Story by Nate Kenworthy
A group of Auraria students are working to help Denver residents save money on their energy bills.
Energy Service Corps, a campaign supported by Colorado Public Interest Research Group’s (CoPIRG) student chapters, is active on the Auraria campus.
“Its goal is to perform 200 home-energy surveys, weatherize 70 residences, teach more than 2,000 kids about energy and the environment, and educate more than 500 community members on how to save energy and money,” said Marta Driscoll, acampus organizer for the group.
Energy surveys are performed by volunteers who visit residents and ask questions about their energy consumption.
Based on that information, corps members provide a projection on how much energy can be saved in each residence. About 100 surveys had been done as of Oct. 21, Driscoll said.
Energy Service Corps members ask homeowners to pledge to do a few things to save energy, such as to use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Corps members also offer to do free weatherizations. After a month, volunteers will follow up with the residents to find out how their energy usage has changed.
Sarah Turnbach, weatherizations coordinator for the Energy Service Corps, said they would also like to weatherize homeless shelters, government-related buildings, and schools.
“I really want to help empower the community to make an impact on the environment around them by reducing their energy usage,” Turnbach said.
The group also visits local schools to educate students about energy usage and conservation. They will also do presentations for clubs, such as the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs.
Claire Gritton, education coordinator with Energy Service Corps, visited a YMCA after-school program at Peck Elementary School in Arvada Oct. 4.
“The response was positive because the kids were excited and knew a lot of answers to questions about energy, but they also learned some new things,” she said.
Energy Service Corps members also visited Angevine Middle School in Lafayette Oct. 19 to present information to about 150 students.
CoPIRG will be hosting Make A Difference Day in Denver Oct. 27.
Volunteers will hand out energy-efficient light bulbs as well as provide energy audits and weatherizations, Driscoll said.