Amanda Figolah: Energy Leader

Congratulations to Amanda Figolah for becoming an MCEC  Energy Leader!

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Amanda was nominated as an Energy Leader because she inspires local youth to be energy conscious, active citizens. She is a teacher at Bloomington High School South.

 Energy Leader Achievements:

  • Amanda’s Environmental Science classes have taken on ambitious projects to reduce energy use and improve the environment. This spring they developed a school toolkit for Lights Out, an Energy Challenge initiative in the school.
  • In the winter trimester, her students laid the groundwork for a sustainability plan for BHSS.
  • She helps students write and receive substantial grants as part of their capstone class projects; one student won a grant for a “green bathroom” at South.
  • The class as a whole won funding for a permaculture planting on MCCSC property.
  • Amanda also co-wrote a grant for a teacher training workshop on education that brought in ~$29,000 in grant money and a very extensive energy tool lending library.

We are so proud to have such an inspiring teacher 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

New Model Solar Neighborhood project!

The Monroe County Energy Challenge recently partnered with SIREN (Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network) and ICEY (Interfaith Community of Environmentalist Youth) to create a model solar neighborhood for the city and state!

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Darrell and Kathleen Boggess outside their solar powered home in Bloomington

The Elm Heights/Bryan Park area was chosen because of the high concentration of solar panels that already exist there, but we hope to expand this project to other neighborhoods in the future.

SIREN will hold a forum to inform Elm Heights/Bryan Park residents about the process of going solar and what the bulk deal will look like. The forum is targeted at home owners in this area, but others are also welcome. The forum will be held on June 26th at 918 E. University St. The event will start at 6pm and refreshments will be provided.  RSVP to at sirensolar.org/rsvp/ or send an email to contact@sirensolar.org

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We are so excited to be a part of this momentous project!

ICEY is a group of environmentally conscious middle and high schoolers who see climate change as one of the greatest problems our generation will have to deal with, and strive to do everything in our power to prevent it. 

SIREN has been a leading educator and promoter of renewable energy and energy conservation in Indiana. Independent, non-partisan, and volunteer-run, SIREN focuses on promoting solar power for homes and other buildings. 

Libby Gwynn and Lee Mysliwiec: Energy Leaders

Libby and Lee were nominated as Energy Leaders because of their energy efficiency improvements and dedication to energy conservation.

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Energy Leader Achievements:

  • A home energy audit found only a few air leaks.
  • Their crawl space has been sealed, they have double paned windows and a tankless water heater.
  • A whole house fan helps cool in the summer when air conditioning is seldom used.
  • Their furnace is energy efficient and solar panels have produced all of their electricity for many years with Duke net metering.
  • They also have a garden which produces hundreds of pounds of organic vegetables and countless flowers each year. Five rain barrels can be found on their property which reduce the strain on municipal water supplies while lowering their water bill.
  • They bike and walk as much as possible, keeping significant CO2 out of the atmosphere

We are so proud to have such an inspiring couple 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

MCEC Explore Energy Fair!

Explore energy fair
The Monroe County Energy Challenge will be hosting its second annual Explore Energy Fair at Bloomington’s City Hall during the farmer’s market on Saturday, June 25th! The fair will include tons of family friendly events, including:

– Electric Bicycle Races, where you can compete against yourself and your friends to see how much energy you can create using pedal-power.

– Kill-a-Watt Table, where you can guess how much energy various appliances use and how much they cost you! You’ll be surprised by what you’ll find.

– Photo Booth with props and our EnergyMobile!

– Human Powered Booth. Have you gotten in the habit on relying on electric appliance to perform the simplest of tasks? See how easy and satisfying it is to perform tasks without expensive, unnecessary appliances.

– Water Wheel game where you can quiz yourself and learn all about your local water supply.
…and much more!12651078_1740774842824508_3660355495983306954_nStop by any of our booths, and you’ll be entered to win one of many prizes! We can’t wait to see you there!

Chris Clark & Bridie Mac: Energy Leaders

20160601_141111-2Chris and Bridie are business partners who were nominated as an Energy Leaders because of their energy efficiency improvements and dedication to energy conservation.

Energy Leader Achievements:

  • They are remodeling a home with the intention of using it as a realtor’s office.
  • Installed 100% LED lighting
  • Installed a low flow toilet (0.8 gpf) and smaller, more energy efficient appliances in the kitchen
  • The home is very well insulated, keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer
  • They also have a garden which produces most of the vegetables they need, helping our community become more sustainable

We are so proud to have such  inspiring people 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

Global Gifts Joins the WPP!

Thank you to Global Gifts which joined the Workplace Partner Program in May!

20160525_130715-2 (2)Global Gifts is a local non-profit fair trade store supporting artisans in the developing world. Fair trade ensures that producers get fair prices, have access to clean water, medical care and education for their families.

