Duke Energy Provides Grant for SWW Roadshow Expansion

Thank you to Duke Energy, who has just provided the MCEC Solar, Wind and Watts Roadshow with a $2,760 grant to expand the program in 2017!
3rd grade students at Fairview Elementary helped us accept the grant following a Roadshow presentation this week
Dedicated High School Environmental Science students from Harmony, Bloomington High School South, and Edgewood High School are working with the younger students to teach them about energy conservation and renewable resources through unique hands-on activities.
 BHSS students teach students at Grandview about renewable energy sources through solar car races.Harmony students teach students at Marlin Elementary about energy conservation by pedaling the Energy BikeThe program launched on October 18th, 2016 and has visited 12 schools, 73 classes and over 1,400 students in Monroe County since then. Thank you to our local high school students for being  fantastic community leaders and teachers!

Interested in bringing the Roadshow to your classroom?

Our current program is full, but contact Jackie Duemler at MoCoEnergyChallenge@gmail.com to find out about future opportunities.

ATTIC INSULATION PROGRAM Update

This spring, the Monroe County Energy Challenge is providing free or low cost attic insulation and air sealing  thanks to a generous grant from Vectren Energy!  The program prioritizes low income families in Monroe County. In the first 3 weeks of the program our NCCC Americorps team insulated 8 Monroe County homes, reducing participants utility bills by a combined $43,186 over the next 10 years. The program has also helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42,856 lbs/year!

In additional to their phenomenal contribution to the Challenge, the NCCC team has also taught over 70 local 2nd grade students about energy conservation and renewable energy resources through the MCEC Solar, Wind and Watts Roadshow.If you are interested in having your home insulated, please call (812) 349-3558 or e-mail MoCoEnergyChallenge@gmail.com to schedule an initial assessment. MCEC will insulate a limited number of homes and we recommend calling to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. This can save you up to $600/year on utility bills and up to $1,400 in contractor fees. This is a great opportunity to save moneyand make your home more comfortable at the same time!MCEC has partnered with AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) in order to provide this opportunity to residents in Monroe County. NCCC strengthens communities and develops leaders through direct, team-based national and community service.

Solar, Wind & Watts Roadshow Expansion

After a successful pilot program, the MCEC Solar, Wind and Watts Roadshow has received a grant from Duke Energy to expand the program into the Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation this spring!
Nine dedicated AP Environmental Science students from Edgewood High School are working with the younger students and are striving to reach over 500 students in RBBCSC.

The 2017 Roadshow kicked-off at Stinesville Elementary School with students grades 3-5 learning about energy conservation and renewable energy resources and continued on to Ellettsville Elementary last week.A student is amazed by the amount of energy a hairdryer uses, ~ 1,400W
Students learn how wind turbines generate electricity

A student pedals hard to light up LED and incandescent light bulbs, look how bright the LEDs are!

The 2017 Solar, Wind & Watts Roadshow  teaches young students about renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, through engaging hands-on activities and demonstrations.

We are also looking forward to teaming up with Harmony School and Bloomington High School South Environmental Science students to continue the program in MCCSC.

Spring Attic Insulation Program

Utility bills high? You may need additional attic insulation and sealing. This is one of the most significant things you can do to decrease your energy costs. Contact us to see if you qualify for our free spring Attic Insulation Program.

With help from NCCC, we will be providing free or low cost attic insulation and air sealing  in March and April.  Space is limited and priority will be given to low-income households. This can save residents up to $600/year on utility bills and up to $1,400 in contractor fees. This is a great opportunity to save money and make your home more comfortable at the same time!

Last year NCCC Team Oak 7 helped air seal and insulate 22 Monroe County homes, saving participants an estimated combined $84K over 10 years and 46,000lbs/CO2/year.  Mayor John Hamilton even proclaimed August 31, 2016 as NCCC Americorps Team Oak 7 Day in Bloomington because of their positive impact on our community.

If you are interested in participating, please call (812) 349-3558 or e-mail MoCoEnergyChallenge@gmail.com to schedule an initial assessment. MCEC will insulate a limited number of homes and we recommend calling to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

MCEC has partnered with AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) in order to provide this opportunity to residents in Monroe County. NCCC strengthens communities and develops leaders through direct, team-based national and community service.

Black Lumber Joins the WPP as an Advanced Partner

Thank you to Black Lumber, which joined the MCEC Workplace Partner Program as an Advanced Partner in October 2016.  We are thrilled to have such a terrific local business on board!20161015_114021-2 Black Lumber has been a part of the Bloomington community since 1928 and has continued the company’s tradition of being a family operated business and a strong community supporter.
20161015_121026-2In October, they  supported the MCEC with Project Porchlight, an initiative to distribute 1,000 free LED light bulbs in order to encourage local residents to implement energy-saving practices and technologies in their homes. They helped the initiative by supplying  over 750 discounted LED bulbs and helping us host a special event that allowed community members to pedal energy bikes, participate in energy conservation activities and learn methods of saving energy in their own homes.20161008_112028-2Learn more about Black Lumber at https://www.bloomingtonhardware.com/

CITYOFB_MoCoEnergyChampionYardSign-WorkplacePartner

Monroe County businesses and non-profits can now easily become active participants in the Monroe County Energy Challenge by joining our Workplace Partners Program.

