CoPIRG’s Energy Service Corps Commemorates the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 with a Day of Service
By: Jenn Engstrom
On September 11th, 56 volunteers with CoPIRG’s Energy Service Corps remembered the tragic event by giving back to their community in a Day of Service. Students from CU Boulder, CU Denver, CU Colorado Springs, and Colorado State University helped 164 people in their respective communities save energy, save the environment, and save money all at the same time.
Throughout the day, volunteers went door-to-door conducting basic energy surveys, asking homeowners and renters questions that helped identify energy inefficiencies in their homes, like the temperature at which they set their heating and cooling system and whether they use CFL light bulbs. Volunteers then provided people with simple tips on how they can reduce energy, like turning down their hot water heater and unplugging appliances when not in use. By making these simple and easy to implement changes that we suggest at the door, people can save quite a bit on their energy bill. For example, for every degree a family turns down their heat in the winter, they can save 1% on their energy bill.
On top of providing homeowners and renters with these useful energy-saving tips, volunteers went a step further and signed people up for a free home energy upgrade. Through these upgrades, Energy Service Corps helps people save even more by going into their home and sealing up cracks around windows and doors, insulating hot water pipes, and doing other small repairs around the house. Such repairs can help people save up to 15% on their energy bill.
In Denver, 20 volunteers from CU Denver conducted 60 surveys and gave homeowners both simple tips to save energy and free CFL light bulbs. CU Regent Michael Carrigan spoke to the volunteers before they headed out to the neighborhood and highlighted how inspiring it was that students were commemorating the day by making a difference in the community.
CU Denver students and Regent Carrigan showing off CFL light bulbs they handed out.
In Fort Collins, 11 CSU students road their bikes to Old Town to conduct 48 basic energy surveys. When Campus Organizer Terra Smith spoke with one woman, Gail, about sealing the cracks around her windows and doors, she said she’s been wanting to but didn’t know how. Terra recommended caulking and weatherstripping and Gail was very excited and appreciative of the tip. Along with helping people like Gail, the volunteers also signed up 12 people for future energy upgrades.
CSU Campus Organizer training volunteers on how to conduct energy surveys.
In Boulder, 10 CU students worked to educate residents of The Hill. They conducted 25 surveys in primarily student housing, where first time renters are often struggling to pay for school and rent. They not only gave students tips on easy-to-implement, no cost, energy efficiency changes, but are also partnering with the CU Boulder Environmental Center to provide student with free weatherization.
CU Boulder students before heading out to educate The Hill.
In Colorado Springs, 15 volunteer from UCCS conducted 31 basic energy surveys in the Acacia neighborhood near campus. They spoke with several men and women in active military service who expressed they were grateful for our commemorative work on 9/11 and eager to see how our suggested changes would impact their energy bill.
CoPIRG’s Energy Service Corps will continue to educate the community on how they can save energy this year by conducting another 2,000 basic energy surveys and 250 upgrades, as well as educating 10,000 of kids on energy conservation through fun lessons in the classroom.