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Residents learn how to reduce household energy use

Gail Calcagnino with a rain barrel that she won at the energy challenge wrap-up event held by Sustainable Skaneateles. The barrel collects rainwater from a house’s gutters to be used for watering gardens.

Gail Calcagnino with a rain barrel that she won at the energy challenge wrap-up event held by Sustainable Skaneateles. The barrel collects rainwater from a house’s gutters to be used for watering gardens. Joe Genco

The last part of the challenge is for the CNYRPD to gather information from the utility companies so that home owners can compare their energy usage to the same month from last year to see how much of a difference they were able to make.

“We tried to build a program where we could measure results and see the real impacts that the changes made,” Gordon said.

Many participants were enthusiastic about sharing their positive experiences with the program.

“It made me aware that I live in an energy unit, consuming energy,” Gail Vanderlinde said.

Several people reported being surprised at what they found when using “Kill-a-Watt” devices to measure how much electricity household appliances and electronics use.

“I found out that our hot tub is awful and our freezer is worse,” Kathy Palnierie said.

Four “Kill-a-Watt” devices were donated to the Skaneateles Library by the CNYRPD and are now available for anyone to check out to evaluate their home energy usage.

Gail Calcagnino said that working towards sustainability with programs like the energy challenge should be a community priority. “Anything to help the environment is worth doing, we need to work toward sustainable power and this is one way to do that,” she said.

Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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