Last year, Jeff and Rachel Hohensee’s winter energy bill was $500.
This year, they don’t even have an energy bill. Jeff, a consultant on sustainable-living topics at Natural Capitalism Solutions, was feeling guilty about his energy-wasting home, so he and his wife set out on a two-year project that transformed it into a net-zero home–meaning it generates more energy than it uses.
They started with easy fixes like switching to CFL bulbs and low-flow showerheads, and getting an energy audit to see where air was leaking from their home. They used caulk and insulation foam to fill the leaky areas.
Eventually, they hired insulators to add materials to the home’s walls. Jeff says they took the process to a higher level by hiring someone from Standard Renewable Energy to follow the insulators with an infrared gun. The infrared photos would show areas where the initial insulation was too sparse, and more was added. Read more
Boulder County workers are coming to your door, and they’re armed (with low-flow showerheads and CFL light bulbs)
If you want to save energy (and water), you probably know what you should do. But maybe, you just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Boulder County is taking that kind of good intention (but lack of action) to task. The county is launching the Energy Corps, which will pay young adults to go door to door, educating those who need it, and then doing what needs to be done (in the energy sense, of course) right then and there.
The new program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will work with community groups such as homeowners’ associations to target willing neighborhoods.
“The goal is to do a new neighborhood every Saturday,” said county spokesman Dan Rowland. “If your HOA contacts us and says, ‘OK we’re going to do this,’ we’ll have the whole team out in the neighborhood. They’ll crank through 15 or 20 houses that are already signed up.”
Individual houses will be scheduled for two-hour energy assessments, during which corps members will install compact fluorescent light bulbs, low-flow showerheads, programmable thermostats, weather stripping and clotheslines free of charge. Energy Corps members will also help homeowners save energy by adjusting thermostats, refrigerators, freezers, water heaters and furnaces.
Read the full story at DailyCamera.com, or to get your neighborhood on Energy Corps’ to-do list, contact Beth Beckel at email@example.com or 303-441-3502.