There are nine principles essential to fair trade including cultivating environmental stewardship.  Joining the Workplace Partners Program is one more way that Global Gifts upholds this principle by promoting energy conservation to their staff and volunteers.

Global Gifts promotes environmentally conscious products and also recycles or reuses approximately 98% of their waste through recycling and composting.  Last year Global Gifts replaced all CFL bulbs with LED bulbs, and this year they will be changing  florescent tube lighting with LED lighting as they need replacement.

Learn more about Global Gifts at globalgifts.com,  or follow them on Facebook (GlobalGiftsBloomington) or Instagram (@globalgiftsbloomington).

We are thrilled to have such a dedicated community partner on board!

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.

Alex Jorck: Energy Leader

Alex was nominated as an Energy Leader because of his creative energy efficiency improvements and dedication to energy conservation in the community.

Energy Leader Achievements:

  • Designed his own energy efficient, custom-built gaming PC
  • Installed high efficiency lighting and an Ecobee3 smart WiFi thermostat
  • Performed an energy assessment and completed small amounts of necessary sealing
  • Added thick curtains to help maintain interior temperatures
  • Installed a low-flow showerhead and outlet gaskets around the house
  • Is a member of the MCEC Residential Committee

We are so proud to have such an inspiring member 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

MCEC participants recognized at Early Childhood Excellence Awards

MCEC partnered with Monroe Smart Start  to provide free energy assessments to home-based childcare facilities in Monroe County. Participating home providers received LED light bulbs, faucet aerators, outlet insulators, and weatherization to help them to reduce home energy use and save money on utility costs.13217380_10153457594497484_5670852994946729820_oPhoto credit: Monroe County Community Foundation

By pairing improved environmental quality with improved childcare, local children and their families are healthier, safer and more likely to prosper in the future.13227734_10153457594597484_1365709603980240555_oRobyn and Noel representing Kid Angles Early Education School: Monkey House and Kid Angles Early Education School: Butterfly Bungalow

Providers that completed energy assessments and made energy efficiency improvements were recognized at this year’s Early Childhood Excellence Awards:

  • Marcella Ettinger, Director, Rise and Shine Child Care
  • Jenny Dittfach, Owner, Jenny’s Place
  • Noel Hanson, Owner, Kid Angles Early Education School: Monkey House, Kid Angles Early Education School: Butterfly Bungalow
  • Linda Jackson, Owner, Jack and Jill Daycare
  • Marianna Edmonds-Hogue, Owner, Cookie Club Daycare
  • Jackie Perez, Owner, Little Peeps

The 3rd annual Early Childhood Excellence Awards were held on Thursday, April 14 at WTIU. Read more and see the complete list of 2016 honorees: http://bit.ly/1VMyGnN

Light’s Out Campaign at Local Schools

5 Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) and a charter school participated in an MCEC energy saving campaign to reduce electricity use in schools by turning off the lights. The ‘Light’s Out’ campaign was piloted in April 2015 and rolled out district-wide in October 2015.

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Some schools consume almost 50% of their electricity through lighting. MCCSC students and teachers are working to reduce consumption and cost by turning off classroom lights and relying on natural light whenever possible!

The graph below (created by AP Environmental Student Cecilia Brisuda using electricity consumption data captured by the BHSS pulse initiator) compares energy use at timed intervals on Mondays for both for the control weeks in September (blue line) and the challenge period in October (orange line). The changes are measured in kilowatt hours; for perspective, the school uses an average 2,845.3 kWh per day annually (the gray baseline).

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The data analysis for BHSS and other participating MCCSC schools is still a work in process so we can’t yet provide totals on energy savings. Pulse initiator data is not available for all the schools so reconstructing differences in usage takes some guesswork and a huge amount of manual work. However, BHSS saw monthly electricity use drop from 85,306 kWh in September to 82,828 in October. Historically use is roughly equal in these two months. Preliminary analysis shows a statistically significant difference that can only be attributed to the Lights Out challenge.

Data analysis for the challenge is integrated with a bigger project: building a prototype for energy consumption dashboards that will ultimately be displayed in the majority of MCCSC schools.

Kathy Ruesink: Energy Leader

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Kathy was nominated as an Energy Leader because of her dedication to energy reduction and her efforts to get solar panels for her church this spring.

Energy Leader Achievements:

  • During a home energy assessment she discovered that her attic required additional insulation and hired Advance Energy Solutions (AES) to install insulation and seal the attic.
  • AES is the only contractor in Monroe County who can apply for both Duke and Vectren rebates for attic insulation ($700 combined rebate). AES also offers a 10% discount in support of MCEC
  • When Kathy recently had to re-side her house she used the opportunity to install insulation in the walls, in an uninsulated space at the top of the lower level walls and in the crawl space, further reducing her use of fossil fuels to heat and cool her home.
  • At her church, she is part of a committee working toward adding solar panels to their church building this spring.

We are so proud to have such an inspiring woman 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