Workshop offers tips for energy conservation

    Program provided by Impact Cleveland and CU partnership

    1

    Through the partnership with Cleveland Utilities, Impact Cleveland is helping and teaching people on saving energy costs by educating those who would like to attend.

    The 1st workshop was held Saturday with Jamie Creekmore of Cleveland Utilities as the speaker.

    He explained that when individual consumers use less energy, then the utility has a decrease in the amount of energy it has to buy from the Tennessee Valley Authority. This in turn means TVA does not have a need to increase its power generating facilities.

    The largest energy users in a home are the heat, air conditioning and the hot-water heater.

    “Heat is usually the number one user of energy,” Creekmore said. This is why electric bills go up in the winter.

    “Coming out of the heating season is always good,” Creekmore said.

    Creekmore said the greater the difference between the temperature outside and the desired temperature inside, the harder the unit has to work and the more energy that is used to achieve the temperature.

    “You want to make sure you find a happy temperature that works for you,” Creekmore said.

    He said changing the temperature a lot can increase energy costs.

    Turning it “off and on is usually a bad thing to do,” Creekmore said.

    “People think, ‘Well, I went to work or I went to school and I shut it off. I saved all this energy because my system is not running.’ When you turn it back on, it has to warm back up (and compensate for the drop or increase in temperature),” Creekmore said.

    He said it s better to keep a constant temperature. He did recommend turning it off, if someone was not going to be home for a week or so in the summer.

    He said using a fan in the room a person is in can help keep that area cool without increasing the energy costs to cool the whole house.

    Proper insulation is important to keep a home the desired temperature by keeping air from escaping.

    “On average every home leaks air at a rate of 4-by4-feet square,” Creekmore said.

    He compared this to a hole in the home that was slightly larger than half the size of their front door.

    However, adding insulation to attic and crawl spaces and putting a weather strip or towel near the bottom of exterior doors can decrease the amount of air being released, Creekmore said.

    He said replacing windows are “not huge energy savers” and are usually expensive.

    Weatherization such as caulking around the exterior of windows can also decrease energy costs.

    Other tips that will bring some additional cost savings are replacing light bulbs with energy efficient CFL or LED bulbs, keeping lights turned off when not in use and always washing a full load of clothes.

    “Don’t wash one or two items. Always wash a full load and try to wash in cold water,” Creekmore said.

    He said it is also important to make sure air vents are not blocked.

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