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Energy Savings Workshop for Renters

By: Myles Henderson Email
By: Myles Henderson Email

Wednesday night the Charlottesville Community Design Center hosted a free workshop aimed at helping renters save money by making their apartment more energy efficient. The workshop discussed the best strategies to make energy improvements, ways to work together with your landlord, and where to find local resources and experts in the field of energy efficiency.

Eric Gilchrist, SPARK! Coordinator, says, "We have been doing seminars for home owners but over 50% of the people who live in the Charlottesville area are renting apartments or houses and they too are concerned about high energy bills."

Energy Saving Tips:
- Seal leaks around windows, air vents, and hatches using caulk or foam.
- Clean and/or replace air filters and registers on a regular basis.
- Use child safety plugs in unused electric outlets to help seal air leaks.
- Use natural light to your advantage.
- Use fans with AC for better efficiency during the summer time.
- Remove window AC units in the winter.
- Eliminate phantom power by using power strips and unplugging appliances.
Lighting
- Decorate with light colors to reflect more light.
- Convert light bulbs to CFLs.
- Turn off lights or install timers.
Water
- Conserve water by installing low flow faucets & shower heads.
- Insulate exposed water pipes.
- Insulate hot water tank by using a water heater blanket.
Kitchen
- Check door seal on refrigerator for leaks.
- Adjust refrigerator temperature to between 36 and 38 degrees.
- Adjust freezer temperature to between 0 and 5 degrees.
- Avoid hand washing dishes.
- Run the dishwasher only when it is full.
- Use energy saving cycle (No Heat).
Laundry
- Wash in cold water whenever possible.
- Use the appropriate load size.
- Use dryer balls to dry clothes faster.
- Dry clothes on drying racks or using solar power (clothes line).


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