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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Going green one shade at a time

From an article by Stefanie Scott in Wauwatosa Today:

Program outlines steps to energy improvements

Going green may seem like a daunting task. But it doesn't require saving the world or even making major lifestyle changes overnight.

A new Green Neighbor Program - a collaboration of the city's Energy Committee, local Sierra Club chapter and Renew Wisconsin - encourages residents to start small and look at energy usage within their households.

The program aims "to get people to think about energy efficiency and the environmental impact in their own homes and what specific actions they can take to for improvement," said John Bahr, chairman of the committee's Energy Efficiency efforts.

One-on-one advice
Free home energy-efficiency consultations will be offered Aug. 18 at Wauwatosa Public Library. Professionals from the energy and home improvement fields and experienced homeowners will meet one-on-one with interested residents.

Consultants will address problems areas such as drafts, cold spots and high heating bills. Then they will discuss typical solutions such as do-it-yourself projects or appliance purchases that may qualify for tax credits or rebates.

Homeowners should bring a recent utility bill or WE Energies account number so consultants can review energy expenses and compare them with typical expenses for similar-sized homes in the area, Program Coordinator Michael Arney said.

"The homeowner benefits by having a more comfortable home and lower energy bills," Arney said. "Energy efficiency increases property values and, on the broadest level, it reduces our fossil fuel dependency and our carbon emissions."

Consultations are meant to serve as a starting point.

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