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Student and Community Outreach on Rental Efficiency ($CORE) Danielle Bronshteyn*, Gregory T. Nelson PowerPoint Presentation
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Student and Community Outreach on Rental Efficiency ($CORE) Danielle Bronshteyn*, Gregory T. Nelson
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  1. Student and Community Outreach on Rental Efficiency ($CORE) Danielle Bronshteyn*, Gregory T. Nelson Student Office of SustainabilityҰ, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire *, Ұ The Mission: The Tools: The $CORE (Student and Community Outreach on Rental Efficiency) program at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire (UWEC) was adapted from the program of the same name created by the Energy Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The $CORE Program was implemented at UWEC in the winter of 2011 and is entering its third year of existence. The $CORE Program is a peer-to-peer energy conservation and education program focused on student renters and their homes. Student Energy Auditors were hired by the UWEC Student Office of Sustainability, through funding provided by Xcel Energy (see “The Players”) to educate student renters on their energy use. The main focus of the $CORE Program was on providing education that could be directly applied in the rental homes as well as throughout the students’ lives at their future residences. The program also provided infrastructure (see “The Tools”), installed by the Energy Auditors, that could directly reduce the students’ utility bills. The Energy Auditors demonstrated weatherization techniques and made recommendations for minor additional purchases or requests from the landlords to further improve energy efficiency. The $CORE program engages students in environmental activism, educates students on in-home energy efficiency tactics, enables them to utilize these tactics, and saves them money in the process. Developing this win-win situation for the environment and students is vital to developing interests in sustainability and instills lifelong habits within the student community at large. • The most important tools provided to the student renters by the Energy Auditors is the knowledge of sustainable practices that they can apply to the rest of their lives. However, they were also given several material items to directly reduce the energy use of their rental homes. These materials are expected to remain with the rental home after the student renters have moved on and been replaced by new students, providing a long-term impact to the energy consumption of the largely-student neighborhoods near the UWEC campus. • Materials Provided (per apartment or house of up to 5 residents. Houses of 6 or more residents received double the number of materials): • 10 – 13W Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) • 2 – 1.2 gpm sink aerators (standard sink aerator uses 2.2 gpm) • 1 – 1.5 gpm shower head (standard shower head uses 2.5 gpm) • 1 package window film (usually enough to cover most windows in the house/apartment) • These materials (except the window film) were installed by the Energy Auditors. The window film was installed as a demonstration on one or two windows per apartment/house and the student renters installed the rest themselves. • Additionally, infrared thermometers were used to test the temperatures of the refrigerator, freezer, and hot water as well as to check for drafts. • The Energy Auditors used an audit form developed by the UC-Boulder $CORE program to gather data about the energy use of the rentals as well as to provide information to the student renters. At the end of each $CORE audit, the student renters were given a factsheet summarizing their energy use and the recommendations of the Energy Auditors. This factsheet was also developed by the UC-Boulder $CORE program. For copies of the audit form or the factsheet, please contact What goes here? The Players: The Results: Fun Facts: Student Office of Sustainability is a commission of student government. Funded and run by students, the SOS seeks to make UWEC a more sustainable institution and also to promote sustainable lifestyles for it’s students. This is accomplished through education and outreach, installation of sustainable infrastructure on campus, and advocating for sustainable practices at UWEC. The SOS oversees and manages the entire SCORE program. Xcel Energy is the energy provider for UWEC and fully funds the program. They also provide training sessions with energy efficiency professionals to teach Energy Auditors about best use in home practices to build confidence and competence in the SCORE team. Xcel energy is “…is focused on building a clean energy future while continuing to provide the safe, reliable and affordable energy services…” and works closely with the SOS to this end within their student demographic by highlighting the interconnectedness of environmental and economic sustainability. Jim’s Pizza is a locally owned and managed pizza shop located just off campus. Jim’s provides pizzas at a discounted rate to promote the program and the SOS support local economies in return. SCORE has audited a total of 128 student rental properties, saving an estimated $50,000 in student energy billsand educated 384 student renters on prudent energy use practices. 1209 incandescent bulbs have been replaced with new compact fluorescents 198 drafty windows have been sealed an insulated 102 low flow shower heads have been installed 241 sink aerators have been installed This year the SCORE program has been expanded buy hiring a hiring a specific coordinator and two additional Energy Educators and will be attempt to audit 100 homes over the course of the winter. • The average house has drafts & leaks that, if added up, total about a basketball sized hole in the wall • Locking windows when • they are closed creates • a seal that helps keep • out drafts • Each CFL will save $8 to $20 per year depending on use • Safe food storage temperatures: • Fridge: 35-40 F • Freezer: 0-5 F • Changing your furnace filter regularly improves heating efficiency Acknowledgments: We would like to thank the Student Office of Sustainability and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for funding the attendance of AASHE 2013.