Fort Scott Community College hosted a Home Energy Savings Workshop presented by Westar Energy on Tuesday night. The presentation looked at different ways to make homes more efficient and was followed by a workshop where attendees could practice applying caulk and foam. Attendees were given a packet containing a caulking gun, foam, weather stripping and other weatherizing supplies.
Some facts from the meeting:
- Sillplates and wall outlets account for 45% of the are infiltration in a typical home.
- Most houses have air infiltration that is equivalent to a 3 foot by 3 foot hole cut in the wall.
- Fort Scott is currently leading the contest for a $100,000 prize among communities competing for making energy efficient upgrades.
- Through the end of September, you can get a home energy audit for $100 through a special government program. (And it helps with points toward the contest.)
- The money that Kansas had available for loans to make energy efficient improvements has been reassigned, but there is a possibility that it may come back.
- Many devices still pull power when plugged in, but not turned on. This is called phantom power.
- A typical TV and cable box uses $3.50 per month in phantom power.
- Phantom power can account for up to 35% of an electric bill.
- CFL bulbs contain mercery. However, when you account for the mercery produced by the additional electricity requirements of a standard bulb, CFLs result 5 to 6 times less mercery than standard lightbulbs over a 8,000 hour period.
- Home Depot and other stores offer CFL recycling so the mercery, plastic and glass gets reused instead of ending up in a landfill.
- Westar has a program where they will install a free electronic thermostate, but there are reception problems in Fort Scott at this point. If those are resolved the program will become available here.