Saving Energy Contest In Upstate New York – It is great to be a loser

This is what can happen when the entire energy related sector cooperates. Too bad it doesn’t happen everywhere.

The Biggest Losers win in Home Energy Efficiency Contest in Saratoga Springs

PostDateIcon February 14th, 2011 | PostAuthorIcon Author: admin

The Biggest Losers Win
A Sustainable Saratoga Campaign to Promote Energy Efficiency and Conservation.

(Saratoga Springs, NY)  — The local Biggest Loser Energy Challenge sponsored by Sustainable Saratoga came to a close last week as a group of Saratoga Springs neighbors representing ten households sallied forth in sub-zero weather to focus an infrared camera on their houses in the last educational activity of the contest. As participants each looked at their houses on the camera screen, tell-tale glowing lights signified heat escaping into the cold night air. The infrared camera visually demonstrated where heat losses were the greatest, and gave opposing team members ammunition for teasing owners about missed opportunities to make their homes more energy efficient.

After the chilly outing, participants compared the final tally of their energy consumption over a six-month period to see which group had managed to cut energy use and waste by the largest percentage over the same period last year. Although both teams were happy “losers”, one group did reduce more than the other.

The participants encountered some surprises.  First, it was interesting to see energy use trends over time as there were unexpected spikes and dips in therms (gas) and kilowatts (electricity). Several people who halved their electricity usage speculated in hindsight how they did it. One had unplugged her clothes dryer and used line drying in her basement instead. Another had purchased a new refrigerator that replaced a 30 year old one, exchanged an old cable box for a new one and put the flat screen TV on a plug that could be turned off in order to prevent the significant stand-by energy these modern TVs burn, as well as the hole in our pockets.


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More tomorrow.


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