CANON CITY, Colo. (AP) — Keeping Fremont County’s administration building closed one day a week has saved more money than expected.
Last June the county switched the building’s operating hours to 10-hour work days, Monday through Thursday in a move to save an estimated $10,000 per year in utility costs.
County Manager George Sugars said a recent energy cost analysis found that the savings from closing the building for three days per week during the last 10 months of operation totaled $18,276. He says turning down heating and cooling systems from Thursday evenings until Monday mornings helped reduce costs.
In a city where there are tons of renters, it’s tough to motivate people to spend money on saving energy. That’s part of why the University of Colorado’s Environmental Center is helping students living off campus chip away at their energy bills by visiting their homes to show them how:
Hosted by CU’s Environmental Center, Student and Community Outreach for Renter Efficiency — or SCORE — teaches students living in certain Boulder neighborhoods how to lower their energy bills by making their homes more efficient through simple and inexpensive adjustments, such as using energy efficient light bulbs or setting thermostats to optimal temperatures. Read more
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
Two recent pieces in the Camera cover local senior citizens with the desire to learn how to reduce their environmental impact, addressing issues like frugality and possible physical limitations on green action. Read more