‘Energy Project’ class helps folks keep cozy

Find out how these workshops, held in outer East Portland and beyond, stave off the chill of winter …

Community Energy Project Community Educator Cass Cole shows two of the hands-on learning props she uses during her workshops.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For decades, the Community Energy Project Inc. has sponsored classes and workshops that help people learn how to winterize their house or apartment.

One of the many classes held in the area was on the evening of November 17 at Whitman School, in the Brentwood Darlington neighborhood.

“I lead a basic do-it-yourself weatherization workshop,” explained Community Energy Project Community Educator Cass Cole, as she was unpacking for her presentation.

“This workshop has been around since the beginning of our organization in 1979,” Cole told East Portland News. “It focuses on basic ways that people can save energy in the home.”

Providing community members with information is just part of the job for Community Energy Project Community Educator Cass Cole.

In addition to saving money while conserving natural resources, Cole said, just as important is helping people staying warm in their residence.

“About half of the workshop is giving tips on what people can do to save energy, but still have a livable space,” Cole said. “The other half is about showing, hands-on, how to install some of the products that we give to qualified participants.”

Community Energy Project Community Educator Cass Cole shows a workshop attendee how to make a temporary storm window.

Workshops such as these, Cole said, help the organization meet their mission of “empowering people to maintain healthier, more livable homes, control their utility costs, and conserve natural resources”.

Although she travels all over the area, presenting the workshops primarily during evening hours and on the weekends – including making presentations at the Portland Fix-it Fairs – Cole said she always enjoys her job.

Helping people feel empowered to stay warm, while cutting their heating bills, gives Community Energy Project Community Educator Cass Cole satisfaction, she says.

“I love helping people understand how easy it is to save money and be more comfortable while saving natural resources,” Cole smiled. “It’s wonderful for me, when I see people nod their heads, showing that they’ve learned something that’s easy to do.

“It feels good when someone attending a workshop says they feel empowered to make some of these changes, be more comfortable in their homes, and save money,” added Cole.

Any energy-saving measure can help, she reflected. “They’re just a few simple things that you can do, that can make a big difference.”

Learn more about Community Energy Project, Inc. at their website: CLICK HERE to open that page.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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