Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Otsego County Conservation Association's first ever Renewable Energy Workshop

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) - Templeton Hall was standing room only on Saturday morning for the Otsego County Conservation Association's first ever Renewable Energy Workshop.

At the event, OCCA's President Martha Clarvoe said, "I was really expecting it to be a small crowd and I'm really pleased that it's a pretty big group." Well over 100 residents from around Otsego County turned out to find out how how to make their homes more energy efficient, and that may include turning to renewable energy sources, such as wind power, or solar panels.

Clarvoe says "we'd like to see more people getting solar panels and saving energy, and there are some basic things I think people aren't, it's not on their radar screen and we brought it."

Those who showed up found out if they install renewable energy sources, in many cases there are plenty of state and federal incentives to help out. Mary Jo Cronin of Doherty & Brush Electric in Roseboom says, "the incentives take care of about 50 percent of the cost by the time you, by the time you are done, they do fluctuate depending on how much money is in the program and how many people are applying for it."

But how about if you can't afford these $15,000+ upgrades to renewable energy? Norm Farwell of Equity Energy out of Fly Creek says, "the best place to spend your money usually is in the home assessment, because we can go in and we can look at where a house is losing heat, and once we know that, it can be as simple as some cans of spray foam, weather stripping, things like that."

Attendees were introduced to the "Low Carbon Diet Book", where you can find tips on how to save energy without any added cost to you, like hanging laundry up on a clothes line instead of using your dryer, also getting a programmable thermostat, so you use less heat when you are not at home.

If you missed Saturday's workshop, all of the information about what went on, and how to contact the experts who were in attendance, just log on to the Otsego County Conservation Association's website at : www.occainfo.org.

By Gary Liberatore
News Channel 2 - wktv.com - Utica, New York