Seventy diners had lunch with the Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce. They listened to a presentation by Roanoke Cement on energy savings and sustainability on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at Greenfield Education and Training Center. Dan Babish introduced the presentation for Roanoke Cement. He spoke about employee participation in safety programs to the latest idea– production of energy savings managers among employess. For instance, the tower is no longer lighted at night saving money, and that was an employee idea.
Roanoke Cement tries to use sustainability ideas and initiatives with customers, too.
“Every employee is a safety manager,” said Babish. He guaranteed every home could have an energy manager in spouses and children. Steve Knox and Gerald Carter of Roanoke Cement produced a 25 minute power point on how to save energy at home. Here is a laundry list of practical and easily achieved energy cost saving ideas that work. Carter is a certified building professional analyst and is a “green” advocate:
“Ask the following questions,” said Knox. “What can I turn off? What can I automate? What I can use that is more efficient?” He assured the audience that everyone could achieve the savings. The most simple idea was to turn off the lights and electronics when not needed. “Seal air sources. Strive for Synergy,” he noted. “Timers, a simple method turn lights on and off and appliances, too.” The duo advised the use of programmable thermostats. Carter said, “Seal around outlets and light switches, dry clothes with a tennis ball or dryer nodule, wash full loads of clothes, add weatherization strips to doors.” Another easy idea is to adjust thermostats lower them when not at home. Turn down the heat when sleeping was advised, too. Install low flow faucets, replace incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs, and all easily achieved with a trip to a home supply store.
Serious about energy savings? Try the “go getter” tips which include:
Seal leaks through out the house, use a shower timer, install a low flow shower head, utilize power strips to minimize phantom power usuage. Lighting was a big energy savings item–replace lights with LED lighting. Use a clothes line instead of a dryer. Use a power monitor, set ceiling fans on reverse to blow warm air down, choose energy star appliances, choose water sense fixtures and use thermal curtains on windows.
For the more construction minded energy saver, energy loss occurs in attics and crawl spaces. Seal cracks between attic and living space, knee walls and the attic door. Insulate!
Crawl spaces need extra energy TLC. Make it a priority to insure adequate insulation, seal off vents, make sure the vapor barrier will keep mold from growing. Use caution not to make the home sealing too tight and use good judgement around chimneys and flues and recessed lights.
In real dollar saving percentages, here is what energy savings can be found in the following statistics presented:
Thermostat per lowered 1 degree in winter saves 1%. Tennis balls or nodules, 25% energy. Seal leaks from 5-30% . Replace incandescent lights, 70% and low flow water up to 50% in savings.
Roanoke Cement encouraged participants to consider a professional to make an energy home audit and to not overspend trying to save energy. “Don’t out pace savings,” said Babish.
Ron Smith of Public Works also covered the Recycling program in Botetourt County. For more information on Recycling, check out the county website or call Greg Hannah at 992-5111.