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COLUMBIA- Residents in the Mizzou Sustainahouse are preparing for their first winter in the sustainable living house.

Six MU students have been living in the 90-year house since August to promote a sustainable living style.

A local energy company Energy Link did an energy audit on the house, and found many leaky spots. The residents started to seal the windows with recycled plastic, plugged leaky spots, insulated the walls with foam boards wrapped the hot water tank to save energy.

Energy auditor Scott Schnelle said an energy audit before the freezing weather could help homeowners save 10 to 30 percent on average. And for residents in Sustainahouse, keeping the heat inside can also help them live more comfortably. 

In the latest State Energy Efficiency Ranking published by American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Missouri ranks 44th in 50 states, with a score of only 8.5 out of 50.

The scorecard takes six perspectives into account. Those are public and utility programs and policies, transportation policies, building energy codes, combined heat and power, state government initiatives, and appliance efficiency standards.

Sustainahouse resident Henry Hellmuth said it is important to draw more attention to energy saving, which requires more education. 

On Oct.29, Columbia Water & Light will hold an Energy Efficiency Expo at the Boone County Fairgrounds. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants can get professional advice on saving energy, consult about energy audits and learn about home weatherization. Free lunch is available at the fairgrounds.