Money-saving energy reduction ideas shared in classes

Don’t let cold winter weather rob you by stealing the heating energy from your home!  Find out about these FREE classes coming to outer East Portland right there …

Community Energy Project’s Weatherization Workshop Coordinator, Loni Silva, shows some of the simple, energy-saving products that can cut drafts and save money.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Folk all over East Portland are learning how to keep their home or apartment from getting cold and drafty when the winter winds blow at free classes offered by an independent, non-profit organization called Community Energy Project (CEP).

CEP’s Weatherization Workshop Coordinator, Loni Silva, was getting ready for a presentation in SE Portland last month when she told us about the 60 free, do-it-yourself oriented classes CEP offers during the winter months for renters and homeowners.

“These classes are important, now,” Silva began, “especially during this economic crisis when people are short on money. We show people many simple things they can do to reduce their energy bills at home. Using these tips, they can save money on utility bills and make their home or comfortable process.”

None of the projects they discuss requires a contractor, Silva added. “These are things that you can do yourself on a free Saturday to make yourself more comfortable.”

Hands-on classes
Some of the tips and techniques taught during their classes can be found on their Internet website, Silva said – but the classes provide hands-on, interactive demonstrations. “Instead of reading about it, people who come to our classes get to practice doing it – and go home feeling less intimidated by the tasks we teach.”

Some of the projects include:

  • Putting weather-stripping on doors;
  • Using energy-saving light bulbs;
  • Installing gaskets on outside wall electrical outlets; and
  • Wrapping hot water pipes with insulation.

Silva said the best energy-saving tip of all is to learn how to look for “energy leaks” that can be simply fixed – and not to put it off! “You don’t have to be handy. If you take one step today, you’ll start saving money, dollar by dollar, that adds up to real money over the course of the season.”

Calking can keep the winter’s wind a bay, Silva tells the class

Free materials for low-income attendees
The courses are free, and open to everyone, Silva mentioned. “And for people who are income qualified, they also get $150 in energy-saving materials to take home at the end of the class.” Watch for the announcements of future classes in the area.

Workshops come to outer East Portland
If you’re interested in staying warmer and saving money, call (503) 284-6827 x108 and register for one of these free classes in January:

  • January 14 – 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm at Snow Cap, 17805 SE Stark St.
  • January 21 – 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Lent School, 5105 SE 97th Ave
  • January 27 – 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Alice Ott SUN School, 12500 SE Ramona St.

For more information, call (503) 284-6827, or visit their website by CLICKING HERE.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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