Expo offers tips for conserving energy and reducing electric bills

2 years 7 months 3 weeks ago October 06, 2014 Oct 6, 2014 Monday, October 06 2014 Monday, October 06, 2014 10:52:00 AM CDT in 8 Goes Green
By: Kevin Allen, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - This year's Energy Efficiency Expo offered tips, seminars and demonstrations on how mid-Missouri residents can conserve energy and save money on their electric bills.

Officials from the Columbia Water and Light Department, Boone Electric Cooperative, Ameren Missouri and other organizations were on hand at the Central Missouri Events Center to answer questions Oct. 4.

Their advice ranged from simple do-it-yourself tasks to whole-house energy audits. Here are some highlights:

Use energy-efficient light bulbs. For residents just starting the process of becoming more energy-efficient, "it's the first thing they can do," said Rachel Barker, a general manager at Service Concepts. The Indianapolis-based organization provides services to consumers and utility companies.

Barker said homeowners should first educate themselves on the different types of bulbs available, such as LEDs and compact fluorescents, and how to select the ones that best fit their needs. If not used in the right setting, bulb life expectancy and savings can be greatly reduced.

Change air conditioner and heater filters regularly. This is another quick way to save energy and can reduce heating and cooling costs by as much as 15 percent, Barker said. Filters that are not changed regularly can reduce a unit's efficiency and cause damage.

Conserve water. "Anytime you take a shower, you're going to use hot water," said Tim Pohlman, the energy management specialist for Columbia Water and Light.

Even though it takes energy to pump water and heat it, people often do not associate water conservation with energy conservation.

"If you get the low-flow showerhead, it will aerate the water and make it feel like it's the same pressure," he said.

Plant a tree. Terry Freeman, the residential energy services supervisor for Water and Light, said properly placed shade trees can reduce cooling costs by 30 percent.

He said Water and Light's Tree Power program offers customers a free landscape energy audit and a free 6- to 10-foot shade tree, with a limit of one per electric meter.

Take advantage of rebates. Water and Light offers rebates for a variety of purchases, including central air-conditioning systems, air-source heat pumps, solar water heaters and solar panels, Freeman said.

Boone Electric Cooperative offers rebates for energy-efficient window-unit air conditioners, ground-source heat pumps and electric water heaters.

Use technology to monitor and manage energy use. Many devices now enable homeowners to more efficiently control their appliances' energy use, Barker said.

Smart power strips can be used to shut down power to devices like computers that go into standby mode. These devices would otherwise continue to draw power.

Programmable thermostats can also reduce heating and cooling costs by moderating temperatures when no one is in the house. "Little changes can add up to big savings," Barker said.

Request an energy audit. For residents who want to upgrade their homes themselves, Water and Light offers a free energy audit.

"Instead of just looking at one component of your house, we look at everything because it's all connected," Freeman said. "What we're doing is giving you a roadmap of what you should do first."

Water and Light and Boone Electric Cooperative also participate in the Home Performance with Energy Star program, in which approved contractors are hired to evaluate and upgrade the homes. Rebates are available for some of the work.

"We want to help you to help yourself," Freeman said. "It's in your best interest to buy the highest energy-efficient system you can because it's going to pay off down the road."

(Photo: Terry Freeman, right, the residential energy services supervisor for the Columbia Water and Light Department, answers questions for area residents at the Energy Efficiency Expo on Oct. 4 at the Central Missouri Events Center.)

More News

Grid
List
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities have recovered two bodies and are searching for a third person after their vehicle was... More >>
3 hours ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:38:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives of two of four people killed when a steam-filled tank weighing nearly 2,000 pounds (900... More >>
3 hours ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:33:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a man who barricaded himself inside a home repeatedly fired at officers... More >>
22 hours ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 6:54:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police say they are searching for a man who shot two people,... More >>
22 hours ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 6:46:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A new business pushes it’s clients to their limit and has them sweating bullets. Two former NFL... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 5:06:00 PM CDT in Sports
COLUMBIA - A resettlement agency supporting refugees had a surplus in donations, so it decided to sell some of its... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 4:47:00 PM CDT in News
As of 6:00 p.m. 23,491 Electric Cooperative member-consumers are without power As of 5:37 p.m. Saturday, Ameren reports that... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 4:21:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Traditional Native American food, crafts and dancing can be found at the tenth annual "For the People"... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 3:48:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Two teens were arrested early Saturday morning in relation to an armed robbery Friday night. Columbia Police... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 3:46:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
BOONE COUNTY - One person was extricated from a vehicle and taken to the hospital with serious injuries after a... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 2:53:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA— The start of the ninth annual Pedaler’s Jamboree was held on Saturday. Nine years ago when the event... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 2:24:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The 29th Annual Salute to Veterans Air Show is scheduled for Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 2:10:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Three people were taken to hospitals by emergency personnel following a three-car wreck Saturday morning. A... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 1:08:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – Public pools in Columbia opens for Memorial Day weekend, but they are still looking for more people to... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 11:29:00 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Two months after the idea was first introduced to leaders in Springfield, Missouri, the city's new... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 11:13:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a man who exchanged gunfire with officers during an hours-long standoff has... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 11:09:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Lawmakers have passed a proposal in a special session that supporters hope will bring hundreds... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 5:13:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A father was sentenced in federal court Friday for threatening the attorney who represented one of his... More >>
1 day ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 8:04:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
5pm 79°
6pm 78°
7pm 77°
8pm 73°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
Dateline NBC
4:00p
Wrong Turn at Tahoe
6:00p
A Thousand Words
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
6:00p
A Thousand Words
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld