As the seasons change, and the demand for lights and heat increase on the Kenai Peninsula, the local member owned Homer Electric Association Inc., or HEA, held its seventh Annual Energy and Conservation Fair on Oct. 3, at Soldotna High School, or SoHi, as the Stars prepared to notch up another football championship. Nearly 30 vendors participated in this year’s event.
“We had everything you could think of regarding energy efficiency was here from lighting to heating and insulation to cleaning your clothes dryer vent we had experts to help you save money,” said Joe Gallagher, Homer Electric Association’s Director of Member Relations.
Additionally, as a public service, Shred Alaska was set up in the Soldotna High School parking lot, shredding any documents free of charge for anyone that brought their papers to them.
Gallagher said he believes public awareness has resulted in customer energy usage decreasing.
“The average residential used to be about 630 kilowatt hours (per month) and we’ve seen that go down to about 550 kilowatt hours for an average and I believe that is consumer awareness of more energy efficient products that are lowering their consumption,” he said.
At the ReGroup booth Deric Marcorelle, retired now from Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation was teaching the next generation about recycling.
“The borough is recycling everything they can; plastics, paper, aluminum and tin cans and glass. Some of it is used on site and some gets shipped out. It is not a profitable business at this time but we try to break even. ReGroup is an education group that does public education for the borough creating new programs to get the public to increase their recycling. As we talk with people we find folks have misconceptions saying they don’t recycle because the borough just puts it all in the landfill anyway, but that is not true. Everything that is collected for recycling does get shipped out of state and does get recycled,” said Marcorelle. ReGroup will have an electronics recycling day Saturday, Nov. 21, at the landfill.
“We’ll be taking anything that plugs in and it will all be recycled,” he said.
At the Spenard Builders Supply booth, Jeff Warton had a sampling of energy-saving products that he discussed in detail with visitors.
“Things you’ll find when you come into an SBS store like windows. The foam-filled, energy-efficient frames with triple-pane glass with coatings on them will help greatly reduce your energy bills. As far as energy pay pack probably the best thing you can do is attic insulation to improve your energy efficiency with the least investment and we’d be happy to calculate that for you at SBS,” said Warton.
The winners of the HEA Energy Efficiency & Conservation Student Contest for grades kindergarten through sixth were announced and received their awards at the Fair. Kids were asked to answer grade-level-specific prompts regarding efficient use of electric energy in the form of a coloring contest, poem, song or game.
Kindergarten and first grade Coloring Contest First Prize winner is Miles Tressler of Chapman School.
Second and third grade winner for the Acrostic Poem First Prize is Zayne Adams of Chapman School. The winner for the fourth, fifth and sixth grade Song Lyrics or Game First Prize is Leora McCaughey and Maggie Grenier of Nikiski North Star Elementary School, reported Tanya Lautaret HEA member services.