DELTA – Some weather forecasts suggest that this winter of 2010-2011 will be colder than average. Local residents should take action now, says Delta Montrose Electric Association.
“The best time to make your home more energy efficient is before the cold starts to increase your heating bill,” said Phil Zimmer, DMEA’s energy services supervisor. “I encourage people who want to save energy and money this year to attend the upcoming home energy workshop, Oct. 15, at the Heddles Recreation Center in Delta. In addition to being a ‘one stop shop’ for energy services and information, DMEA will be giving out home energy kits to our members, with an enhanced kit for the first 25 DMEA households who RSVP and attend the workshop.”
DMEA is one of several organizations sponsoring the event, which is coordinated by the FORE (Focus On Resource Efficiency) Alliance, a local organization developing local strategies to conserve energy and create jobs in Montrose and Delta Counties. Funding for the FORE Alliance came from the American Recovery Act-funded Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, administered by the Governor’s Energy Office.
Government and utility incentives make home energy improvements particularly economical, Zimmer noted.
“There are great programs from both the State of Colorado and the federal government, specifically USDA Rural Development, that people really should become familiar with,” said Zimmer. “Energy efficiency measures can be great investments that pay for themselves. Government and utility incentives make them even more economically feasible.”
The most frequent opportunity is very basic, according to Zimmer. “Homeowners can typically save up to 20% of heating and cooling costs and about 10% of total energy costs with proper insulation and air sealing.”
Properly sealing the ducts that distribute warm air in winter in homes with forced-air heating systems is an important and often-overlooked measure. In a typical home about 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks and poorly sealed connections, Zimmer explained. “The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how efficient the furnace may be.”
A broad range of other savings opportunities and programs will be available from the exhibitors at the event, including SourceGas, USDA Rural Development, Aerofoam ENERGY STAR for New Homes, Slaughter’s Heating and Cooling, Consolidated Electrical, Southern Colorado Clean Cities, the Governor’s Energy Office, Recharge Colorado, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Energy Wise Companies, DMEA, the City of Delta, Sun Country Energy Solutions, Hellman Toyota and Anasazi Solar.
“It’s particularly important in tough economic times to learn how to put even $10-30 a month back into homeowners’ pockets and into other areas of the local economy,” said Abbie Vanderwist, the FORE Alliance’s community energy coordinator. “We greatly appreciate all the exhibitors and sponsors who are making this event possible.”
The FORE Alliance will provide DMEA with the names of the first 25 member households that RSVP and attend. Each will receive the enhanced home energy kit that includes a caulking gun, electric outlet foam insulation covers, a power strip, an LED nightlight, a compact florescent light, and other items. To RSVP, go to foreallliance.org or call 240-1272.
“DMEA members who attend will also be eligible for door prizes that include an LED TV and a home insulation package that could be worth as much as $1,000,” said Zimmer. “This is really a hot opportunity on the cusp of a very cold winter.”