Darrell Boggess: Energy Leader

Congratulations to Darrell and Kathleen Boggess for becoming MCEC  Energy Leaders!

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Darrell was nominated as an Energy Leader because of his dedication to helping community members conserve energy for the past 3 decades.

Energy Leader Achievements:

  • Installed a solar air heater for his house in the mid-80s, his first step to drastically reducing his home energy usage
  • Installed solar panels in 2011 and has been producing surplus electricity since March 2012!
  • Upgraded to an energy efficient refrigerator, removed 2nd rarely used refrigerator, and switched from a full size upright freezer to a chest freezer to save energy
  • Contributor to the Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network (SIREN) and a popular presenter of SIREN’s Going Solar program. See sirensolar.org for more information
  • Helped many homeowners, his own church and many other congregations in Bloomington and statewide to make energy efficiency improvements and go solar.
  • Advocated to preserve net metering, which gives utility customers the right to fair compensation when they send excess power they generate from wind and sun to the electrical grid.

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

Ivy Tech Joins the WPP as an Advanced Member

Thank you to Ivy Tech which joined the Workplace Partner Program on April 13th!

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Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington  is a community cornerstone and is dedicated to increasing  energy efficiency on campus!  They are currently involved in many sustainability initiatives including replacing lights in the building with LED bulbs and complete LED lighting in the newly added wing. There is a proposed project  to install CO2 sensors in the large building air handlers which will save energy on heating, cooling and ventilation. Ivy Tech has also recently entered a contract for combined recycling pick up and is working on installing solar panels at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center.

In addition to these great initiatives, Ivy Tech is continuing to adapt the AC control system toward less energy use and the statewide Corporate Office has formed an ad hoc committee to assess utility usage at all the regions. They have met with several outside specialists to determine what can be done to reduce overall Ivy Tech utility usage.

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.

Earth Week at IU Athletics

MCEC and IU Athletics Green Team are partnering up during Earth Week 2016 ‬to educate student athletes about energy use. Athletes pedaled the Energy Bike to light incandescent, CFL and LED bulbs, a fan and other everyday items to see how much energy each takes!

Goooo Hoosiers!!!

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As part of Earth Week, IU Athletics is also offering  interactive activities on stadium recycling and composting,  blind tasting of tap vs. bottled water, sports sustainability trivia, tips on eating sustainably and much more! We are proud to have such a  dedicated MCEC Workplace Partner!

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The Project School makes a project of saving energy

Pam CunninghamThird/fourth grade teacher Pam Cunningham in front of the Energy bulletin board at The Project School

Pam Cunningham recently completed an Energy unit with her 3rd/4th graders at The Project School (TPS).  Yes, they do have a lot of energy at that age, but this class was about electricity.

It kicked off with a classroom visit from three SIREN (Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network) members – Arvind Gopu, Lavanya Pashikanti and Anne Hedin – who came in to talk about where electricity comes from.

Pam followed up with a fun exercise she learned from the MCEC fall workshop on energy. Students tried to guess how much electricity various small appliances use – a hairdryer, phone charger a lamp.  Then Pam plugged the appliances into a handheld energy monitor to reveal the actual amount, along with the dollar cost and carbon emissions from generating that amount of electricity from fossil fuels.

Students learned to use the energy monitors on their own to take readings for plug-in things all around the school – including the aquaponics tanks used for science projects.  (You can try this experiment at home; the public library loans out energy monitors with instructions.)  They began turning off the lights whenever possible and watched for the impact on the school’s utility bills.

Pam says, “The kids were very excited and tracked lights-out time school-wide for a whole month, and sure enough, the results were lower than the month before.  But then they compared their results with the same month’s electricity usage last year, and this year’s results were higher. That was disappointing and puzzling. So we dug deeper and found out what accounted for the difference. The aquaponics tanks were new this year.  We also used to have a catering service for lunches, but this year we put in freezer and oven to prepare lunches in the building.  So we used more electricity year over year, but turning lights out took the edge off the increases.”

The first Energy unit ended by reaching out to parents directly.  On a cold March evening, Molly O’Donnell, who chairs Residential Committee of the Monroe County Energy Challenge, came to Pam’s classroom to offer parents the opportunity to sign up for a free home energy assessment.  Molly also demonstrated how to use the energy saving tools and supplies that come in the weatherization and energy efficiency kits funded by the Joyce Foundation grant.  Each family received a kit to take home.

