From Sustainable Energy Resource Group – SERG:
Despite the recent cold snap, this has been one of the warmest fall/winters on record. I hope you will join SERG in resolving to increase your commitment to saving energy and moving toward renewables in this New Year.
Here are a few resources to help you:
- Winter Energy Saving Tips for Homeowners
- LED Discounts for Vermont Businesses
Bob Walker, SERG
Sunday, January 22: “Gasland”. This film by Josh Fox was nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar in 2011 and won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance. Learn more about the spreading technology to drill for natural gas: hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The film’s website bills it as “part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.”
Sunday, February 12: “A Sea Change”. It’s a frightening premise, and it’s happening right now. A Sea Change follows the journey of retired history teacher Sven Huseby on his quest to discover how excess carbon dioxide dissolving in our world’s oceans is changing sea water chemistry and life within.
Winter Energy Saving Tips for Homeowners
Air leakage is the greatest source of heat loss in most homes. The greater the temperature differential between inside and outside your house, the faster air leakage takes place and the easier it is to find. So these cold days can help you in your detective work.
Warm air pushes up and out holes high in your home, but is hard to feel. So take something that smokes, like incense, and hold it near typical leakage areas to the attic or outside and watch for smoke being pulled out – attic hatch or stairwell, chimney penetrations, through and around recessed lights, ceiling fans, or other plumbing and electrical penetrations.
Cold air is pulled in lower areas of the home, especially in basements and crawl spaces. There you can usually feel the cold air blowing in on you hand where the sill meets the foundation, around bulkhead doors, basement windows and other penetrations to the outside. Seal all these high and low openings with caulk, spray foam or weatherstipping. You can view a video that SERG helped produce on how to complete these and other Do-It-Yourself energy-saving measures at http://www.cctv.org/node/82725
Save a lot of energy by turning your thermostat down when you are away during the day or asleep at night. The general rule of thumb is that for every degree you set your thermostat back for 8 hours every day, you will cut your fuel use by 1%. So setting your thermostat back 10 degrees 8 hours a day while you are at work and another 8 hours a day while you are asleep, could save you 20% off your fuel bill. A programmable thermostat will help you do this automatically and let you bring the temps back up to a comfortable level by the time you get up or get home. Check out Energy Federation Inc. for programmable thermostats and other weatherization supplies You can also turn the heat off in areas of your home that you do not use during the winter. Be careful that water pipes do not freeze and condensation does not take place in those rooms.
LED Discounts for Vermont Businesses!
Efficiency Vermont is offering businesses instant rebates on the purchase of ENERGY STAR rated, energy-efficient LED bulbs. LEDs use much less energy than conventional bulbs, last much longer, contain no mercury and are all dimmable.
A list of specific rebates, a list of participating LED vendors, and a downloadable rebate form at: http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/for_my_business/ways-to-save-and-rebates/commercial_lighting/commercial_led/rebates.aspx
Vendors also have forms and can help you fill them out. Participating Electric Supply distributors in the Upper Valley include, CED Twin State in Wilder, Green Mountain Electric Supply in W. Lebanon and Yankee in Lebanon.