduce energy use in their homes and save money while helping fight climate change. And, away we went. We also gave away Pepco energy bill credits while doing it!”
“I’m forever grateful to the founding organizations (Pepco, DOEE, and DCSEU) and the 20+ partner organizations that have since joined the effort. Without them, this initiative would not have happened.
I’m also thankful to Councilmember McDuffie and the Council of the District of Columbia for commemorating Reduce Energy Use DC with a Ceremonial Resolution recognizing Energy Efficiency Day in 2019 and with a subsequent resolution in 2020.
From day one with the initiative we thought it was important for us to shine the light on the talented people living in the District. On our channels we highlighted DC residents, nonprofits, government officials, businesses, artists, and models who took action to save energy, fight climate change, and protect our environment. I believe in the power of the community and am encouraged by what we accomplished last year. I am thrilled to take the pledge again and wish all of the partners success this year.”
Chris Taylor, Senior Manager, Large Customer Strategic Solutions & Economic Development at Pepco