03-23-2020 | SAVING WATER AND ENERGY

Tune-in to our chat with Alane Humrich – Program Director of Community Weatherization Coalition  (CWC)

         

Alane Humrich CWC Program Director

CWC: how did it got started?

The Community Weatherization Coalition started its planning during 2005-2006 with the idea to lower utility needs of Alachua County neighbors. Volunteer trainings started in 2008 with the goal of educating neighbors on how to conserve resources.

What does the CWC do?

CWC provides FREE home energy tune-ups for homeowners and renters in Alachua County.

To get started on your FREE energy tune-up you will need to fill in the application (online or via mail) and allocate 2 to 4 hours for volunteers to completely assess your home. Please, have in hand a recent utility bill. Volunteers will help you understand your utility bill and identify resource-wasting behaviors. Volunteers will also install $90 worth of supplies to help conserve energy (LED bulbs, water saving shower heads, and carbon monoxide detectors for safety).

What are some common misconceptions? 

Alane says a lot of residents don’t think their behaviors affect their utility bill. “..a lot of people don’t think their behavior can affect their bill, they say that our utility rates are high here, and I’d say there is a lot of blame on that instead of empowerment of what they can do in their own homes to help reduce their bill.”

More than identifying issues the CWC tries to change behaviors and to commit to the new changes implemented

How many homes do they survey?

Last year, CWC served 150 homes. Half of those homes were rental properties. After the survey, participants are encouraged to pledge they will follow the energy saving advice given. A month or so after, participants are contacted to ensure they are following the advice, and they do adhere to the tips given during energy tune-ups!

How do I get in touch with CWC?

You can contact CWC through their Website, their Facebook pageand their Instagram!

Since this is a totally FREE service, how does CWC supports financially?

CWC wants to thank their sponsors: The City of Gainesville, Alachua County, Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), the Office of Sustainability at the University of Florida, private foundations, and private business.

How to start a CWC in your city/county?

Some local counties have taken initiatives through sustainability departments. If your county does not have an office of sustainability, contact them and show your interest for one to be created!

Most common advice given during energy touch-ups

Change one habit at a time. By changing one habit at a time, it is easier to adhere to the changes you make around your home!

Irrigation is one of the biggest water consumers in a house. Followed by old toilets with huge water tanks! Heating and cooling systems are the biggest energy consumers in houses and rental properties. The preferred settings are 78 F degrees during the summer, and 68 F degrees during the winter. Keep an eye on the filter! A clean filter makes the system consume less energy and provides better air quality!

If possible, get a power strip and turn it off at night or when not home! Vampire loads are real. These are electronics that consume energy by just being plugged to the wall (coffee makers, microwaves, phone chargers, tv, etc)

CWC by the numbers

In a year, the CWC saves homeowners and renters an average of 255 dollars in utilities, 6,200 gallons of water, and 1,700 kilo hours of energy!

Due to COVID-19, Spring Energy Coach Training is CANCELED!