(Munising, MICH.) With funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Trust are teaming up to launch a new energy saving program called Alger Energy Savers. This program seeks to help community members save money by reducing energy use while helping to protect public lands.
"As a resident of Alger County, I know that energy bills can be very high during the winter," said Gregg Bruff of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. "And as a staff member of Pictured Rocks, I also know that scientists confirm that climate change is already affecting our parks and the region. The hope is that this program can help people find a solution to both by sharing information about energy efficiency."
According to Bruff, homes accounted for some 20% of 5,839 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted annually in the U.S or 1,230 million metric tons in 2008. Alger Energy Savers is hoping to visit 1500 homes in the county. If this goal is reached, 165,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and 1.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity will be saved.
By contacting Alger Energy Savers to sign up for a visit, residents of Alger County receive a brief home energy assessment from a professional contractor and up to $50 of energy efficiency measures. During this visit, the contractor will install energy efficiency measures including light bulbs, pipe wrap, and faucet aerators, identify opportunities for improving energy efficiency, and discuss the next steps to save money by reducing energy use. Home visits will also include a voucher for $10 towards select energy efficiency products at a local hardware store.
Through this community-based energy retrofit approach, the program will show that energy efficiency can save individuals money, improve the comfort of their homes, and reduce the impacts of climate change on national parks such as Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Program Manager Natasha Koss touts the program as a way for people to do simple things to make a difference in their community. "As a Lake Superior shoreline county, Alger County residents have a unique opportunity to do small things that can make a profound difference to protect one of our greatest resources," exclaimed Koss.
The Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Trust is a regional nonprofit focusing on Great Lakes protection. The Lakeshore has been recognized as a leader in energy stewardship and climate change outreach through its "Sustainable is Attainable" and Climate Friendly Parks programs.
Alger County residents who are interested in a free home energy assessment can call the Superior Watershed Partnership office at (906) 228-6095 or sign up online at www.algerenergysavers.org.