BLUFFTON — Transition Bluffton is serious about helping people in the community become energy dependent and “do their part” on a grander scale.
They continued that commitment at the Bluffton Municipal Building on Tuesday with a public meeting to discuss energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Dan Klear, owner of Superior Energy Solutions in Ottawa, was guest speaker and offered many tips to about 30 people in attendance.
Transition Bluffton is a local group modeled after the national Transition Town movement. Transition Towns are grassroots community initiatives that seek to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and economic uncertainty.
“Our goal is to help reduce the need of petroleum and gas and increase sustainable sources,” said Pete Badertscher, a member of the Transition Bluffton organizational committee. “We want to be good neighbors and work for common goals for the community.
Klear said winter is a good time to learn about changes you can make to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. He said utility bills experienced a big hike in 2010-12. While they have remained somewhat consistent since then, worry about future bills has not decreased. He said there is added need due to so many power plants closing because of age and/or Environmental Protection Agency requirements.
“There has to be a replacement for that,” Klear said.
Klear said part of that replacement is using less energy at home. He said owners can have home assessments done to see where energy could be conserved. Other tips also included added insulation, improving air leakage in doorways and windows.
“Sometimes it is the simplest things,” Klear said. “Turn off lights, turn off computers, close the refrigerator and turn down the thermostat.”
He said people should also look into spending a little more even though it will pay off in the end, such as installing alternative energy sources such as solar power, biomass or wind turbines.
“The best money spent is energy-efficient things we just talked about,” Klear said.
Transition Bluffton will host a Training for Transition workshop Feb. 25-26 at the Bluffton Sportsman’s Club. To register or for information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or on Twitter @LanceMihm.