Smart Energy: New energy coordinator promotes Energize! Douglas County Campaign
By Nicole Mandall
Douglas County Smart Energy has long understood the incredible economic benefits and energy savings possible through efficiency measures. That’s why it has made it a goal to spread the word of these cost saving opportunities to the Douglas County community.
In April 2016, they decided a community-wide outreach campaign was the best way to reach this goal. Seeking guidance for the campaign and someone to help coordinate the program, the group applied for an Americorps volunteer through the RARE program. After months of fundraising and deliberation, Douglas County secured a spot as a community in the RARE Americorps program and began interviewing potential candidates. I was selected and arrived in Roseburg in September to begin as the Energy Efficiency Community Coordinator.
Driving across country from Georgia, I made the long trek to live in Roseburg for a one-year term, working with UCAN and DC Smart Energy. Using expertise in community development and education gleaned from my time in the Peace Corps, I’ve helped DC Smart Energy develop ENERGIZE! Douglas County. Kicking off this month, the ENERGIZE! campaign will feature a series of town hall talks throughout Douglas County that will inform people on various tips and tricks that can be used to save money and energy.
If saving energy, living comfortably and seeing your utility bill shrink sounds good to you, come out and learn about energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is the principle that you can perform the same tasks but use less energy to perform them. We will be highlighting the different behaviors and technologies available that community members can utilize to become energy efficient!
Behavior change is a free way to start saving money, but unfortunately the technology upgrades cost money. Some of you may have thought about making energy efficient upgrades to your home, but put on the brakes when you saw the prices. Now you can make those upgrades with a little help. Attendees will learn about various incentives they are eligible for that will allow them to make energy efficient upgrades for cheap.
Besides teaching citizens how to stay cozy without breaking the bank, the campaign also hopes to gain volunteers for a Baseline Energy Profile. This project will take energy readings from homes around Douglas County, before and after energy efficient upgrades have been made to the home. This information will be compiled into a report which will then be presented to the local governments around the county. It is our hope that these findings will be the first step in creating an energy plan for the county.
Whether you are ready to upgrade your home or curious about energy efficiency, come out and join us. The first talk in the series will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Douglas County Library in Roseburg. The talk will feature a presentation on all things energy efficient as well as a special guest speaker from the Energy Trust of Oregon.
If you can’t make the first talk, the second talk is scheduled for Feb. 2 in Myrtle Creek followed by several more throughout Douglas County!
If you would like to help support the ENERGIZE! Douglas County Campaign, come out to Lookingglass Brewery at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 24 to enjoy beers, food and good company! Thanks to the wonderful owners at Lookingglass Brewery, Mark and Lydia Nunnelee, because 25 percent of all of the proceeds will go toward the campaign.
For more information on dates and times for the upcoming town hall talks, check the Douglas County Smart Energy Facebook page.
Nicole Mandall, a resident of Roseburg, is the Energy Efficiency Community Coordinator for Douglas County Smart Energy. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by 678-848-5618
For tips on other ways to save and produce energy, visit dcsmartenergy.org. Douglas County Smart Energy is a project of the Douglas Count Global Warming Coalition. For more information about the coalition, call 541-672-9819 or find it on Facebook at DCSmartEnergy.