Cedar Falls will be recognized at next week’s National Mayor’s Energy Summit for its conservation work. The University of Northern Iowa teamed with the D-N-R, the local utility, business and government leaders to cut the city’s energy use.It was not quite a diet, but doing more with less says Elizabeth Plasket, energy educator with the program dubbed “Conservation City.” The University began with a grant from the “Rebuild Iowa” program.UNI’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education works in partnership with Cedar Falls’ utility on business and residential energy consumption. Plasket says there are a few basic things you could do without a grant, to jump-start energy conservation.The simplest thing to do is replace all your light bulbs in a home or business. Changing from incandescent to fluorescent bulbs can save 30 percent on the electric bill. In addition to homes, Plasket says the project looked at energy savings in local businesses. Those included things like motors, fans, high-voltage air conditioning, weather-stripping and insulation. Not only can that cut the electric bill, but it can make manufacturing more efficient. Plasket says the value of the project is spelled out in dollars and cents. She says they’ve retrofitted775-thousand square feet of public and commercial buildings have been fixed up with a million dollars in grant money. And already they’ve seen energy savings of over 67-thousand dollars a year. Plasket says that energy savings will continue, and will help attract new business as well as saving old ones money. The U-S Energy Department holds its National Mayors Energy Summit May 29th and 30th in Chicago.
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