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our Energy Efficiency Youth Tour


Deciding If Renewable Energy Is a Good Fit for You Using renewable energy, such as wind or solar power, is an increasingly popular trend, but before committing to a re- newable energy option, it is im- portant to make sure it is right for you. A renewable energy system is an investment that should be carefully considered and thoroughly assessed. “A renewable energy system is a significant investment, and homeowners and small busi- ness operators should do re- search before leaping into one,” says Austin Partida, Director of Marketing and Member Ser- vices at Kay Electric. “To be confident that the right renew- able energy system has been chosen, there are a number of questions that need to be answered.”


tions about: • Energy goals • Current energy usage •


Appropriate types of renewable systems


• Permitting process • System maintenance • Energy savings


It is important to consider if renewable energy can help meet your goals, which type of system would be the most cost effective and efficient, and if a renewable system is even pos- sible for your location. To as- sist in making the decision, the Energy Education Council has developed a renewable instal- lation checklist that includes questions and resources for addressing and learning about important issues on renewable energy.


The checklist is available at EnergyEdCouncil.org/checklist. pdf and can help answer ques-


The checklist has two parts. The first contains important questions and resources for evaluating renewable energy possibilities before calling a qualified installer to help you have an informed, productive conversation. The second sec- tion contains questions to ask during meetings with qualified installers. A homeowner or small busi- ness owner armed with the knowledge gained from an- swering the renewable energy installation questions will be vastly better informed and ready to tackle the project and attain his or her goals.


Efficiency should always be the first step in the quest for saving money on energy. Many utilities offer no or low cost energy audits that will show where homes and businesses are wasting money through poor efficiency. Some energy providers will even reimburse the cost of the audit when efficiency improvements are made.


“It is important to remem- ber that the cheapest, clean-


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est, and greenest energy is the energy not used, and this comes from energy efficiency,” Partida explains. “There are many things you can do to save energy, from making large financial investments in equip- ment upgrades to things that don’t cost a cent.”


There are a variety of en- ergy efficiency steps that can be taken to make a home or business more energy efficient. There are even no-cost effi- ciency measures. They include turning off lights when leaving a room, setting computers to go into sleep mode when not in use, and using power strips to cut down on energy use. Low-cost measures include replacing burned out incandes- cent bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs, caulking and weather- stripping windows and doors, and cleaning or replacing air conditioner and furnace filters. For more information on en- ergy efficiency and renewable energy, visit www.kayelectric. coop or download the checklist at EnergyEdCouncil.org/check- list.pdf.


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