Looking back, looking forward

Thinking back over the completed unit, Pam summed up “The students were very excited about this work and it has really made them think through how they themselves are using energy.  In the last week, students have been really looking at what they can do and taking the initiative at school to find ways to conserve in the classroom.  The school is also looking for ways to conserve.  One example is by putting in motion activated light switches in places where we think they could be used. “

This project is now spreading beyond the walls of the school as well. Pam says, “I am currently working with the 3/4/5 classroom on the same unit.  They are heading into the project phase of this work.  Some of their ideas include going out into the community to get the word out on how to conserve energy.  I am very excited to see their final projects.”

Woodie Bessler: Energy Leader

Congratulations to Woodie Bessler and family for becoming MCEC  Energy Leaders!

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An electrical engineer by profession, Woodie has a passion for helping people understand energy and use it wisely. The Bessler family has reduced their energy use by 70% since 2009!

Energy Leader Achievements:

  • Installed solar panels in 2011, added more in 2013 and has produced surplus electricity since 2013
  • Installed a Geothermal system to replace the gas furnace in early 2015 (see graph below for NG usage vs. heating degree day)
  • Active member of the Monroe County Energy Challenge Residential Programs team
  • Performed free energy assessments
  • Original author and a frequent presenter of the Going Solar program which has since been given over 50 times to approximately 1,000 people in Bloomington and across Indiana.
  • As a mentor to youth, Woodie has coached MCCSC robotics teams, trained teenagers to weatherize houses, and visited classrooms.

Energy Usage Data: 2007-2015

* Geothermal system replaced gas furnace in early 2015Slide1

We are so proud to have such an inspiring family 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

WonderLab Joins the WPP!

Thank you to WonderLab which joined the Workplace Partner Program on April 8th!

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The WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology is an award-winning science museum  that provides opportunities for people of all ages, especially children, to experience the wonder and excitement of science through hands-on exhibits and programs that stimulate curiosity, encourage exploration, foster lifelong learning and explore connections to the arts and everyday life. WonderLab has been a vibrant facet of science education in our community since 1995 and has served more than 900,000 people since it opened its downtown location in 2003.

 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.

Children’s Expo 2016

In celebration of the Month of the Young Child, MCEC taught local kids about energy use at the 2016 Children’s Expo! Ever wonder what common household appliances use the most energy? These kids put their knowledge to the test and brainstormed ways to reduce their energy use at home!

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Want to test your knowledge? Our interactive Energy Pyramid game will be at the Bloomington Farmer’s Market on select weekends throughout the summer! See our Calendar to find upcoming dates!

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Scott and Ruth Sanders: Energy Leaders

Congratulations to Scott and Ruth Sanders for becoming MCEC  Energy Leaders!

WP_20160331_16_04_58_ProScott and Ruth were nominated as Energy Leaders because of their years of dedication to increasing energy efficiency and helping community members conserve energy.

Energy Leader Achievements:

  • Installed solar panels and a new high-efficiency furnace which reduced their energy use by 65%! Check out the graph to see weather normalized energy reduction.
  • Increased energy efficiency by installing double-paned windows, low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators, R7 curtains, and adding an insulating blanket to the hot water heater.
  • Shared energy and sustainability knowledge with neighbors and community members

                                         Energy Usage Data: 2000-2016

*High-efficiency furnace installed 2007: Solar panels installed 2013

Sanders Data Graph

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

Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Joins WPP

ChamberThank you to the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce which joined the Workplace Partner Program on March 29!

The Chamber has been the voice of business for Bloomington, Monroe County and the region since 1915.  It is a community leader that encourages local businesses and employees to get engaged! From business advancement to public policy, talent development to marketing & promotion, and of course, lots of networking, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is leading the way.   It is also an award-winning organization that has been recognized by both the Indiana Chamber Executives Association (ICEA) and the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).

 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.

Haley Kinser: Energy Leader

Congratulations to Haley Kinser for becoming an MCEC  Energy Leader!energy leader

Haley was nominated as an Energy Leader due to her enthusiasm for volunteering  and her achievements in weatherization! After learning how to weatherize a home, she put her new skills to use to improve comfort and to reduce  energy use in the community!

Energy Leader Achievements:

  • Haley is a member of the South Central Community Action Program’s first Weatherization class
  • With her new weatherization skills, she sealed up her son’s room and her mother’s new apartment to help save energy and increase their comfort
  • She volunteered on Valentine’s Day during a snowstorm to help weatherize additional houses
  • Haley also volunteers to bring others who don’t have transportation to class
  • She has been an enthusiastic member of our program and is a great ambassador for MCEC and SCCAP

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