It's still a bit early for spring, but we at Energy Savers have major spring fever. We're pretty sure the rest of the country does, too, after a winter where all 50 states had at least some snow on the ground (and some of you had—or still have—much, much more than others!). So we're thinking spring and bidding a fond farewell (good riddance?) to February and a hearty hello to March. Here's a look back at what happened this month:
New or Noteworthy on Energy Savers
- Did you know that upgrading 15 of the inefficient incandescent light bulbs in your home could save you about $50 per year. New lighting standards take effect in 2012, and money-saving options such as halogen incandescent, CFL, and LED light bulbs are available today. Learn more about your efficient lighting choices and the new lighting standards .
- Rebates for energy-efficient appliances are still available in some states. Is yours one of them? 
On the Blog, In Case You Missed It…
- Energy 101: Cool Roofs 
- Educating a New Generation of Energy Influencers 
- Modern Smart Grid Offers Consumers the Power of Choice 
- Shutting the Door on Cold Weather 
- I Love Saving Money and Energy 
- Hey There. Would You Like to Buy a Thneed? 
- Airports Soar to New Heights with Alternative Fuels 
Weekly Questions—Did You Share Your Answer?
- How Do You Stay Warm While Saving Money and Energy in Extreme Weather? 
- What Is Your Latest Energy Efficient Purchase? 
- What Do You Love Most About Saving Energy? 
- How Do You Make Greener Transportation Choices? 
From the Archives: Getting Ready for Spring!
- How Do You Feel About the Extended Daylight Saving Time? 
- Spring into Energy Savings 
- Landscaping with an Eye To Energy Efficiency 
Tim wrote on What Is Your Latest Energy Efficient Purchase? I recently had to get a new washer because mine died after 6 years. I also had to get the matching stack able dryer. I can't believe how much cleaner the clothes get. The dryer drys ultra fast with the moisture sensor. And I saved $127 off on state taxes with the energy rebate.
Marguerite wrote on Energy 101: Cool Roofs : It is wonderful to hear that the DOE has taken the initiative to replace their conventional roofs with cool roofs when it comes time. There are some many details about "traditional" building and construction that could be tweaked to cut energy costs and provide numerous benefits to our wallets and the environment. Just changing the color and material of a roof makes a difference. Living in suburban Chicago, I have personally experienced the heat island effect, which the city is trying to mitigate through the installation of green roofs. Chicago is the national leader in number of green roofs with the most square feet of vegetation. If we could only take this knowledge, that we know these roofs are beneficial, and apply it to most buildings, we could be saving a lot more than money. I have been telling my father, who owns a cabinet shop, to get rid of the black tar roof they have had for decades. Due to the saw dust from the machines, there is no AC in the shop, thus making it extremely uncomfortable in the summer. If they would just switch to a white cool roof, they could save money and sweat a whole lot less.
Kelli B. also wrote on Energy 101: Cool Roofs : I believe it is about time that people start taking initiatives to reduce the amount of energy that is consumed. A lot of people argue that it is too expensive, but if you factor in all expenses throughout the lifetime, it is very cost effective to go green. These cool roofs sound like they are helpful to many different environmental problems. Cities and companies alike could save money and reduce the amount of energy they use. As a student living in Washington, D.C, I believe that by replacing the roof at the headquarters is a great leading step to have other organizations and companies follow. In my time spent here, It is obvious that there are a lot of cars and buses on the road. This initiative could lead others to replace their roofs with cool ones and decrease the amount of adverse health effects in the city.
Happy March, and think spring!
Allison Casey is a senior communicator at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which assists EERE in providing technical content for many of its Web sites.