Team ENERGY STAR and DadLabs Get Totally EPIC!

Save Energy and Money, Win Prizes, and Get Your Kid’s Mug in Times Square

Only a Bill

The electric bill. Not something parents typically think of as a powerful teaching tool, especially during the summer. But if you think about it, how many life lessons have electric bills motivated over the years? How many reminders, lectures and castigations about the importance of saving energy has that little monthly envelope brought about?

Without the electric bill, how much less reasoning, nagging, pleading and finger-wagging on the subject of energy conservation would there be? How many millions of times would, “When you leave the room, turn off the…” be left unsaid?

The electric bill turns all parents into environmentalists.

That’s my problem. I last paid an electric bill 17 years ago. That’s when I moved onto the campus of a boarding school. The school covers our utilities. Tough problem, you may be saying, but one consequence: My kids have grown up without being constantly harangued about turning off the lights, and it shows.

And the kids aren’t the worst. My wife has never paid an electric bill in her life. She has other strengths, but remembering to switch off the real estate reality show (people who have never owned houses obsess over those shows) when leaving the bedroom is not one of them.

So I am always eager to find ways to encourage the kids (I’ve given up on reforming my lovely bride) to conserve energy. That’s why I’m really excited that DadLabs is teaming up with ENERGY STAR on their Team ENERGY STAR initiative.

What is ENERGY STAR?

You’ve probably seen the iconic ENERGY STAR logo on your energy efficient appliances and electronics, but did you know the program is run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency? Yup. And ENERGY STAR has nearly 20,000 partner organizations committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes, buildings and businesses. The ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 65 product categories. In 2012 alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 50 million cars — all while saving $24 billion on their utility bills.

Suddenly, Kids Turn Off Lights Without Nagging!

Team ENERGY STAR is an initiative to get kids and families on board to help protect the climate through easy-to-implement, money-saving actions and provides them an outlet for sharing their passion for preserving our environment. To help with this, ENERGY STAR has partnered with PTO Today and LG Electronics USA, and brought in the heroic characters from the new movie EPIC to help kids learn about the importance of saving energy while having fun at the same time.

Here’s how it works: Families can go to energystar.gov/team. There they can sign up and take a pledge for energy efficiency. Team ENERGY STAR will give them plenty of practical energy saving ideas right there on the pledge page. The first 250 families to pledge will receive a free DVD of EPIC the movie!

At the site they can download EPIC-themed educational activities and games on saving energy and protecting the climate. After submitting their pledge, families can enter the “Most EPIC Player” contest by sharing the site through Facebook or Twitter. The 25 entrants who get the most likes and/or retweets will win prizes from LG: computer monitors, TVs, smart phones and MP3 docking stations.

The top 5 winners will get featured on LG’s NYC Times Square billboard!

Bottom Line: ENERGY STAR can help you get the kids on board to protect the environment through saving energy — good for the planet, good for your budget — with a lot less grumpiness, plus prizes! What’s not to like?

Bonus Track

Just so you know you’re doing a good thing, here are some additional facts about ENERGY STAR:

- The average house is responsible for more than 20,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, about twice as much as the average car.

- Electricity demand for U.S. homes is expected to climb by as much as 22 percent by 2035.

- The typical household spends more than $2,000 per year on energy bills. With ENERGY STAR, you can save over one-third, or more than $760 on your household energy bills.

- In 2012 EPA celebrated the 20th anniversary of the ENERGY STAR program. For two decades, ENERGY STAR has helped millions of Americans and thousands of businesses save energy, save money and protect the climate.

Disclosure: DadLabs is currently working as a paid consultant to expose more kids and families to Team ENERGY STAR, so we can sleep easy at night (with all our electronics turned off) knowing that we did a good thing. We hope you join in.