The Workplace Partners Program (WPP) is based on the idea that workplaces can be a catalyst for positive change in our community. Commercial and institutional meters aren’t included in the competition, so the focus of the WPP is on encouraging a shift in employee behaviors at home. Sign on to become an MCEC Workplace Partner, and we will provide you with materials and information you need help your employees and customers save energy in their homes, while also making them more mindful of their energy use at your business!  Click here to see our options for involvement.

Solar, Wind & Watts Kickoff 2017

The 2017 Roadshow kicked-off at Stinesville Elementary School this week with students grades 3-5 learning about energy conservation and renewable energy resources!
Thank you to Duke Energy for providing a grant for $2,760 to help fund the 2017 Solar, Wind & Watts Roadshow. The Roadshow teaches young students about renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, through engaging hands-on activities and demonstrations. 
This spring our teachers are AP Environmental students from Edgewood High School, who will be visiting 3rd-5th grade classrooms in the Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation throughout the semester. 

An elementary student reads a kilowatt meter to learn about the energy consumption of household appliances

We are also looking forward to teaming up with Harmony School and Bloomington High School South Environmental Science students to continue the program in MCCSC.

Spring Attic Insulation Program

We are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting a AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) team this spring! The team will help us air seal and insulate attics, provide free home weatherization and much more! 
If your house has high energy bills, is cold in spots – and especially if the snow melts off your roof faster than others – you may need additional attic insulation and sealing. This is one of the most significant things you can do to decrease your energy costs. Homeowners and renters (with permission of landlords) can participate.

With help from NCCC, we will be providing free or low cost attic insulation and air sealing  in March and April.  Space is limited and priority will be given to low-income households. This can save residents up to $600/year on utility bills and up to $1,400 in contractor fees. This is a great opportunity to save money and make your home more comfortable at the same time!

Last year NCCC Team Oak 7 helped air seal and insulate 22 Monroe County homes, saving participants an estimated combined $84K over 10 years and 46,000lbs/CO2/year.  Mayor John Hamilton even proclaimed August 31, 2016 as NCCC Americorps Team Oak 7 Day in Bloomington because of their positive impact on our community.

If you are interested in participating, please call (812) 349-3558 or e-mail MoCoEnergyChallenge@gmail.com to schedule an initial assessment. MCEC will insulate a limited number of homes and we recommend calling to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

MCEC has partnered with AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) in order to provide this opportunity to residents in Monroe County. NCCC strengthens communities and develops leaders through direct, team-based national and community service.

We are thrilled to have 9 wonderful NCCC members dedicated to helping our community conserve energy this spring!

If you would like to donate to this program, please visit http://www.insccap.org/pages/donate (the page for our partner org SCCAP), and click “Make a Donation”.
  • On the Review Donation page, click “Add special instructions to seller” and type “for Monroe County Energy Challenge” 
  • Approve donation

Thank you!

 

Energy Leaders: Albrecht Holschuh and Deborah Meader

Albrecht Holschuh and Deborah Meader

In return for spending about $4,700 for energy efficiency over eight years, their house so far has saved $3,600 in electricity cost, and every year now saves about $750 more, even without further effort. They have a unique way of funding their energy efficiency improvements and have inspired others to do the same!

This is their story:

We had been conserving some energy in small steps. Don’t waste hot water. Turn off unused lights. Close the fridge. Yet—and this is important—we did not sacrifice comfort and still don’t. Indoor temperature remains as it was.

In 2009, convinced that fuel taxes were too low for the good of our state and the world, we started taxing ourselves. For every gallon of gasoline purchased, one dollar was placed in a special savings account called “mytax.” The mere recording of how much flowed into the gas tank quickly demonstrated the significance of miles and consumption. We began paying attention to how—and how often—we drove. That must have saved fuel, but it was only the beginning of a learning experience that may be worth sharing.

Understandably, nobody ever followed the example. Who wants to pay a whole dollar more for gas? Who has that much to spare? Aren’t taxes too high already? But taxes, thoughtfully used, can do good. They can even save you money.

We live in an all-electric house. There are neither fuel deliveries nor furnace maintenance, but electricity charges are high; a geothermal system keeps them in check. Money in the mytax account is to be used to reduce energy consumption—and thus, energy expense. In 2008, the house used 44.9 kwh per day; by 2016, use had fallen to 24.4 kwh per day.

