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Letters to the Editor: VECA Residents Show Us All How It’s Done

July 7, 2010

Well, Smallest Users, it appears another midtown neighborhood is attempting to outshine your energy-saving efforts. The Smallest User Blog got a very interesting and detailed e-mail in response to the Evergreen e-mail blast that went out last week. The most surprising part? It was from a VECA resident! That’s right, competitors – VECA isn’t even in the running to become The Smallest User, but they are still doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their energy bills. (William tells us 4 other neighbors on their street have begun similar projects.) Read the letter below to see how they’re doing it.

“Hi Smallest User Team,

We recently got your e-mail from the Evergreen newsletter. We started switching our home over to greener power a while back and thought we’d share some of the improvements we’ve made with your readers. We implemented the easiest and most economical ideas first, and it has worked out very well for us.

  1. We added roof vents to the attic when we had the new roof installed. (We did this before counting actual dollars, but we thought it was worth mentioning.)
  2. We switched to level payments with MLGW. This way we can look at savings in a month-by-month format to save energy.
  3. We had MLGW come do a free energy use assessment.
  4. We added some insulation, caulked doors and windows and changed to compact florescent bulbs (We changed all lights except for those on dimmers as they were not yet on the market). These changes saved us at least $10 a month.
  5. We replaced our thermostat with a programmable version and changed the dimmable lights to CFLs once they came on the market. We also added water saving filters to existing faucets and replaced the “guts” of the toilet with water friendly ones. These changes saved us another $10 per month.
  6. We had new energy efficient double paned windows installed from Lowes by Pella. We found this brand middle-of-the-road on cost, and they were particularly affordable as you can get the 12-months no interest. Also, depending on when you buy them, you may qualify for tax credits. This upgrade saved us an additional $30 per month.

If you have been counting, all of our improvements have led to savings of $390 per year on utilities! These savings have occurred even though I now leave my front porch light on 24 hours a day for security purposes in our neighborhood. I have tried lights with sensors, but they usually malfunction in less than a year, so if anyone has a suggestion for more energy-efficient sensor lighting, I’d be glad to hear it!

Up next: We plan to replace all of our appliances with energy-efficient versions as our older appliances die.


William Hanley & Mac Chonoles, VECA residents”

If you have any information or questions for William and Mac, e-mail Ashley and she’ll get you connected. Thanks again to our great Midtown neighbors for being so willing to share what they’ve learned!

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