Today's Earth Day emphasizes the home Home Energy Audits

Today's Earth Day emphasizes the home
Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:41 AM
By Carl E. Feather
Star Beacon

Today is Earth Day, the 40th anniversary of a movement that is even more timely today than it was in 1970, when a horse-drawn funeral carriage led by marchers traveled from North Park to Kent State University Ashtabula.

Reporters from ABC's network news and a Japanese film crew covered the city's observance of the first Earth Day. The event also attracted reporters from Life and Look magazines.

Citizens for Survival organized the event. Both turned out to be a flash in the pan, and environmental fever took a couple of aspirins and went to bed. The problems didn't go away, however, and the county went on to tackle a number of Super Fund sites, including the massive task of remediating Fields Brook and dredging the lower reaches of the Ashtabula River.

These days, Earth Day is much more personal. It has become an opportunity for consumers to assess the way we use energy, consume resources and leave our footprints on the planet, often with the assistance of "green" products and businesses.

One of the trends is to have a home energy audit performed. There are private companies that can perform this work, or if you qualify for assistance through the Weatherization Program, the audit is performed as part of the service.

Carmen Kuula, director of housing for Community Action, said the qualifying income point is 200 percent of the federal poverty level -- for a household of two, that's $29,140.

The local program received $5 million from the federal stimulus package and is nine months into the 21-month grant. Kuula said there's still money available for home weatherization work, and she encourages residents to call for qualification information (998-4996).

Points are assigned to each case and are used to prioritize the order in which the work is done.

Kuula said two big issues that energy audits reveal over and over are light bulbs and air sealing. Incandescent bulbs suck up a lot of electricity and are inefficient at turning that power it into light. Compact fluorescent bulbs, while more expensive initially, use less electricity, operate at cooler temperatures and last longer.

The energy audits often reveal loss of heat/cooling from places home owners don't normally think about when they attempt to seal up their homes, such as around baseboards, ceiling lights and outlets.

If you're too wealthy to qualify for the Weatherization Program, there are private firms who will help you go green in exchange for your greenbacks. GreenStreet Solutions in Cleveland is a start-up company that both audits the home and educates the consumers who live there.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Live in Ohio and interested in a Home Energy Audit? sym-home is a local company who can provide you with that service.  Want to learn more in person, visit our booth at Green on the Green, Saturday, May 22, 2010 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the Village Green in Worthington, OH

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