How did it happen? The big old freezer was replaced by a more efficient one paid for by mytax. Then a new and better dishwasher arrived. Likewise, the geothermal heating and cooling unit was exchanged. When the electric range gave way to an induction range, mytax covered only part of the cost, because the induction system brought considerable convenience along with energy savings.

CFL and LED light bulbs came on the market. Because hot water had to run an inconveniently long distance from the main water heater to the kitchen, wait time and heating cost were reduced by an on-demand heater under the sink. Now we are searching for nice ceiling lamps that will not damage LED bulbs. (The heat inside closed fixtures harms the bulbs.)

The mytax account now holds $3,300. What should we do next? The house is reasonably well insulated. Mytax could cover the additional cost of a hybrid vehicle, reducing its own inflow of funds. Placing solar panels on the roof would not be practical because large trees shade the house, keeping sunlight away in the warm season.

To find out how much money has been saved, one can compare the electricity consumption of 2008 to that of the years since then. Using an approximate price of $0.10 per kwh, one arrives at the $3,600 mentioned above. And as long as we drive, there will be more to invest, leading to further savings. Once the options are exhausted, the money could flow beyond this private residence.

Energy savings make money. Let’s imagine what Indiana could do with a $0.40 gasoline tax. Excellent roads, rural transportation, Internet access for all, efficient travel to Indianapolis and Chicago—but also less expensive health care and better education. Over the years we would all save money. The initial shock would be gone. And Hoosiers would be driving less wasteful vehicles, saving even more.

365 Days of Energy Savings

As the nation-wide competition for $5M draws to a close and we transition into 2017,  let’s take a moment to reflect on 365 days of energy savings, community leadership, and creating a more sustainable and resilient environment!

Our achievements in 2016 include:

  • Provided over 250 free Energy Assessments to homes in Monroe County
  • Distributed 1,500 free LED light bulbs to encourage energy-saving practices and technologies through Project Porchlight. Partnership with Duke Energy helped distribute an additional 33,000 bulbs. The direct impact of the program is an annual savings of up to $230,000.
  • Partnered with 25 companies representing over 7,000 employees and 55,000 residents as part of our Workplace Partner Program
  • Partnered with Harmony high school students to educate 2nd-4th graders about renewable energy through our Solar, Wind & Watts Roadshow. In all, we visited 17 classrooms in 6 schools and 370 students in just 6 weeks
  • Air sealed and insulated 22 low-income homes with an estimated 10-year savings of over $84,000 and a greenhouse gas reduction of over 46,000 lbs/year
  • Hosted or participated in over 200 community events since 2015, including energy fairs, parades, weatherization demonstrations, presentations to the community, and more!
  • Provided free Energy Assessments for 16 Child Care Centers, helping to improve our children’s environment and reduce utility costs for local small businesses

  • Won the MIT Climate CoLab 2016 Buildings competition for RentRocket.org, a prototype website that empowers renters to see and compare utility costs and gain a better understanding of the full costs of renting

The support we received from you was absolutely invaluable. No matter which city wins the competition, our results don’t lie. The work you helped us accomplish and the difference that we made in our community and environment have helped make Monroe County more sustainable.

We will be continuing the Energy Challenge in 2017 and are looking for support to make an even bigger impact! Any donations you provide by January 21, 2017 could be matched 1:1 through a Partners for Places Equity grant. Your support, and this additional funding, will let us continue to grow the great programs we’ve started over the last two years. Contact us at mocoenergychallenge@gmail.com or (812)349-3558 if you are interested in sponsoring or co-sponsoring a specific program.

Thank you so much for your continued support, and we look forward to working with you in 2017!

Harmony Environmental Science Students become Energy Leaders

The students in Harmony’s Environmental Science class have been nominated as Energy Leaders because of their dedication to helping younger students learn about renewable energy resources and energy conservation.

 Energy Leader Achievements:

  • These 14 incredible students helped teach over 370 local students about renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power through engaging in hands-on activities through the MCEC Solar, Wind & Watts Roadshow
  • They visited 17 classrooms across 6 schools and gave out over 350 LED lights to young students to help them educate their families about energy efficiency and to help reduce utility bills at home.
  • They have shown themselves to be leaders, teachers, and catalysts for positive change in our community.

We are so proud to have such  inspiring youth in our community!

Know someone in the community who is making a huge difference? The Energy Leader award is presented to individuals that have shown significant achievements in energy efficiency and sustainability in Monroe County. Help us recognize these community all-stars by nominating an Energy Leader today!

Energy Leader Criteria:
To be considered for an Energy Leader award, individuals must display commitment to one or more of the following areas that have resulted in meaningful outcomes (on any scale):

– Improving home energy efficiency
– Sharing energy saving knowledge within the community
– Developing or utilizing innovative energy saving techniques
– Energy Ambassador certification or a member of a MCEC       committee dedicated to reducing energy consumption in Monroe   County.

Know an Energy Leader? Click here to make a nomination