published Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Cleveland State offers green workshops for homeowners

A sign is shown at the main entrance to Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tennessee
A sign is shown at the main entrance to Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tennessee
Allison Kwesell

COMING WORKSHOPS

All will be held in the Johnson Heritage and Cultural Center at Cleveland State Community College.

• Sept. 6: 6-8 p.m. Sustainable home construction energy saving measures.

• Sept. 12: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. A series of energy savings workshops throughout the day.

• Sept. 13: 10 a.m.-noon. Simple steps to a greener life.

• Sept. 21: 6-8 p.m. Home remedies.

• Sept. 28: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Building energy smart homes in Cleveland/Bradley County, a series of speakers throughout the day.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Being green can be simple and cheap, experts said Friday at the first in a series of sustainability workshops at Cleveland State Community College.

Door sweeps, added insulation, leaving the thermostat alone and weatherstripping are among the items to reach for first, said David Orr of Cleveland Utilities and Patty Hurley of Volunteer Energy Cooperative.

"The cheapest energy of all is the energy you don't use," Hurley reminded the attendees. "The best weapon for energy efficiency is a caulking gun."

Orr compared a house's heating and air system to driving a car. The terrain under the road, or the temperature outside the house, can't be controlled. But the speed of the car, or constantly adjusting a thermostat, and the technology in either the car or house, can be controlled, he said.

Learn to read the electric meter, Orr said. On the new automatic meters, he said, look for the number that follows "kwh," or kilowatts per hour.

On the water meter, he said, look for a three-pointed star. It moves only when water is being used. If no water is being used, but that star is moving, then there's a leak, he said.

He told the story of a woman who read her electric meter routinely and saw an unexplained increase is power use. The early catch, he said, saved her a huge electric bill.

"I can't stress that enough," Orr said, as the heating season returns.

Both utilities offer in-home, walk-through energy evaluations that can include rebates in some cases.

This marks the first time Cleveland State has offered this series of workshops, said Tracey Wright, director of college special programs and community relations. The workshops are made possible by a grant from the federal Appalachian Regional Commission, she said.

"The workshops are designed to give the public an opportunity to meet knowledgeable professionals. The sessions this month will appeal to contractors, home and business owners and nonprofit managers," she said.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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