City aims to educate residents on power-bill savings

Red Deerians can learn how to save money on their power bill.

Red Deerians can learn how to save money on their power bills.

The City of Red Deer is hosting a session Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Red Deer Public Library’s downtown branch.

People will receive information on how to apply for thousands of dollars in federal, provincial and municipal rebates offered for home energy efficiencies. An individual who participated in the audit process will give insight as well.

“We are helping Red Deerians save money by providing the information and tools they need to start improving the energy efficiency of their homes,” said Lauren Maris, environmental program specialist for the city. “The potential effects of this program are significant not only for residents, but also for the environment since home energy use is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.”

Attendees will also learn about resources to help them do their own home energy audits, including Internet-based tools and a new do-it-yourself home energy audit kit available at the library. This measure is prompted by the success of the Kill a Watt program that was launched in June by the city Electric Light and Power Department in partnership with the public library.

The new home kits include a Kill a Watt device that measures electricity use in individual electronics and appliances. It also includes an infrared thermometer to identify areas of heat loss and a power cost monitor to measure electrical consumption for the entire house.

“With winter fast approaching, this is the perfect time to evaluate your home and make some changes that will save money on your energy bills,” said Maris.

The kits can be borrowed by simply going to the library and signing them out with a library card.

“We are happy to be a link between the City of Red Deer and the public in getting these useful tools into the hands of the community,” said Red Deer Public Library director Dean Frey.

This initiative is one of the strategies from the 2011 Environmental Master Plan, which has a goal to reduce energy use in Red Deer.

Details on the city’s workshop and rebates, as well as links to all grant programs, can be found at www.reddeer.ca/environment.